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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2002 Aug;4(4):284-92.

A clinical review of cognitive therapy for schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1R8, Canada.


Major advances have been made in the cognitive understanding and treatment of the symptoms of schizophrenia, including delusions, hallucinations, and emotional withdrawal. Experimental studies on the psychologic aspects of schizophrenia demonstrate the importance of information processing biases, such as cognitive biases and distortions, that are functionally related to the maintenance of symptoms. Understanding the aspects of schizophrenia in cognitive terms provides a framework for psychotherapeutic intervention with the adaptation of the cognitive strategies proven effective in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. The authors of this paper first outline the cognitive conceptualization and strategies employed by cognitive therapists to treat positive and negative symptoms, and conclude with a summary of the empiric status of cognitive therapy for schizophrenia. Cognitive therapy has been shown to be an important adjunct to standard treatments of schizophrenia.

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