Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia

Psychotherapy can play a significant role in helping an individual live with and manage his/her schizophrenia. The emotional impact of a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be huge, which is why psychotherapy can be very beneficial. With schizophrenia, psychotherapy often includes both individual and family sessions.

Psychotherapy can help in the following ways:

  • Understand the disorder
  • Find healthy ways to cope with the disorder
  • Encourage treatment compliance
  • Manage symptoms and develop healthy habits
  • Deal with family, social and work-related issues
  • Learn ways to manage stress
  • Increase insight and awareness
  • Address comorbid disorders such as depression or anxiety
  • Reintegration into society
  • Develop and/ or improve social skills
  • Develop and maintain healthy relationships
  • Facilitate communication with family members or significant others

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavior therapy has been shown to be a very effective type of therapy for a variety of disorders, such as depression and anxiety. It can also be very beneficial to someone who has schizophrenia. The goal of CBT is to help the person spot unhealthy patterns or tendencies in his/her thinking and develop new patterns which are more beneficial.

With schizophrenia, CBT can help teach the patient how to best manage symptoms which may not fully resolve even with medication. For example, many schizophrenic individuals hear voices and struggle with delusional beliefs. CBT can help them check the reality of their experiences and tune out the intrusive voices. It can also help them with paranoid ideation and negative self-talk. Negative self-talk and low self-esteem is not uncommon in individuals with any significant psychiatric diagnosis.

Family Therapy

Whenever a person is diagnosed with a major mental illness such as schizophrenia, family therapy early on can be vital to a good outcome. Family members may have misperceptions or exaggerated fears. Family therapy can address these issues, provide information and resources, and help keep lines of communication open. It can also help family members accept the person with the illness and show them the best ways in which they can provide support.

written by Dr. Cheryl Lane, PsyD

Related Articles

Talk Therapy

More Articles

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

Scientists have been studying schizophrenia for a long time, trying to determine what...

It is estimated that nearly 1.2% of the population in the U.S. has schizophrenia. The disorder can vary in terms of severity and manageability,...

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can bring about a limitless number of changes...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

More Articles

More Articles

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

Scientists have been studying schizophrenia for a long time, trying to determine what...

It is estimated that nearly 1.2% of the population in the U.S. has schizophrenia. The disorder can vary in terms of severity and manageability,...

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can bring about a limitless number of changes...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

While most people can’t fathom purposely hurting themselves, self-injury is not uncommon with certain types of psychiatric disorders. Although it...

Although schizophrenia goes back several thousand years, this most serious of psychiatric disorders was not officially coined “schizophrenia”...

The neurotransmitter serotonin is known to influence a number of important brain functions, including perception, mood, sleep, appetite, cognition...

There are a number of different research methods used in psychology, but one of the most interesting to the layperson is the case study. Case...

The question of whether people with schizophrenia know they are ill is actually quite...

The term "schizophrenic break" refers to an episode of acute psychosis in someone with...

Creatine is a type of acid naturally manufactured by our liver, pancreas and kidneys. One of its primary roles in the body is to provide energy...

No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia, and there are a number of...

Acute schizophrenia is what most people think of when they think of schizophrenia: varying...