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Evidence-Based Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia

Dickerson, Faith B. PhD, MPH*; Lehman, Anthony F. MD, MSPH

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: January 2006 - Volume 194 - Issue 1 - p 3-9
doi: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000195316.86036.8a
Original Articles

Many patients with schizophrenia have psychological distress and receive some form of psychotherapy. Several different psychotherapeutic approaches for schizophrenia have been developed and studied. Of these approaches, cognitive behavior therapy has the strongest evidence base and has shown benefit for symptom reduction in outpatients with residual symptoms. In addition to cognitive behavior therapy, other approaches include compliance therapy, personal therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and supportive therapy. Although usually studied as distinct approaches, the therapies overlap with each other in their therapeutic elements. As psychotherapy for schizophrenia further evolves, it will likely be informed by other psychosocial interventions used with this clinical population. In particular, techniques of remediating cognitive deficits, teaching behavioral skills, and educating about schizophrenia may be incorporated with psychotherapy. Future research may also consider three different goals of psychotherapy with this population: to provide emotional support, to enhance skills for functional recovery, and to alter the underlying illness process.

*Sheppard Pratt Health System, Baltimore, Maryland; and †Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Send reprint requests to Faith Dickerson, PhD, Sheppard Pratt, 6501 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21204.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.