Research around the world has consistently shown that people with serious mental illness (SMI) are often subject to strongly held stigmatizing attitudes held by others in society (e.g., dangerousness, incompetence, inability to work). As a result, people with SMI often experience “internalized stigma” or “self-stigma” which reflects the process by which stigmatizing attitudes are internalized, leading to the loss of previously held or hoped for identities (e.g., self as student, self as worker, self as parent, etc.) and the adoption of identities based on stigmatizing views (e.g., self as dangerous, self as incompetent). In order to reduce the common devastating phenomenon of self-stigma, Narrative Enhancement and Cognitive Therapy (NECT) is a structured, group based treatment aimed to reduce self-stigma. It combines psychoeducation to help replace stigmatizing views about mental illness with empirical findings, cognitive restructuring geared toward teaching skills to challenge negative beliefs about the self, and elements of narratology focused on enhancing one’s ability to narrate one’s life story. Since its development, nearly a decade ago, it has been implemented in five different countries and five languages and studied in three countries with results supporting its positive impact on decreasing self-stigma and improving other positive outcomes. In this paper we briefly review literature on stigma and self-stigma within the context of SMI, the need for treatment focused on decreasing self-stigma, the theoretical rational for the NECT, the format of the intervention and the existing published research.
|Translated title of the contribution||Narrative enhancement and cognitive therapy: a group intervention to reduce self-stigma in people with severe mental illness|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 2017|