Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Dialectical Behavior Therapy


On the subject of caregivers caring for themselves. Has anyone heard of DBT therapy?

My therapist suggested I join a DBT group because I often feel I lose all focus on my own goals and often mundane things can really stress me out especially things that I deal with day in and day out with my adult sz son that lives with me.

She described the group as a kind of “mindfulness” class…but I looked it up and there is a whole lot more to it than that. I went to my first session today, a small group of about 10 people and I really felt unusually “at home” there.

Everyone had a story and everyone had varied reactions to their own life’s realities that were counter productive for them and this class (in time) is expected to help anyone change whatever behaviors or counter productive thought processes they possess that drag them down or hold them up in their life goals or ability to be at peace or feel happy. I have to say as a person who usually always shies away from any kind of “group” style therapy I really liked it and I was really impressed at the subjects that came up and how responsive and interactive everyone was and there was an overall air of genuine acceptance and a complete void of judgement which was really very nice.

I am certain that DBT would not work for my sz son however for 2 reasons 1/ he doesn’t believe he has any problems that need improvement and 2/ he has a relatively low level of cognition. I do, however, think it will help me (eventually) -I see the potential and I plan to keep going (it’s once a week for 90 minutes)… I consider this therapy, both individual and group to be my way of self care. Just wanted to share that. Here is a link that explains it if anyone is interested in reading about it.


Yes - a well known approach. But I"m not familiar with it being used in schizophrenia much. I think there is a lot more research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis - see this page:


@SzAdmin Right. It would not work for my sz son. I am taking it for me as a full time caretaker of my sz son…and as a person who has baggage of my own as so many of us do. Often as caretakers --the sz one we dearly love takes up so much time and attention that we don’t have the inclination or energy to work on, or evaluate our own emotional well being. At least that has been the case for me and I am trying to change that. :tulip:


Catherine I can relate. I’m about three years into this with a daughter 29. I’m exhausted with the medication process, and feel like the Dr take too long to realize when a medication is not working. So, yes I come last and if I burn out it will not help her.
I try to go some place for 2 hours alone. That’s my gift to myself.


@hailey That 2 hours is precious time I understand. Before my son got as stable as he is right now -sometimes my only mental break was the few fortunate hours I slept…but now I am slowly expanding my “me time” and branching out…Sometimes it feels so strange to focus on myself because I am not use to doing that, but I know it is so essential. Best wishes to you and your daughter.


I have heard of it. It gets really good write-ups, though I hadn’t heard of it being done in groups.

When my son was in the pro-drome (and before I knew what that even was or what was happening to him) and I was super stressed and losing it, I did some online CBT. That has really stood me in good stead.

Assertiveness training really helps too. Just the simple phrase “When you do x, I feel y.” Was super powerful for me for two reasons: a) I stopped blaming other people for my feelings, b) I had to learn to identify quickly (in “real time”) exactly what I was feeling. When you keep putting yourself second, you lose that ability to identify your feelings and deal with them on the spot. Then later you explode with frustration and resentment that seems to come out of nowhere - or that was my pattern. And that is absolutely the worst pattern to get into when dealing with someone who suffers from paranoia and is unable to be rational.


Thank you Catherine. I get what you mean. I find my self micro-managing the care team with history of my daughter. At this time it is hard to leave her alone.Still having harmful voices thst make her hit herself. She is on 75 mg of Closrial and 0.4 mg of clonazepam. Right now the Clonazepam is helping to bring her out of the physicotic episode’s. One day at a time:-))