Targeting Insight in First Episode Psychosis: A Case Study of Metacognitive Reflection Insight Therapy (MERIT)

Bethany L. Leonhardt, Kelsey Benson, Sunita George, Kelly D. Buck, Rheannan Shaieb, Jenifer Vohs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


One aspect of schizophrenia contributing to its complexity is the lack of insight individuals often have into their illness. While poor insight is prevalent throughout the course of the illness, more severe levels are associated with first-episode psychosis (FEP). Interventions addressing insight are necessary but current treatments have been shown to have limited effectiveness. Thus, a novel intervention, Metacognitive Reflection and Insight Therapy (MERIT), is being studied for its efficacy of improving insight in individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. MERIT is an integrative metacognitive therapy consisting of eight elements to assist clients in improving their ability to form complex ideas about themselves and others and to use this knowledge to respond to psychological problems. The present study is a case illustration of the implementation of MERIT to improve insight in FEP. Clinical outcomes were assessed and results showed that the client improved in both metacognition and insight. With replication, these results suggest that integrative metacognitive psychotherapy may serve as an intervention that improves insight in FEP, which marks an important step toward improved interventions for individuals with psychosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 1 2016


  • First episode psychosis
  • Integrative psychotherapy
  • Metacognition
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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