Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Referral for Family Therapist


I am new to the site. Our son is schizophrenic, he was diagnosed 4 years ago, however he didn’t share his diagnosis with us until recently.

I would like to find a practitioner who is very knowledgeable about schizophrenia. Our goal is to begin to understand what our son is going through so that we can support him and to get support for ourselves as caregivers.

We live north of Dallas, the therapists location is a consideration but our goal is to find the most knowledgeable and experienced person to help us.

Thank you

Welcome to this forum, you will find a great group of people who understand caring for someone with sz. I am very thankful for the support here.

I am in Florida, so can’t help you specifically. You are totally correct to want to find someone familiar with sz. Not all doctors have experience with psychosis or sz.

Have you contacted the NAMI in your area? I found their local help invaluable when my then 31 year old daughter became psychotic.

Hi Ann1907,

Welcome to the forum. I am going to guess (since the Dallas area usually has excellent resources) that if you contact a NAMI group in your area as @oldladyblue mentioned and dig around a bit through some NAMI contacts, someone will have a good recommendation for you. You could also attend a NAMI family support group meeting and ask for some references from the people in attendance.

You really do want a personal recommendation rather than just a pamphlet. Our support group in the Houston area hands out a pamphlet but most of the psychiatrists listed on their pamphlet don’t work with patients who have scz.

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Glad your son opened up to you about his diagnosis.
Glad you’re seeking ways to offer him support.

I think the biggest challenge for the family of someone diagnosed (Dx’d, as we call it) is learning what the disorder is and how the symptoms effect the individual and their family.
Schizophrenia (Sz) is extremely complex and includes a wide variety of symptoms. Educating yourselves and what those symptoms are (and their many varieties, degrees and outward signs) is a really big challenge.
In addition to seeking professional help, try to educate yourselves on topics like:

  1. Types of delusions (as there are many, and they can change or evolve).
  2. Types and severity of Hallucinations.
  3. “Negative Symptoms”, such as lack of energy, lack of motivation and drive, poverty of speech.
  4. How to communicate with someone who is experiencing depression, delusions, or is demonstrating signs of high stress.
  5. Signs and symptoms of mania.
  6. Signs and symptoms of depression.

Your son may or may not experience all or some of those things.
They can all happen at the same time for some people.

Remember to keep your own personal support system involved. Having someone else to talk to, or share the responsibility of errands and chores helps you to keep your own life running while you help someone with a disorder.

As always,
We are here to listen and share experience.
If you have questions, or just need to vent, we are here for you and your family!

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Thank you. He is seeing a psychiatrist at UTSW
for medication management. So I feel he is in safe hands. I will check w NAMI

Thank you for your helpful message. There is so much about the brain & sz I don’t understand. He hears voices & has 1 delusion that has caused disjointed thinking and some irrational beliefs. He, of course struggles with anger and depression but the anger has become less. Currently just thankful that he is home & communication is getting better. He finally choose to go back to treatment and try a medication But we are aware that once he feels
he is better he will be possibly stop the meds.

Thank you, no I haven’t contacted them yet. But plan to.
I am trying to also make decisions about medical insurance-he is not ready to apply for any type of Medicaid or begin the process of applying for disability status.

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So glad you are looking for a therapist, is your son still working?

If your haven’t already, NAMI’s free Family to Family class is a great place to start.

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No he isn’t working he has some delusional thoughts about teaching music or returning to his former profession- we are trying to discuss SSI with him

Has anyone mentioned Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

My daughter has been unwilling to discuss SSI also. She is hospitalized right now, so I will reach out to the social worker and see if perhaps they can get her to apply while in the psyche ward.

I am sorry to hear that your daughter is currently hospitalized. That has to be very hard.

Thank you for caring, @Ann1907, I appreciate your thoughts. It is hard.

My recent story in on the thread about Do any of you have a loved one who isolates/ or have you gotten them out of isolation?

Honestly, this is possibly the best experience for her (and me) in our 2.75 year journey with her psychosis. I was in the right place mentally myself thanks to lots of support from this forum and earlier from NAMI, as well as from persons with sz who told me their stories. It is hard to force your loved one into treatment, yes, yes, yes, extremely hard with my heart wondering if I was evil or good by doing it. But I believe we are having the best possible result with my daughter now. I have hope and feel happiness after my visit with her last night.

I trust her p-doc and the facility she is in.

I do not know your story or your daughters problems I am hopeful that I did not send a message that was offensive.
Since I am new to this diagnosis and still trying to figure out what symptoms and side effects our son is Suffering from I need to respond carefully

Oh no, you said nothing that was offensive at all! @Ann1907 I think all of us here are supportive and also in need of support. Serious mental illnesses ARE hard to figure out, even for professionals, let alone for untrained family members. I’ve made many mistakes, but have also gotten some things right. You will too. I think that joining NAMI (if possible), reading current and back posts on this site, and reading books (my favorite is “I’m not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” are the best ways to learn how to navigate your situation with your son. Everyone here wishes you the best in helping your son.