Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic mental disorder that affects an individual’s ability to think and make decisions, as well as relationships and emotions. The illness is characterized by experiences or unrealistic thoughts, disorganized behaviour and speech, reduced participation in routine activities. A person diagnosed with schizophrenia also experiences difficulty concentrating and memorizing things.
Schizophrenia does not have a definite cure. However, psychological rehabilitation can help the patient manage the symptoms of the illness, and improve the quality of life. This is where psychosocial therapy steps in.
Rehabilitation Psychology for Schizophrenia
Rehabilitation Psychology is a speciality of Psychology that utilizes psychological skills, knowledge, and theories to evaluate and treat people diagnosed with disabilities and chronic health issues in order to maximize functional ability, independence, social participation, and overall health.
A rehabilitation psychologist individualizes services to address different patients with varying health conditions. In order to meet this goal, the discipline adopts a holistic approach and considers individuals within a broad social context.
Different Treatment Approaches
Rehabilitation psychology follows these techniques to address mental disorder like schizophrenia in people –
Individual Psychotherapy – a psychologist/therapist teaches the patient how to deal with their behaviours and thoughts. Patients learn more about the ailment and its effects – and how to distinguish between what is real and what is not. The therapy may also help them manage day-to-day life.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – CBT can help the patient change the way they think or behave. A psychologist can show them how to deal with hallucinations and voices. After a couple of CBT sessions, you may be able to identify what triggers psychotic episodes – delusions and hallucinations – and prevent or reduce them.
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy – CET teaches individual ways to recognize triggers, social cues better, and improve memory and attention, and the ability to organize thoughts. The therapy combines group sessions and computer-based brain training.
Rehabilitation procedures such as problem-solving support and job counselling
Even if the above techniques are able to improve the condition, a schizophrenic person will likely need to continue with special care and education on how to become part of the community.