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Family Therapy for Schizophrenia

The following treatment guidelines are meant as a reference tool only, and are not intended as treatment advice or to replace the clinical decision-making process of psychiatrists or other health professionals who administer these treatments. In clinical practice there are often good reasons why treatment approaches differ from what is described here.


The idea for using family therapy to help individuals with Schizophrenia came from research that showed an association between individual's relapses into the active phase of Schizophrenia and their familie's levels of expressed criticism and negatives attitudes, called Expressed Emotion (EE). The original form of family therapy for Schizophrenia tried to help families reduce their levels of negative expressed emotion.   Since then, family therapies of different sorts have been shown to be quite beneficial as means of lowering relapse rates to the active phase of the illness, especially for individuals who tend to have frequent relapses [ref].  This form of therapy is reserved for individuals who live with at least one family member.


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