Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Schizophrenia-Etiology, Schizophrenia-Risk factors, Biological psychiatry, Cognitive therapy, Schizophrenia-Treatment, Postmodernism-Psychological aspects, Narrative therapy, Psychotherapy, Prodrome, Prodromal schizophrenia, Cognitive theory of psychosis, Dialogism, Open Dialogue Approach


This study is a theoretical exploration of the clinical phenomenon known as the prodrome to schizophrenia. The prodrome refers to a constellation of clinical symptoms that signal considerably high risk for the development of psychosis and/or schizophrenia. The prodrome is an area of high research interest, as the potential for early intervention with prodromal individuals to prevent or delay the onset of psychosis appears to be possible. The clinical phenomena of the prodrome were explored, including a comprehensive review of the relevant literature and research. Case material is also presented. The prodrome is then conceptualized with a cognitive theoretical framework, including a discussion of research interventions using a cognitive or cognitive-behavioral approach and application to the case material with a cognitive theoretical perspective. The core cognitive components of cognitive distortions, automatic thoughts and core beliefs were examined and applied to the prodrome. Next, the prodrome was explored using a postmodern approach, specifically utilizing a dialogic theoretical framework. A discussion of the Open Dialogue approach was applied to the prodrome and to the case material. The core postmodern and dialogical concepts of dialogical process, loss of agency/voice and sense of self were applied to the prodromal phenomena.




iv, 138 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 126-138)