diagnosis: Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia has historically been defined as one of the most chronic and acute psychiatric conditions. Schizophrenia has been found to lead to a myriad of both direct (e.g., cognitive decline, medication side effects) and associated challenges (e.g., substance misuse, homelessness, interpersonal loneliness; Seidman & Mirsky, 2017; Rognoni et al., 2021; Dickey et al., 2000; Folsom & Jeste, 2002; Mickalska da Rocha et al., 2018). Overall, this disorder results in substantial individual, family, and community burden. Various group treatment options have been found to effectively treat those with schizophrenia. Some have focused on integrative treatments (Kanas, 2020), here we focus on singular treatments for schizophrenia.

The evidence-based group treatments highlighted here were selected based on the results of a recent meta-analysis looking at group therapy for schizophrenia (Burlingame et al., 2020). This meta-analysis examined RCTs of those with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder). The following modalities were found to have significant effects on positive and negative schizophrenia symptoms.

The page of promising treatments for schizophrenia includes one additional approach (ACT for Psychosis) with emerging group research support.


Burlingame, G. M., Svien, H., Hoppe, L., Hunt, I., & Rosendahl, J. (2020). Group therapy for schizophrenia: A meta-analysis. Psychotherapy, 57(2), 219. https://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000293

Dickey, B., Azeni, H., Weiss, R., & Sederer, L. (2000). Schizophrenia, substance use disorders and medical co‐morbidity. The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics3(1), 27-33. https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-176X(200003)3:1<27::AID-MHP67>3.0.CO;2-P

Folsom, D., & Jeste, D. V. (2002). Schizophrenia in homeless persons: a systematic review of the literature. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica105(6), 404-413. https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.02209.x

Michalska da Rocha, B., Rhodes, S., Vasilopoulou, E., & Hutton, P. (2018). Loneliness in psychosis: A meta-analytical review. Schizophrenia Bulletin44(1), 114-125. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbx036

Kanas, N. (2020). Integrative group therapy for psychosis: An evidence-based approach. Routledge.

Rognoni, C., Bertolani, A., & Jommi, C. (2021). Second-generation antipsychotic drugs for patients with schizophrenia: Systematic literature review and meta-analysis of metabolic and cardiovascular side effects. Clinical Drug Investigation41, 303-319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40261-021-01000-1

Seidman, L. J., & Mirsky, A. F. (2017). Evolving notions of schizophrenia as a developmental neurocognitive disorder. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society23(9-10), 881-892. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617717001114