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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2006 Jan;194(1):3-9.

Evidence-based psychotherapy for schizophrenia.

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  • 1Sheppard Pratt Health System, Baltimore, Maryland 21204, USA.


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.

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