How to Get Family Therapy for Schizophrenia

Since about the 1970s, family therapy has been shown to be a useful treatment option for schizophrenics and their loved ones.

While the length and type of a family therapy program might differ from one household to the next, with the help of an expert, the results can be encouraging--schizophrenics can often function better both emotionally and socially, while family members get the support and guidance they need.

Finding a therapist

To find a qualified therapist, contact your health care provider (or the provider of the schizophrenic). Check to see what types of therapy are offered under your current plans and benefits. Make sure you know if there is a limit on the number of visits, the locations where therapy is offered and how to go about finding someone who, preferably, specializes in schizophrenia.

Ask for referrals

Whether you're going to therapy through a private practice or a health care provider, it helps to ask for referrals from a trusted source. Check out online forums or area-specific resources for families with schizophrenia to find others who might know reputable therapists.

Conduct initial interviews

It's perfectly fine to "interview" a therapist before you have an appointment. Ask if you can have an initial phone consult, which are usually free. Find out if the person is trained in areas like family counseling and acute mental health disorders. Don't hesitate to say no to a therapist who just doesn't feel like a good fit, as it has to work for all parties involved.

Have a session

Once you find someone you like, bring all relevant family members to the first appointment, including the schizophrenic. The therapist will need to get a good sense of individuals as well as family relationships, so make sure everyone is honest and up-front from the beginning.

Continue on a scheduled program of therapy sessions, which, depending on your individual circumstances, might be once a week or a few times a month.

Source: Web MD

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