5.1.4 – A psychological treatment for schizophrenia – family therapy

Description (AO1)

Aims to help the whole family support the sufferer by developing a support network for them.

It involves open and honest conversations between the whole family about the illness and the person’s experience and encourages the whole family to learn from the sufferer about the illness. The family is also encouraged to talk openly about their day to day concerns.

It’s often used in conjunction with drug therapy.

Evaluation (AO3)

(+) There is a large amount of evidence to support its effectiveness in reducing relapse rates.

(+) Goldstein & Miklowitz – family therapy and drug therapy reduces relapse rates more than just drugs.

(-) Needs the patient and the family to be both willing and motivated for it to be effective.

(-) Can be very difficult to talk about the illness which is paramount for this therapy.

(-) Not a treatment, but a way of coping with the illness.