Anomalous subjective experiences, described since early 20th century, are thought to be intrinsic to schizophrenia and considered as constituting the phenotypic validity anchor of the schizophrenia spectrum concept. Although neglected in modern psychiatry, due to the dominating behaviouristic approach, they nevertheless have been thoroughly investigated in continental European psychiatry, where it has been shown that their presence antedates future psychosis.
Anomalous experiences of self-awareness (self-disorders) are a sub-group of subjective pathology. Self-disorders are not explicitly mentioned in the current classificatory systems even though these symptoms can be classified under e.g. odd thinking or perceptual disturbance in criteria for schizotypal disorder in both ICD-10 and DSM-IV.
The EASE is a semi-structured qualitative and semi-quantitative psychometric checklist to examine anomalies of subjective self-experience, published and available in Psychopathology (Parnas, J., Møller, P., Kircher, T., Thalbitzer, J., Jansson, L., Handest, P., & Zahavi, D. (2005). EASE: Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience. Psychopathology, 38(5), 236–258. https://doi.org/10.1159/000088441). The EASE targets the disorders of subjective experience, which are characteristic of the schizophrenia spectrum disorders, especially in their early phases. The EASE instrument is inspired by philosophical phenomenology. Its use requires a certain conceptual and empirical background in addition to practical training.
About the courses
The courses aim to provide a general conceptual and empirical background of the material, as well as introducing the principles for interviewing and scoring of the individual scale items. The courses will include theoretical expositions, but the main focus is on discussion and scoring of live or videotaped patient interviews (in English or Danish with English subtitles). The courses will equip the clinician with a general framework to operate within, in order to achieve a deeper and more thorough understanding of the subjective experience of the patient. The course will discuss the diagnostic status of self-disorders and psychiatric classification and diagnosing in general. The participants are required to familiarize themselves with the published version of the EASE in Psychopathology before participation.
Most courses take place in Denmark, in the region of greater Copenhagen, but courses have also been held elsewhere throughout Europe.
See the ‘Contact’ tab if you have questions regarding the courses or are interested in participating.