Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics

Psychosocial therapy for schizophrenics often includes education about the disorder, illness management skills, vocational counseling, and various types of talk therapy. Numerous studies have found that psychosocial therapy can help those with schizophrenia deal with certain aspects of the disease, such as difficulties with communication, motivation, and work.

An Overview of Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics

Numerous studies have found that psychosocial treatments as part of schizophrenia treatment can help patients who are already stabilized on antipsychotic medication deal with certain aspects of schizophrenia, such as difficulty with:
 
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Self-care
  • Work
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with others.
     
Learning and using coping mechanisms to address these problems allows people with schizophrenia to attend school and work, and to socialize.
 
Patients who receive regular psychosocial schizophrenia treatment also adhere better to their medication schedule and have fewer relapses and hospitalizations. A positive relationship with a therapist or a case manager gives the patient a reliable source of information, sympathy, encouragement, and hope -- all of which are essential for recovery. By explaining the nature and causes of schizophrenia and the need for medication, the therapist can also help patients acknowledge the reality of their disorder and adjust to the limitations it imposes.
 
Specific psychosocial therapy for schizophrenics can include:
 
  • Illness management skills
  • Integrated treatment for co-occurring substance abuse
  • Rehabilitation
  • Family education
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Self-help groups.
     
Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics: Illness Management Skills
People with schizophrenia can take an active role in managing their own illness. Once they learn basic facts about schizophrenia and the principles of schizophrenia treatment, they can make informed decisions about their care. If they are taught how to monitor the early warning signs of relapse and make a plan to respond to these signs, they can learn to prevent relapses. Patients can also be taught more effective coping skills to deal with persistent symptoms.
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