Understanding adaptation to first-episode psychosis: The relevance of trauma and posttraumatic growth

Jane E. Dunkley, Glen W. Bates, Margaret Foulds, Paul Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines recovery from first-episode psychosis in terms of models of trauma and posttraumatic growth. Two first-episode psychosis patients (male and female aged 22 and 25 years respectively) who had a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder and had been hospitalised at a public mental health inpatient unit and their family members participated. Qualitative data from in-depth interviews suggests that recovery from first-episode psychosis can be conceptualised within a trauma framework. The two first-episode psychosis participants identified their experiences as traumatic and acknowledged elements of posttraumatic growth. The case studies also point to individual differences and needs and demonstrate important areas for research and early intervention practices. Research is also needed to understand the broader complexities of growth and how it relates to the experience of first-episode psychosis and recovery from this event.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007


  • Bipolar disorders
  • Posttraumatic growth
  • Psychosis
  • Trauma

Cite this