A life more ordinary: A peer research method qualitative study of the Feeling Safe Programme for persecutory delusions

Jessica Bond*, Alexandra Kenny, Andreja Mesaric, Natalie Wilson, Vanessa Pinfold, Thomas Kabir, Daniel Freeman, Felicity Waite*, Michael Larkin, Dan J. Robotham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Feeling Safe Programme is a cognitive therapy developed to improve outcomes for individuals with persecutory delusions. It is theoretically driven, modular and personalised, with differences in therapeutic style and content compared with first-generation cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis. Objectives: We set out to understand the participant experience of the Feeling Safe Programme. Design: A qualitative study employing interpretative phenomenological analysis. Methods: Using a peer research approach, semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with six people who had received the Feeling Safe Programme as part of the outcome clinical trial. Results: Participants spoke of feeling ‘unsafe’ in their daily lives before the intervention. Openness to the intervention, facilitated by identification with the programme name, and willingness to take an active role were considered important participant attributes for successful outcomes. The therapist was viewed as a professional friend who cared about the individual, which enabled trust to form and the opportunity to consider new knowledge and alternative perspectives. Doing difficult tasks gradually and repeatedly to become comfortable with them was important for change to occur. The intervention helped people to do ordinary things that others take for granted and was perceived to produce lasting changes. Conclusions: The Feeling Safe Programme was subjectively experienced very positively by interview participants, which is consistent with the results of the clinical trial. The successful interaction of the participant and therapist enabled trust to form, which meant that repeated practice of difficult tasks could lead to re-engagement with valued everyday activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1108-1125
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Issue number4
Early online date8 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funding Information:
Wellcome Trust, Grant/Award Number: 102176/B/13/Z; NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, Grant/Award Number: BRC-1215-20005; NIHR Research, Grant/Award Number: NIHR- RP- 2014- 05- 003


  • CBT
  • cognitive therapy
  • delusions
  • paranoia
  • schizophrenia
  • treatment


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