Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

CBT for the treatment of Schizophrenia?

Has anyone utilized ‘CBT’ for the treatment of Schizophrenia. If so was this treatment option effective?
Thank you!

My son went to a therapist who specialized in CBT to learn how to grocery shop. He hadn’t shopped in years, he is unmedicated and the voices caused issues for him in grocery stores. As his scz worsened, he became fearful that I was medicating/poisoning him through his groceries. He used CBT to be able to grocery shop for himself again.

A psychiatric nurse told me that one needs relatively normal cognitive ability or ability to rationalize for CBT to be effective. I found CBT very helpful in dealing with PTSD sumptoms, my sz son could not fully understand the concept and would not consider participating in it.

My daughter has been going through cognitive behavioral therapy for the last couple years. We have found the results to be very mixed. It is help with some things particularly her suicidal ideation but by no means does it solve these issues when they reappear. Their disordered thinking can work against CBT or be unaffected by it. CBT generally requires logic in order to work or at least a willingness to accept logic and I find that not to be possible in many instances of disordered thinking, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Rationality isn’t often present in this circumstances. However, outside of them CBT can be helpful with some of the auxiliary symptoms such as anxiety or panic or just dealing with some of the things that life throws at you to prevent them from getting worse. I do not find that it will resolve the core symptoms of the disorder.

Yes, as C said, both of my son’s psychiatrists have made mention of his retention of cognition - from what I understand it is not that way for everyone. These disorders present so differently from person to person.

As NIck, the Peer to Peer leader would always explain these things - “its tricky”.

As ACM mentioned, it will not resolve the core symptoms of the disorder -its about handling those symptoms. My son uses it to make his way through his day when he has days of lighter psychosis and is able to leave his home. Nothing helps his heavier psychosis days. Meds would.

Still surprised that a delusion prompted my son to work with CBT. It was entirely his idea. He is sicker, so he had to tackle his psychosis (voices yelling names at him in stores) with CBT because of the delusion that I was drugging his groceries. I had bought his groceries for several years and he had always been happy and grateful.

Tricky is right. His original psychiatrist said he “had to work to keep a step ahead” of my son. The most recent psychiatrist totally bought my son’s scam for several months when he plotted to fool him.

1 Like

I recommend people watch this video series on our home page of the website: