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Feeling Safer

A follow-on from Feeling Safe which developed an intervention to support people with psychosis who experienced persecutory delusions.

Project overview

Feeling Safer is a four-year research study funded by the NIHR (National Institute of Health and Care Research) led by Professor Daniel Freeman at the University of Oxford. It is a follow-on to the Feeling Safe project.

There are four phases:

  1. First we need to adapt the Feeling Safe therapy for delivery online using a digital app.
  2. Second, we need to test the Feeling Safer therapy in a randomised controlled trial involving 484 people with psychosis, with three different staffing groups as guides: peer support workers, graduate workers, psychological therapists.
  3. Third, we have to assess the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of Feeling Safer.
  4. Finally there is an implementation phase with roll out to the NHS (if the results are favourable).  

 The guided online therapy is designed to help people with psychosis to tackle their problems, reduce their symptoms and overcome their fears.

Here will be different recovery-based modules people can work through such as support with sleep or with self-confidence.

The programme encouraged people to work through the modules alone over the course of six months followed by six visits from a mental health worker to assist with addressing fears.

You can read more about people’s experiences of this approach in Feeling Safe within a paper that McPin peer researchers led.

Read the paper on Feeling Safe

Project details

Persecutory delusions (inaccurate beliefs that others intend harm) are too often resistant to treatment.

Feeling Safe has recently been developed and is the most effective psychological intervention for persistent persecutory delusions.

The problem to be addressed is how to get this new treatment to all patients who would benefit.

Our solution is to develop an online version to be guided by a mental health staff member (blended care). If successful, this research could see over 150,000 NHS patients who currently experience persecutory delusions get better treatment. 

McPin leads a Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) of service users who have psychosis.

The LEAP will support the Feeling Safer study throughout, providing feedback, ideas and guidance to ensure that the final output of the study (the finished app) is helpful, relevant and scalable.

We also have a senior peer researcher co-applicant on the study joining project management meetings.  

The LEAP is composed of twelve members, with two members representing each of the six study sites: Oxford, Bristol, Coventry, Manchester, Middleborough and Newcastle.  

McPin and the LEAP will support the development of the Feeling Safer programme and the research study.

Our first task will be to review the Feeling Safe modular content and moving it into a format suitable for online delivery.  

The LEAP will be involved in user testing sessions and will also provide content for the app in the form of audio recorded testimonials. 

Project resources


Comparison of a theoretically driven cognitive therapy (the Feeling Safe Programme) with befriending for the treatment of persistent persecutory delusions

A paper for the Feeling Safe study - a parallel, single-blind, randomised controlled trial
Paranoia | 20th September 2023

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