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Ab Pscy Presentation
Terms in this set (6)
My Topic is Psychotherapy and my assigned pages were 505-509
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy can be described as talk therapy. It is used for a wide array of mental illnesses including but not limited to schizophrenia. However, for my presentation I will be focusing on the disorder schizophrenia because that is what was talked about in the book. Although now psychotherapy is used for patients suffering from schizophrenia, it wasn't a common practiced used before the invention of antipsychotic drugs. The reason being, it was incredibly difficult for the patients to place themselves in a state of reality in order to benefit from it. That being said there were some therapists such as Frieda Reichmann who used psychotherapeutic treatments on her patients and she saw a lot of success. She used trust and patience as tools to build relationships with her clients, which allowed them to discuss their disorder openly with her.
Today, therapists commonly use psychotherapy along with antipsychotic drugs for those suffering from schizophrenia. This is in effort to help them relieve symptoms of disturbance, to make changes to their behavior and to learn coping skills for their disorder
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that challenges negative feelings of ones self and treats certain mood behaviors and hallucinations. Those suffering from schizophrenia literally hear voices in their heads that are often caused by biologically induced sensations that the suffered incorrectly deciphers to be voices. A combination of behavioral and cognitive techniques are used in this form of psychotherapy and has been shown to help the patient feel in control of their hallucinations. That being said, it's important to keep in mind it does not eliminate the hallucinations. Cognitive Behavioral therapy is not used as a cure for schizophrenic hallucinations, but rather it is used to change the sufferers reactions to them. One goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help the sufferer accept that their negative thoughts and hallucinations are all but a symptom of their illness and learn to accept them, but not act on them or even take them to heart. Basically the goal is to help the sufferer detach from their hallucinations. This form of psychotherapy has been reported by those suffering from schizophrenia to be a great help in symptom relief caused by their illness. They have reported to feel less distressed by their hallucinations and they have even claimed to experience fewer delusions. For those who were hospitalized due to their illness, it was found that after receiving cognitive behavioral therapy, their risk for rehospitalization decreased by 50%
Auditory hallucinations are just what they sound to be. This is an occurrence in which the sufferer literally hears voices in their head. But what does this mean, and what is causing it? Just as I stated before, the hallucinations are a result of a biologically triggered sensation that the schizophrenic patient misinterprets to be a voice. An intervention for this issue that has been growing in popularity amongst therapists is called Avatar Therapy. In this form of therapy, the patient gives a description of what the voice sounds like and what they imagine them to look like. The therapist then creates an avatar based on this description. From there the patient is placed in a room with a computer displaying the avatar. The avatar will then shout and make mean faces at the patient. The sufferer is encouraged by the therapist to yell and scream at the avatar. What seems to be so helpful about this form of therapy is that the sufferer has the opportunity to put a face to the voice that has been tormenting them.
Therapists use a combination of behavioral and cognitive techniques on their clients.
1. they provide education and evidence about biological causes of hallucinations.
2. they help the client to better understand what exactly triggers their hallucinations and delusions.
3. the therapist challenges the clients false ideas about the voices they are hallucinating. For example, the therapist will request the client resist the actions ordered to them by the voices
4. the therapist will help the client to more accurately interpret the voices by helping them to reach a conclusion such as "this is my illness talking, not a real person"
5. The therapist will show the client how to cope with their hallucinations. Some of these techniques include breathing and relaxation exercises, and positive affirmations. The therapist will follow behind the patient and make critical statements in an attempt to simulate the patients hallucinations. At this point the therapist will refocus the patient and then guide them on focusing on an assigned task
Finally, lets talk about family therapy and why it's important. More than 50% of those suffering from schizophrenia live with their families. This can be a stressor for both the person with schizophrenia and their families which could cause a vicious cycle of symptoms. As a general rule, sufferers who have a positive relationship with their families tend to respond better to treatment than those who have negative relationships with their families. A very sad but hopeful example of what could happen came from a story about a 32 year old man named Mark in the book on page 508. Both of Marks parents were hopeless about Marks battle with schizophrenia. They placed blame on each other for why he had his illness and fought often which worsened his symptoms. What was even more cruel is that the better Mark seemed to perform in his life, the more hostile his parents became towards him. Once Marks family started attending family therapy along with his individual sessions, Marks life took a positive turn. He was able to hold a job for 12 months. For reasons such as this, it is in the best interest of everyone involved to attend therapy. This outlet provides family members with the tools to better communicate with the sufferer. It also provides guidance, training and advice for the family members. There are also family support groups and family psychoeducational programs available for families in need of encouragement and advice.
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