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Psychosocial Treatment for Schizophrenia

Learn how psychosocial treatment is used to help people with schizophrenia from psychiatrist Jeanie Tse in this Howcast video.


I think that when we approach the treatment of schizophrenia, one of the first and foremost things to make sure of is, does that person have the very basic necessities they need to get better? I should say trust is one of them. Being able to have a trusting relationship with the treatment provider is an important part of engaging, first of all, in psychosocial treatment.

Also, making sure that that person has a place to live that's safe, clean and comfortable, having food, having clothing, being able to obtain their medication. That gets into having access to medical insurance. All of those things are key parts of psychosocial treatment for schizophrenia; making sure that there is that basis for better functioning. There's psychotherapy for schizophrenia and we have another video in this series on psychotherapy for schizophrenia if you'd like to learn more about that.

Basically, what we look at is cognitive behavioral therapy for schizophrenia. How to address the symptoms a person has, how to help them get from where they are, suffering with schizophrenia, to where they want to be, whatever their goals and values are or were before they became ill. That's the process we want to engage them in and support them in.

So, there's psychotherapy for schizophrenia that supports people in learning the skills that they need and techniques that they need to get to where they want to go. Other parts of psychosocial treatment include vocational and social rehabilitation. So, helping a person to access the educational and job opportunities they need to be able to feel productive, to get involved in society, are ways of treating schizophrenia. There is a fair bit of research on cognitive rehabilitation for schizophrenia or cognitive remediation, which is what we call it as well.

There still needs to be more research on what's the most effective way to do that and whether that really makes a difference in the long run for someone with schizophrenia. One important goal of psychosocial treatment for schizophrenia is to develop a support network around the person. Family psycho-education, families and significant others and friends learning about the disorder and how to best support the person with schizophrenia is a really important cornerstone as well.

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