Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Cognitive therapy....?

Does anyone have any experience with cognitive therapy for your loved one? My son is very anti-social, socially awkward, social cues are off. He also has no motivation. I’m wondering if these are things that can be helped with cognitive therapy? Or do you think it can be helped at all with an anti-depressant? I know there is no magic pill or cure for this and he’s in it for the long haul, but if there is anything that has worked for anyone, I would love to hear about it. Thank you!

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I’ve done CBT for insomnia and for MDD. Go with therapy, it’s more helpful. You can give someone pills, but they’ll become dependent and eventually stop taking them one day, but the problem will still be present because you didn’t teach them how to solve it themselves. In CBT they teach coping methods, strategies, and introduce alternative ways of thought behavior. I don’t know what he has, but assuming it’s SZ or SZD, then he’ll also need medications.

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Thank you. That’s all good stuff to know. It sounds like it would be useful. He doesn’t talk much but if he’ll go then it might be worth a try. He has SZ and is on antipsychotics that are working well for the positive symptoms.

You’re welcome, I hope he gets well soon.

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I wish my son could have benefited from cognitive therapy, but his cognition is rather low. I made him go for about 6 weeks until his therapist said that he literally doesn’t talk for the whole hour, other than “I’m fine and there is nothing wrong” so we stopped. He was always against therapy anyway so who knows if he could have talked or if he is just as stubborn as I think he is.


That’s really normal for someone with schizophrenia.

My family member’s counselor said it sometimes takes more than six months for someone with schizophrenia to feel comfortable talking.


My son has tried therapy.

The first one was an older man who would sit there and wait for my son to talk. My son finally got the idea that he was tired of his job and insisted on scheduling him at the end of the day so he could end the sessions early.

The next was an older lady. I told her up front that my son would talk, but he’d need someone to actively draw him out. She did a great job, but she felt she had to go very slow because of his level of cognition. It’s not that he’s not smart, it just takes him awhile to process things. He finally felt that they weren’t making process and quit going, but he really liked her and still mentions her.

Next, he tried a psychologist who works with both schizophrenics and substance abuse. All she did was talk to him the whole session about going to NA meetings. He was not ready to go, and eventually stopped seeing her.

This past time, for whatever reason, he was desperate to talk to someone that day. I took him to the county where they’d have to evaluate him the same day if we got there by a certain time. He spoke to a really nice older man that I wish would have been his permanent therapist. Instead, he got assigned to the substance abuse unit where he worked with another female therapist for about 8 months. He got really fixated on her and developed all these delusions about her. She hung in there and never gave up on him but told me that he was not functioning on a high enough level to do real therapy.

He doesn’t want to see her anymore, although she will be at our case management meeting on Wednesday. So, we’ll see where we go from there.

When he went to see her, he desperately wanted help. And, in between the people I’ve listed, there were more that he’d see for an initial visit and they would tell him they weren’t qualified to help him - made him feel very rejected.

Now, that they see what kind of help he needs, he doesn’t want it - and thinks nothing is wrong with him.

I think he’s agreeable to going on Wednesday because I told him a case manager could help him with all kinds of things, including if he wanted to try living somewhere else. That’s true, but he might think she’ll help him join the military like he keeps talking about. I’ve warned her, so we’ll see what happens.

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I’m afraid my son wouldn’t talk either. I think it would take a really good therapist to draw him out. I’m pretty torn on what to do. Thanks for sharing your experience.

That’s good to know. Thanks.

Well, you obviously try about as hard as anyone could. You’ve gotten him in several places. He’s lucky to have you in his corner. Not all sz have this much love.

The case worker my son sees doesn’t do any therapy at all. She helps him with applying for housing, medical (which he has), jobs (if he wants/capable), and probably group meetings and things to do. She mentioned last time, you should go to this festival the town is having next weekend. She tries to get him out in the world as much as possible. Hopefully she’s honest about the military, but kind in letting him know.

Good luck to you Wednesday! Hugs ~~~

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My mom does CBT and I think it really helps her. She’s at a facility where they use intern therapists so she gets a new one every year, which can be hard. But she also told me that she has gotten better at telling her story since she’s had so many different therapists.


Thank you for the feedback. That’s great to know it’s helping her. I’m hoping he’ll try it but not sure if I can get him there. Love to hear it’s working!

When my son was seeing a psychiatrist (aunt) at 16 after some trouble he opened up to her. But since she is his aunt and moved to another state we couldn’t continue after his diagnosis. Since then he has seen eight other therapists. One he saw five times but never talked and eventually wouldn’t get out of the car. Another he saw for several months and I’m thinking about trying again.

I’ve been searching for DBT and CBT therapists but cannot seem to find anything except group and he doesn’t go for that. After the first visit, hey either say they aren’t qualified or have no other Sz patients.

My advice is if you find one that they can talk to, hang onto them and for those who are like me and still searching, best of luck in finding a good one.

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I think your advice is great: when you find someone that works, stick with it. There is no “perfect” match in this system, at least it seems that way to me. Good luck to you and thank you for your input.