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Psychotherapy 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 type of psychotherapy that has the best evidence for a benefit in Schizophrenia is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  It has been shown to reduce positive and negative symptoms, shorten hospital stays, lower the rate of relapses into the active phase of the illness, help with medication adherence, and improve a person's overall level of functioning [ref, ref].  CBT has only been studied as an add-on to standard care, which includes medications and case-management, and so it is not recommended to offer CBT to individuals with Schizophrenia without these other basic forms of treatment.

 

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Family Therapy

Medications