Voices, Visions and Unusual Beliefs: An Introduction to Psychosis

Course overview

This one course introduces delegates to the topic of voices, visions and unusual beliefs, sometimes known as psychosis. The course will explore different understandings of psychotic experiences, promoting the benefits of open-minded, collaborative approaches that respect the individual’s unique perspectives. Delegates will learn about mainstream treatment approaches, including talking treatments, some of the pros and cons of medication and potential risks to be aware of. The course will take a common sense approach to supporting people experiencing psychosis, including information on tried and trusted coping strategies and emphasising the value of an authentic person-centred approach to practical and emotional help.

Learning objectives

by the end of this course you should be better able to:

  • define what is meant by psychosis
  • identify the basic features of psychotic expereince
  • describe the ethical and practical value of a working with a shared understanding of the individual’s experience
  • identify the clinical pathways and non clinical sources of support
  • describe some tried and tested self-care measures for managing distressing psychotic experience

Course content

  • what is psychosis?
  • what are voices and visions?
  • what are unusual beliefs?
  • what is schizophrenia?
  • what causes psychosis? medical, psychosocial, spiritual and cultural perspectives
  • how is psychosis treated? – care pathways
  • does psychosis always need to be ‘treated’?
  • pros and cons of a medical approach
  • what are the alternatives?
  • what are the principles of person-centred support for psychosis?
  • the importance of working with a shared understanding of a person’s psychotic experience
  • when should I encourage someone to access extra support?
  • identifying and managing risk associated with psychosis
  • how do people cope with voices, visions and unusual beliefs?
  • the contribution of peer support in living with psychosis and recovery
  • practical and emotional support
  • support in a crisis
  • using a wellness plan for self-care and support


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