LEAP isn’t about trying to fulfill their delusional goals or solve their paranoid fears:) For working on paranoid fears and delusions you can learn about Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Don’t try to become a therapist by reading, personally I think it should be left to trained professionals, more knowledge is always good. Many of our family members need to be on meds to even begin to work with CBT. Some of our family members can work on CBT without medications.
LEAP is about opening lines of communication so you can find a motivation (or a bribe) to work towards medication. In the meantime - its helping our family members with scz feel they are heard and helps you gain some conversational trust. By opening up communications you can begin to learn their concerns and their desires. You are listening for a a “normie” type desire. In the meantime, while they are voicing their delusional goals and paranoid fears, you get to practice your listening and empathizing skills while gaining trust.
If your family members are 100% of the time as sick as you are describing, they possibly need much more than LEAP could accomplish. While scz is the most severe mental illness, there are those who suffer on the extreme end of the spectrum. If there are times that they are in less severe distress, those would be the times to work with LEAP. It would be quite futile if I was to attempt LEAP on my son while he was raging around the yard yelling at voices - a victim of extreme psychosis suffering a total break from reality. If your family members are like that all the time, you really need to be looking at different options.
The worry about reinforcing delusions is addressed by Dr Amador. He does not believe that letting them voice their delusions reinforces those delusions. Repeating the delusions can be scary. My husband absolutely hates the concept of repeating a delusion back to our son. For me, it was a good time to jump to “agree to disagree”. Example. “Dad wants to kill me” My response “you are worried that Dad wants to kill you - that must be frightening - I don’t believe Dad wants to kill you, we will have to agree to disagree”.
My son was quite comfortable with the “agree to disagree” I had to be careful to not repeat what he said too often or he would become frustrated that I was repeating what he had said. Highly intelligent still, he would say frustrated - “why do you keep repeating what I say?”
For those of us who didn’t understand what was happening to our family members in those early years of their illness, we addressed their concerns with rational statements. Rather than being comforted by those rational statements, they become suspicious of us, we became a part of the delusion when we argued or rationalized with them. They shut down from confiding their concerns in us. LEAP is about undoing that damage.