Psychological Therapies of Schizophrenia- Essay Plan

Here's an essay plan on the subject of psychological therapies of schizophrenia. Use it if you want, I chose these studies/explanations as they had the most to write on. When writing essays in psych remember about breadth and dept, 200 words approx for AO1 and 400 approx for AO2/3.

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  • Created on: 24-06-10 09:29
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Psychological Therapies for Schizophrenia- Essay Plan
1. Behavioural therapy (CBT) - people have distorted beliefs which influence their behaviour in
maladaptive ways. Delusions- result from faulty interpretations of events and cognitive
therapy is used to help the patient identify and correct theses. Encouraged to think back to
the origins of their symptoms so as to get a better understanding of why they developed in
the first place, evaluate the content of their delusions or of voices they hear and think of
ways to test validity of their faulty beliefs. Set targets to improve their general level of
2. Critical Point 1: There is strong evidence to support the use of CBT to treat schizophrenia.
Drury found benefits in terms of a reduction of positive symptoms and a 25-50% reduction in
recovery time for patients given a combination of antipsychotic medication and CBT. There is
further evidence 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, this implies that CBT is a good treatment for
schizophrenia as there is lots of evidence to support it and has been shown to work
3. Critical Point 2: There is a methodological flaw with the majority of studies carried out on the
effectiveness of CBT. This is that most of the patients have been taking antipsychotics
medication at the same time as the CBT, and so there is a question of whether CBT is an
effective treatment on its own or whether it is only useful when prescribed with
antipsychotic medication.
4. Critical Point 3: There is conflicting evidence about the appropriateness of using CBT to treat
schizophrenia. Kingdon and Kirschen found that many patients were seen as suitable for CBT
as psychiatrists felt they would not fully engage with the therapy. Specifically they found that
older patients were deemed less suitable than younger patients. Consequently, there is a
key weakness for this therapy in that the patient has to be motivated to recognise their
faulty behaviour and want to change their irrational thought processes.
5. Psychodynamic therapy- Psychoanalysis- based on assumption that individuals are usually
unaware of the influence of unconscious conflicts on their current psychological state. Aim-
help bring these conflicts into the conscious mind so they can be dealt with. Assumes all
symptoms are meaningful and a product of the life history of the individual patient.
Techniques- therapist create an alliance with the patient by offering real help with what the
patient perceives as the problem, more severe- more help needs to be given. Freud
thought that schizophrenics couldn't be analysed as they couldn't form a transference with
the analyst.
6. Critical Point 1: There is a serious methodological flaw with the effectiveness of
psychodynamic therapy to treat schizophrenia. This is that it is impossible to draw definite
conclusions for or against the effectiveness of it as it focuses on unconscious thoughts and
cannot be falsified like other forms of treatment.
7. Critical Point 2: There is some evidence to support psychoanalysis as an effective treatment
for schizophrenia. Gottdiener carried out a meta analysis of 37 studies and found that
psychoanalytical and cognitive behavioural therapies produced similar levels of therapeutic
benefits. As well as the fact there was no difference in improvement when psychotherapy
was accompanied by antipsychotic medication to just psychotherapy alone. Therefore, this

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However, there are some methodological limitations to this Meta analysis. Firstly, there
were a relatively small number of studies and so it was difficult to assess the impact of any
extraneous variables like the amount of training or experience the therapist had had.
8.…read more


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