Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Lim, Caroline


Four members of a peer-support group that focuses on experiences of auditory and visual hallucinations participated in interviews to explore ways that support groups benefit this population. The researcher had special interest in the domains of reduction of discomfort, reduction of stigma, and increase of functioning. This qualitative study used thematic coding to analyze interview data. Regarding the ways that participation in the support group benefits members, eight themes were identified: the group providing a safe space, growth in communication skills, meeting belongingness needs, participation increasing euthymia, increased ability to cope with symptoms, normalization of people experiencing hallucinations, addressing stigma surrounding hallucinations, and increased hopefulness among group participants. Social workers and mental health professionals are invited to re-examine their personal biases regarding audio and visual hallucinations and consider treatment options beyond the medication-first paradigm prevalent today.

Included in

Social Work Commons