Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

The Importance of Talk Therapy - article from a person who has schizophrenia

This is an another interesting article from the Schizophrenia Bulletin (one of the leading journals focused on schizophrenia research - but which frequently include articles from consumers/suffers of schizophrenia and other healthcare workers who focus on helping people who have schizophrenia. The full article is included below in PDF format that you can click and read.

The Importance of Talk Therapy - article from a person who has schizophrenia

In psychotherapy, medication was useful for stabilizing me and limiting some of my symptoms, but talk therapy has been the most important medicine for helping me cure my mental illness. I found the roots of my problems were negative and traumatic psychological experiences, which happened during and even before episodes. Talking about issues enabled me to find relief from ailments lodged in my subconscious, which affected me constantly. My first doctor overmedicated me and I also didn’t speak much during talk therapy because he was austere and seemed judgmental. I was afraid I would be criticized for past behaviors and mistakes. I only developed symptoms of depression due to lack of progression and overmedication, which compelled me to stop taking medication and lead to a second episode that simply means medication alone cannot cure a patient. After switching to my current doctor, I found true alleviation and healing with the lowest medication dosage I have ever taken (3-mg risperidone) and a great deal of talk therapy.

Growing up with cognitive impairment and a wider emotional range caused me many psychological issues before my psychotic episodes and fully developed mental illness. These impairments caused erratic behaviors in my youth and lead to estrangement and social dif - culties, which were precursors and contributing ailments during and after my schizoaffective episodes. I developed schizoaffective disorder partially because I have a wider emotional range which resulted in sleeplessness and other issues, partially from having difficulty thinking from cognitive impairment, but also from derangement from difficult social experiences growing up. On top of this, there are also many traumatizing experiences that occurred during my psychotic episodes, which contributed to my paranoia and social neurosis after my episodes. I became out of touch with reality and developed mental illness not only from physical deficiencies but also from psychological trauma.

Full article below:

ImportanceOfTalkTherapy_10.1093@schbul@sbu091.pdf (128.6 KB)


very interesting article about talk Therapy.

The idea of talk therapy sounds like it is very helpful . I would love my son to be open enough to have this wonderful help with his journey. But instead he denies schizophrenia and its affect on him. Anyone else who is using talk therapy good for you and I wish you well with peace in your journey.

1 Like

Dr. Christopher Bollas writes a book: When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia

“At a time when the treatment of choice is anti-psychotic medication, world-renowned psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas asserts that schizophrenics can be helped by much more humane treatments, and that they have a chance to survive and even reverse the process if they have someone to talk to them regularly and for a sustained period, soon after their first breakdown.”

I am a librarian and have read every book in our collection having to do with schizophrenia. This is one of my favorite.

1 Like

Any suggestions on how to get a loved one to engage in talk therapy? Me fiancé is hesitant about it. I don’t want to push him to much but I feel it would be helpful for him

1 Like

I like that book too. Bollas does acknowledge that some people with sz need to take APs. The theory is that if the person’s first psychotic break is interrupted with intensive talk therapy, the process can be reversed. I don’t know anyone lucky enough to receive this treatment…


Interestingly, my son completely rejects talk therapy. He takes his APs every month as LAIs but on the talk therapy he says, “There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically.” He was very popular, well-balanced and successful until he got into the prodrome and psychosis so maybe he’s right. He’s rather quiet and always has been but he’s not outside the norm. The problem with his psychosis was that initially it was mania and he rather enjoyed it so he had no incentive to get treatment for it (he was having Messianic delusions). However, it deteriorated into paranoia which made it much less fun so he got treatment.

1 Like