Metacognitive reflection and insight therapy: A recovery-oriented treatment approach for psychosis

Paul H. Lysaker, Emily Gagen, Reid Klion, Aieyat Zalzala, Jenifer Vohs, Laura A. Faith, Bethany Leonhardt, Jay Hamm, Ilanit Hasson-Ohayon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Recent research has suggested that recovery from psychosis is a complex process that involves recapturing a coherent sense of self and personal agency. This poses important challenges to existing treatment models. While current evidence-based practices are designed to ameliorate symptoms and skill deficits, they are less able to address issues of subjectivity and self-experience. In this paper, we present Metacognitive Insight and Reflection Therapy (MERIT), a treatment approach that is explicitly concerned with self-experience in psycho-sis. This approach uses the term metacognition to describe those cognitive processes that underpin self-experience and posits that addressing metacognitive deficits will aid persons diagnosed with psychosis in making sense of the challenges they face and deciding how to effectively manage them. This review will first explore the conceptualization of psychosis as the interruption of a life and how persons experience themselves, and then discuss in more depth the construct of metacognition. We will next examine the background, practices and evidence supporting MERIT. This will be followed by a discussion of how MERIT overlaps with other emerging treatments as well as how it differs. MERIT’s capacity to engage patients who reject the idea that they have mental illness as well as cope with entrenched illness identities is highlighted. Finally, limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-341
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology Research and Behavior Management
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Lysaker et al.


  • Metacognition
  • Psychosis
  • Psychotherapy
  • Recovery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Schizophrenia


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