Understanding adaptation to first episode psychosis through the creation of images

Angelica Attard, Michael Larkin, Zoe Boden, Christopher Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article aims to understand and explore the meaning of adaptation to First Episode Psychosis (FEP). An innovative method of data collection was used with ten participants who experienced FEP which integrated drawings of their lived experience within semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and hermeneutic-phenomenological image analysis. Participants’ experience was captured in four superordinate themes which identified that adaptation to FEP entailed: ‘Finding out how psychosis fits into my story’, ‘Breaking free from psychosis’, ‘Fighting my way through psychosis’, and ‘Finding a new way of being ‘me’’. The participants’ path of adaptation to FEP was an interplay of pains, challenges, and gains, and there was resonance with posttraumatic growth in their accounts. This article illustrates that creating images may offer a powerful way of conveying the multifaceted aspects of adaptation to FEP and could help individuals in communicating and processing their experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73–88
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2017. This article is an open access publication.


  • psychosis
  • adaptation
  • Recovery in Mental Health
  • Visual methods
  • drawings
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • Posttraumatic growth


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding adaptation to first episode psychosis through the creation of images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this