2007 issue 4


Volume 16, issue 4

Clinical hints

STOPP - an Australian program of cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients after the first episode of psychosis

Aleksandra Waluk1,2, Marzenna Falkowska-Śleszyńska1, Andrzej Czernikiewicz1,2
1. Zespół Oddziałów Dziennych w Białymstoku Samodzielnego Publicznego Psychiatrycznego Zakładu Opieki Zdrowotnej w Choroszczy
2. Klinika Psychiatrii Akademii Medycznej w Białymstoku
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2007; 16 (4): 357-360
Keywords: psychosis, first episode, cognitive-behavioural therapy


Objective. To present a psychotherapeutic program designed for patients after the first episode ofpsychosis.

Review. Early intervention in psychotic disorders is an important predictor of recovery. In the study the context of the first episode psychosis was described. The STOPP Program (Systematic Treatment of Persistent Psychosis) - a proposition of cognitive-behavioural therapy in the first episode psychosis was outlined and discussed. The theoretical model and basic assumptions of cognitive-behavioural therapy were presented. The following phases of the STOPP program were discussed in detail: (I) developing a collaborative working relationship; (II) exploring and coping with psychosis; (III) strengthening the capacity to relate to others; and (IV) finishing and moving on. Therapeutic interventions during each phase were characterized.

Conclusions. The treatment of psychoses includes pharmacotherapy and psychosocial interventions (i.e. psycho- and sociotherapy). The provision of only one, isolated form of treatment turns out to be insufficient to attain the patient's complete recovery, therefore inclusion of psychotherapeutic interventions is advisable. The paper draws attention, firstly, to the cognitive-behavioural therapy efficacy in reducing psychotic symptoms, and secondly, to early intervention benefits.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Marzenna Falkowska-Sleszyńska
Zespół Oddziałów Dziennych Samodzielnego Publicznego Psychiatrycznego Zakładu Opieki Zdrowotnej w Choroszczy
ul. Warszawska 15, 15-062 Białystok
e-mail: marzennaf@wp.pl