CBT GROUPS PROVIDE HOPE FOR PEOPLE WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA
Innovative cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) drop-in groups help patients in The Royal’s Schizophrenia and Recovery Program along in their recovery. The program offers a CBT for Psychosis group and a CBT for Voices group.
Dr. Nicola Wright, a psychologist in the program, explains that having schizophrenia or psychosis can be isolating because these conditions are not well understood by the general public, or even by patients themselves. CBT helps patients make sense of their symptoms, such as hearing voices, in relation to their emotions and life experiences. With greater understanding, patients are better able to manage triggers that may pop up in their day-to-day lives.
The open group format in The Royal’s Schizophrenia and Recovery Program — which welcomes people at any stage in their recovery as long as they are registered patients of the program – gives people a sense of community and hope. Inpatients are encouraged when they see outpatients who are doing well, for example.
“Sometimes people can lose themselves and their interests in an illness – in the symptoms, but also in the label. In a way, what we do in these groups is we are seeing that person again,” said Wright. “What are their values? What are their strengths? What are their goals, and how can we work together in helping them to achieve those? That’s recovery.”