Schizophrenia is a form of mental illness which is believed to impact one out of every one-hundred people at some point in life. In recent years, a combination of improved knowledge and understanding about the condition, have led to more effective treatments helping to increase the ability of sufferers to manage their symptoms.
There are a range of different treatments available for those affected by schizophrenia and a combination of medication and psychological treatments are typically used. The different forms of therapy may include the following:
Individual psychotherapy involves working with a trained therapist on a one-to-one basis, usually meeting weekly for a period of around 50 minutes each session. This is only an option once the sufferer’s psychotic symptoms are under control as otherwise the patient would be unlikely to be able to cope with therapy.
In place of seeing a therapist, the patient may be offered therapy with a psychiatrist, mental health nurse, psychologist or psychiatric social worker. Key to the success of any form of therapy is to have a good therapeutic relationship. The therapist may help the client to better distinguish between the disorder-related thoughts and reality as well as to gain insight and understanding about the illness and recovery.
This approach to therapy has gained increasing popularity in recent years and is recognised as a very practical form of therapy. The main aim of behavioural therapy is to enable the patient to both recognise and change undesirable behaviour and replace unhealthy behaviour with more health, alternative habits.
Behavioural therapy uses a broad range of skills and techniques such as problem-solving, goal setting and activity scheduling to help the client to cope with different issues both directly and indirectly related to schizophrenia.
Psychosocial therapy for schizophrenia treatment is all about learning new or improving existing social skills. As well as the patient, family members are also likely to benefit from this approach as it provides the opportunity to meet and gain support from others coping with the condition.
This approach may involve peer support groups, multifamily groups, family support groups, treatment groups in addition to peer activity groups and psycho-education groups.
As highlighted above, there are many different treatment options for schizophrenia treatment in term of psychological therapy. Although therapy is a large part of treatment, it is essential that the client’s symptoms, especially in terms of psychosis, are managed properly in order for therapy to be effective.
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