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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 41 (1999) 5, 277 - 286

Review article

Cognitive therapy with psychosis and auditory hallucinations

J.L.M.G. Butenaerts, M.A.J. Romme, A.D.M.A.C. Escher

In this review an outline is presented of the actual cognitive behavioural treatment approach of psychosis and auditory hallucinations. Hearing voices occurs in patients with different diagnoses and in persons without psychopathology. Despite usual treatment with antipsychotics and psychoeducation psychotic patients often still suffer a great deal from their psychotic experiences and beliefs. Over the last ten years there was an increase in research into cognitive interventions. In this article we present five research groups. The different researchers use common elements and specific techniques in their treatment. We also review evaluation studies of various cognitive techniques.
Our conclusion is that these interventions are complementary to the usual treatment. They fit in an emancipatory model in which patients grow in insight in their psychotic experiences and beliefs and in their capacity to cope with these. Evaluation of this approach shows clinical efficacy. Introducing these techniques we may expect a reduction of overall cost of treatment.

keywords auditory hallucinations, cognitive therapy, psychosis