Translating knowledge into treatments

Since the CCD began, our team of investigators have responded to queries from clinicians about the use of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to target specific delusional themes. We have also collaborated with clinicians to develop and evaluate new programs to treat the causes of delusional thinking, help people who experience hallucinations, and remediate the social-cognitive deficits that promote persecutory delusions and cause poor social functioning in schizophrenia. In one research stream, Professor Steffen Moritz, Dr Ryan Balzan and colleagues adapted and improved Metacognitive Training (MCT), a group-based program developed originally to reduce delusional severity in people with schizophrenia by planting ‘seeds of doubt’ and encouraging critical reflection (e.g., Balzan, Moritz & Schneider, 2018). In collaboration with Professor Martin Brüne and other colleagues, Moritz and Balzan evaluated an individually administered version of MCT for psychotic patients. MCT was also adapted to treat other, non-psychotic disorders (e.g., obsessive-compulsive and borderline personality disorders) and to treat the unrealistic, sometimes delusional beliefs about body image, weight and shape that are seen in Anorexia Nervosa.