Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Psichotherapy and schizophrenia

My brother is 37 and he is hospitalized ( compulsive) because he was having serious syntoms … he refused to go to the doctor’s for many years so medication was not making any effect on him…
Now he only needs medication once a month ( injectable) which it’s very good.

I believe that when he recovers and goes back home, if family helps him to get his life back ( work, social life…) he will have a “normal” life… however I think he also needs some kind of therapy though the doctor tells me psichotherapy makes no sense for him…

I feel so lost… Do you have relatives who had any kind of psychotherapy to deal with this disease? did it help them?

thank you.

1 Like

Isabel, I thought the same thing and mentioned it to m sons PDoc. He said it would not help. I said What? Finally after I keep bring it up, he gave me the name of a therapist he used to work with. My son went to him a few times with me. He was a good listener and offered some positive ideas but my son never connected with him and eventually would not get out of the car. My son was not obstinant like this before.
The therapist told me he did CBT but after the 4th session, told me it didn’t prefer it, that in his experience it made things worse. Huh? We are in a rural area.
I think we as caregivers are sometimes the only " therapists"our loved ones will see. I do need to plug into NAMI and see if I can find some references. You pick up a name here and there but so far nothing has worked out. He’s seen 5 doctors and 3 therapists to date.
He is starting to cook and enjoys experimenting. You wouldn’t believe (or you might) my kitchen right now. I took my coffee and left. First things first. God bless your loved one.


Yes the doc is correct. Psychotherapy is a waist of time and money for this illness.


Some people think CBT helps - maybe you should look at Wes_B’s posts here. He has SZ and says he’s gotten a lot of help from that type of therapy plus group therapy. I think he’s very high functioning though.

My son went through a spell where he went through therapist after therapist trying to find one who could help him. Then, he found one that he developed feelings for and it really, really, really hurt him emotionally. I don’t think she did anything wrong, but he developed a lot of really bad delusions involving her. He was literally heart broken.

He is now in an intensive community treatment program, but doesn’t take advantage of the therapy. He has a doctor he sees once a month and a case manager he sees in between. The case managers take a goal-oriented approach. The idea, when he’s ready, is to let him set a goal - anything he wants, no matter how far fetched. Then everything they do is to reach that goal - even if the goal is unreachable.

When they explained it to me, they used the example of wanting to be a race car driver - not something my son would probably pick, but it’s a good example. They’d say, well you can’t be a race car driver if you never leave the house and then they’d start off with very small steps to help him get out more. They’d do the same thing if he said something more practical like he wants to move out on his own, or find a girlfriend.

Hopefully, he’ll want to work with them at some point. I’ve seen some of the people who do and they appear to be doing really well.

However, one psychologist that he saw for just a few visits right as he was getting really sick explained to me that he was not capable of therapy at that time. She was the first to mention schizophrenia and said that until he was on medication that relieved his symptoms to some degree, therapy would just be a waste of time and money. That was right about the time it was obvious that the medication he was taking at that time was no longer working.


I don’t and didn’t believe it but have to concede. The pdoc has over thirty years experience and is associated with the biggest hospital in the area.
I think perhaps if the whole model was different, therapy might work. Never underestimate the power that our love and devotion have on our loved ones.

1 Like

My son is severely ill with his scz and has been working with a CBT therapist for 9 months now. He had not been in a grocery store for several years, he is now buying his own groceries again.

It was a bad news good news situation. He is sicker and didn’t trust me to grocery shop for him anymore, but that increased illness made him seek out therapy so he could shop for himself again.


Everyone’s different and some people with sz respond well to therapy.

My family member does not go to counseling, but is doing well with medication and groups.


Thank you Mom2. It’s really helpful to know you experience. I also think that family may be the best therapists they can have. Anyway I 'll keep on searching for professional help and learn about how to help my brother. Best wishes to you and your son

1 Like

Thank you for sharing Hope. They have their own way of doing things and we have to accept and keep on supporting, right? Best wishes.


Never, Mom2!! thank you so much!!

Slw, yes I also agree that during certain moments pshicotherapy won’t help… but when the person takes medication and is going through a “balanced” life, having someone to talk to… accept the disease ( and so take always the medication), help to reintegrate into social life… may be important… Best wishes to your son


Ivilaca - I agree. My son just isn’t there right now - or isn’t accepting of the help.

His team is more than willing to work with him at any point.

When he was very anxious to find a good therapist a few years ago, he had quite a few see him for the first visit and then tell him they weren’t qualified to help. I started rigorously pre-screening them after that.

At that point, I do think he just wanted someone to talk to more than formal therapy like CBT, so I also made sure the therapist was willing to do that as well.

If he wants to go, I’d take him regardless of the time, cost or lack of progress.

Right now, I think he’s a little scared to go. Although he still sees what he made up in his head about his last therapist as 100% true, some part of him recognizes that it could happen again. I’ve also repeated that issue to his new case manager over & over so they don’t forget. He really suffered deeply because he had a delusion about an intimate relationship with the woman - then when he wasn’t seeing her anymore, the delusion alternated between rejection and how something terrible must have happened to her and what those terrible things must have been - including thinking he saw bad things happen to her.

I’m very thankful those delusions are more like a bad memory for him instead of active heartbreak.


My daughter has received lots of therapy and it does not work with her schizophrenia. Her brain is not well enough to benefit from it. I desperately wanted to believe that it could help her and I had high hopes a few years ago but when her brain is constantly bombarded with scary sounds and voices as well as paranoia and hallucinations its not surprising Also she is according to the mental health experts – treatment resistant - nothing works.