Psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), can help people with schizophrenia to cope better with the symptoms of hallucinations or delusions.
Psychological treatments can also help to treat some of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as apathy or a lack of volition/hedonism (motivation / enjoyment in life).
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that most unwanted thinking patterns, and emotional and behavioural reactions are learnt over a long period of time.
The aim of CBT is to identify the thinking patterns that are causing you to have unwanted feelings and behaviour, and to learn to replace this thinking with more realistic and useful thoughts.
For example, you may be taught to recognise examples of delusional thinking in yourself. You may then receive help and advice about how you can avoid acting on these thoughts.
Most people will require between eight to twenty sessions of CBT over the space of six to twelve months. CBT sessions usually last for about an hour.
Psychoanalysis was first developed by Freud (1880’s) and further developed by the Neo-Freudians.
Psychoanalysis refers to treatment including: free association, Thematic Apperception Tests*, hypnotic regression and dream analysis. From these the analyst uncovers the unconscious conflicts causing the patient's symptoms and interprets them for the patient to create a subjective resolution of the problem (much as with CBT).
*popularly known as the picture interpretation technique, a projective psychological test. Proponents of this technique assert that a person's responses reveal underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world through the stories they make up about ambiguous pictures of people
'The Talking Cure'
“If troubled ‘thinking’ reaches a stage where it seriously interferes with an individual’s ability to function, then it is time to seek help.
In the case of physical illness, we tend to think of cure as involving the complete eradication of the condition. Not so with schizophrenia– the cure consists of enabling the individual to function without serious hindrance –and maximise their potential within society
The particular weakness of the individual is not likely to be completely eradicated. If a person tends to display schizophrenic tendencies, they could still have this underlying characteristic after being cured.
We do not cure people by removing their innate human characteristics (personalities).
A person who has been competently treated by a modern psychoanalyst will still be able to enjoy the whole range of human feelings and actions available to the rest of us” - J. G. Fennessy ,2007