PSYA4 Psychological Treatments of SZ

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  • Created by: John
  • Created on: 10-05-13 17:06

Psychological Therapies assume that the cause of an abnormality has a psychological (rather than a biological) basis.

Many SZ sufferers undergo both drug therapy and CBT/Family Therapy simultaneously. This suggests SZ is a complex disorder and different types of therapy may be effective for different types of symptom.



COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY involves using interview techniques to identify maladaptive thought processes and triggers to the onset of psychotic symptoms.

Once identified, coping strategies are developed to help the patient reduce or prevent distress caused by their hallucinations and delusions.


Cognitive Strategies aim to prevent thought disturbances. Techniques include:

  • Distraction
  • Concentration on a specific task
  • Positive self talk - deals with negative symptoms ( (


Behavioural Strategies are concerned with actions. Techniques include:

  • Turning up the TV/Shouting over hallucinatory voices
  • Breathing exercises - to remain calm (

When using these strategies a researcher named Tarrier found 73% of patients reported improvement. From this, the Coping Strategy Enhancement (CSE) was developed to tailor the therapy even further to aid SZ sufferers.


COPING STRATEGY ENHANCEMENT aims to teach individuals to develop and apply effective coping strategies which will reduce frequency, intensity and duration of psychotic symptoms as well as alleviate the accompanying distress.

Two strategies used include Education and Rapport Training where...

  • Therapist and Client improve effectiveness of client's own coping strategies and develop and learn new ones if necessary.
  • Symptom Targeting - TWO coping strategies are devised specifically for each symptom.
  • These are practiced as "homework" tasks to ensure the strategy is practiced and keep a record of how well


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