PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENTS FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA
The Edexcel course requires you to know about one psychologically-based treatment for schizophrenia. You will need to be able to compare this with a biological treatment.
There are other psychological treatments besides CBT. For example, there is psychoanalysis (Freud's "talking cure") and behavioural therapy (like token economy programmes) but these are less commonly used and more controversial.
Some students who enjoyed Freud in Unit 1 might prefer to write about Freud's psychoanalysis as a psychological treatment for schizophrenia. I've included some sections on this that other students may ignore.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA
Beck proposed the Cognitive Triad. This is the idea that our thoughts and beliefs shape our feelings and our feelings then direct the way we behave; our behaviour then influences the way other people treat us and that in turn backs up our thoughts and beliefs.
Beck suggests a lot of behavioural problems stem from "faulty thinking" - core beliefs that are negative and irrational.
For example, if a person thinks that people don't like them, they will feel bitter and upset. If they feel this way, they will act defensively and be aloof and cold. If they behave this way, people won't like them...
The Cognitive Triad is an example of a VICIOUS CIRCLE. Beck's therapy was an attempt to re-wind the negative process and create a 'virtuous circle'.
Ellis also proposed a fourth step - D for "dispute" - in which the therapist challenges the client's beliefs, exposes them as faulty and gets the client to adopt different beliefs (for example, that the voices are "just in their head").
It's important that the "D" part is non-judgmental. The therapist isn't trying to make the client feel bad for having these beliefs.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) combines Beck's and Ellis' therapies. A CBT therapist encourages the client to become aware of their own core beliefs, which may have been formed by unpleasant early experiences.
They then work out what sort of events act as triggers for unhelpful thoughts.
Therapist and client decide decide how to put these beliefs to the test, perhaps through role-playing what happens when they act on their unhelpful thoughts compared to when they act on more positive thoughts.
APPLYING CBT TO REAL LIFE
A technique often used in CBT is the "Hot Cross Bun" (Padesky & Mooney, 1990), which adds the importance of "physical sensations" alongside thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Physical sensations can be easier to recognise and talk about than thoughts or feelings.
This is particularly useful for clients with schizophrenia, who can experience intense physical sensations.
3-minute overview of how CBT works
Excellent 3-minute video illustrating how CBT helps people with schizophrenia
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Depression Essay
Cognitive behavioral therapy commonly known as CBT is a systematic process by which we learn to change our negative thoughts into more positive ones. CBT is a combination of two types of therapy, Cognitive Therapy and Behavioral Therapy. Cognition is our thoughts, so cognitive behavioral therapy combines working with our thought process and changing our behavior at the same time. Cognitive behavioral therapists believe that our behavior and our feelings are influenced by the way we think; also our mood is affected by our behavior and thought process. So CBT tries to tackle our thoughts, feelings and behavior. Scientific research has shown that cognitive behavioral therapy is affective for a wide range of mental health problems. The purpose is to bring positive change by alleviating emotional distress such as depression. CBT starts by breaking down your problems into smaller components, often trying to identify particular problematic thoughts or behavior. Once these problems are broken down it is then suggested a straightforward plan in which the patient and therapist can intervene to promote recovery.
Cognitive behavioral therapy earliest inventors were behaviorist, such as Skinner, Watson, and Pavlov. They’re the ones who led to the advancement for behavioral treatment of mental disorders. Behavioral modification is a technique that uses positive and negative reinforcements to change a particular behavior and reaction to a stimulus. Behavioral therapist only focused on an individual’s behavior not their thoughts. During this era, psychologists applied B.F. Skinner’s radical behaviorism to clinical work. Much of these studies focused on chronic psychiatric disorders, such as autism and psychotic behavior. His methods also focused on an individual’s unconscious mental processes and roots of their past. Even though this approach was successful in many neurotic disorders, they had little success in treating depression. In the 1960s and 1970s the role of cognition was being reconsidered in psychiatric disorders. Cognitive theories became more popular in response to behaviorist failure to take feelings and thoughts into consideration.
Aaron Beck, an American psychiatrist, is considered one of the most influential people in modern cognitive psychology. He is widely regarded as the father of cognitive therapy. Although rapidly moving forwarded, the cognitive movement did not reject behavioral principles. However, it did merge the two, which is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that Aaron Beck developed in the 1960s. Cognitive therapy is both social and psychological therapy that assumes faulty thought patterns know as cognitive patterns, to cause maladaptive emotional and behavioral responses. This therapy focuses on changing a patient thought process in order to solve psychological problems. Behavioral therapy takes a therapeutic approach, treating emotional behavior with maladaptive learned responses that can be changed with healthier ones....
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