Metacognition and recovery in schizophrenia: From research to the development of metacognitive reflection and insight therapy

Paul H. Lysaker, Marina Kukla, Jenifer L. Vohs, Ashley M. Schnakenberg Martin, Kelly D. Buck, Ilanit Hasson Ohayon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Metacognition refers to a spectrum of activities which spans from noticing discrete experiences to synthesizing them into a larger sense of the self and others. Evidence suggesting that deficits in metacognition are broadly present in schizophrenia and represent a potent barrier to recovery from schizophrenia has led to increasing interest in the development of metacognitively oriented treatments. In this article, we will describe the development of one such treatment, metacognitive reflection and insight therapy (MERIT), an integrative form of psychotherapy defined by eight core elements. We will first discuss the concept of metacognition as a means to operationalize the processes which enable persons to have a sense of themselves and others available for reflection and that can then serve as the basis for effective and agentic responses to psychosocial challenges. We will then discuss methods for assessing metacognition, the development of MERIT as a treatment that targets metacognition, and how MERIT compares with other treatments. Next, we will discuss empirical support for MERIT’s role in recovery including its potential to assist persons to develop their own personally meaningful sense of their challenges and then decide how to effectively respond to those challenges and manage their own recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Insight
  • metacognition
  • metacognitive reflection and insight therapy
  • negative symptoms
  • psychosocial rehabilitation
  • recovery
  • schizophrenia
  • self
  • social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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