Using the back door: Metacognitive training for psychosis

Devvarta Kumar*, Mahesh Menon, Steffen Moritz, Todd S. Woodward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Delusions have traditionally been considered impervious to counter-arguments and thus not amenable to psychotherapy. However, a growing body of evidence from Cognitive Behavior Therapy for psychosis (CBT-p) has indicated that challenging the delusional beliefs may be effective in reducing their severity. Metacognitive Training/Therapy (MCT) for psychosis also targets delusions, using a back door approach by helping clients gain insight into the cognitive biases behind delusions, followed by attempts to plant the seeds of doubt, and weaken delusional beliefs. There are two variants of MCT, the group format MCT and the individual therapy format MCT (i.e. MCT+). The MCT intervention has three components: (a) normalization, (b) facilitating insight into the relationship between cognitive biases and delusions, and (c) sowing the seeds of doubt in delusional beliefs. Among these, the first two components are common to both MCT and MCT+, whereas the third is specific to MCT+. Initial findings about the effects of MCT in reducing the delusional convictions are encouraging. The present article elaborates on the theoretical background, process, clinical implications, empirical status, and the advantages and limitations of this intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-178
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • CBT
  • MCT
  • metacognitive training
  • psychosis
  • schizophrenia


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