Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics
Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics: Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is the most common co-occurring disorder in people with schizophrenia, but ordinary substance abuse treatment programs usually do not address this population's special needs. When schizophrenia treatment programs and drug treatment programs are integrated, better outcomes are the result.
Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics: Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation emphasizes social and vocational training to help people with schizophrenia function more effectively in the community. Because people with schizophrenia frequently become ill during the critical career-forming years of life (ages 18-35), and because the disease often interferes with normal cognitive functioning, most patients do not receive the training required for skilled work. Rehabilitation programs can include:
- Vocational counseling
- Job training
- Money management
- Learning to use public transportation
- Practicing social and workplace communication skills.
Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics: Family Education
Patients with schizophrenia are often discharged from the hospital into the care of their families, so it is important that family members know as much as possible about the disease in order to prevent relapses. Family members should learn how to use different kinds of treatment adherence programs and have an arsenal of coping strategies and problem-solving skills to effectively manage their ill relative. Knowing where to find outpatient and family services that support people with schizophrenia and their caregivers is also valuable.
Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is useful for patients whose symptoms persist even when they take antipsychotic medication. The cognitive therapist teaches people with schizophrenia how to:
- Test the reality of their thoughts and perceptions
- "Not listen" to the voices they hear
- Overcome the apathy that often immobilizes them.
This treatment appears to be effective in reducing the severity of symptoms and decreasing the risk of relapse.