Psychological Therapies for Schizophrenia
In schizophrenia, the person may believe that somebody or something else is controlling their behaviour. Delusions are thought to result from faulty interpretations of events. CBT is used to hep the patient identify and correct these. During CBT patients are encouraged to: trace the origins of their symptoms to see how they might have developed. Evaluate the content of any delusions or voices and consider ways in which they might test validity of their faulty beliefs and lastly, develop their own alternatives to previous maladaptive beliefs and develop appropriate coping strategies. Outcome studies of CBT suggest that patients who receive cognitive therapy experience fewer hallucinations and delusions and recover their functioning to a greater extent than those who receive anti psychotic medication alone.
Research has shown that CBT has a significant effect on improving the symptoms of schizophrenia. E.g. Gould et al support the effectiveness of CBT as they found that all seven studies in their meta-analysis reported a significant decrease in the positive symptoms of schizophrenia after treatment
There is strong evidence to support the use of CBT to treat schizophrenia. Drury found that CBT reduced positive symptoms along with a 25-50% reduction in recovery time for patients given a combination of antipsychotic medication and CBT. Further evidence comes from Kuipers who confirmed this conclusion and also stated that there were lower patient drop-out rates and greater patient satisfaction when CBT was used as well as antipsychotic medication. Therefore, research evidence suggests that CBT is a good and effective treatment for schizophrenia because research findings show CBT is effective as the recovery time for patients decreased.
Studies carried out on the effectiveness of CBT are limited in terms of their methodology. Most of the patients have been taking antipsychotics medication at the same time as