DIAGNOSIS: Schizophrenia

TREATMENT: Group Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia


  • Basic premise: "Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by incoherent or illogical thoughts, bizarre behavior and speech, and delusions or hallucinations, such as hearing voices. Schizophrenia typically begins in early adulthood. Antipsychotic drugs aren’t the only treatment people with schizophrenia need. Along with medication, psychotherapy and support can help them regain their lives. SST uses the principles of behavior therapy to teach communication skills, assertiveness skills, and other skills related to disease management and independent living."
  • Essence of therapy: "SST uses the principles of behavior therapy to teach communication skills, assertiveness skills, and other skills related to disease management and independent living. SST is usually conducted in small groups that are ideally led by two co-therapists. Skills are broken down into several discrete steps. After reviewing the steps of the skill, the therapist models the skill by demonstrating a role play. Participants then do role-plays to learn and practice the skill. Therapists and group members provide constructive feedback to the individual after each role play and each participant is given an opportunity to practice the skill several times. Repeated practice and “overlearning” of skills are important aspects of SST. Duration, frequency, and exact content of SST interventions depends on the needs of the client(s) and the treatment setting. SST may be even more helpful when supplemented with community-based practice opportunities and support."


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