Skills Training for Schizophrenia: Cognitive Behavioral & Psychotherapeutic Training

cognitive behavioral social skills training

This unique guide presents cognitive-behavioral social skills therapy ( CBSST), a scientifically-proven, step by step, empirical support that helps clients with schizoaffective disorder achieve specific recovery objectives related to functioning, enhancing, and achieving self esteem and personal worth. Dr. David A. Loewenstein, is an award winning psychotherapist and a practicing psychiatrist in the field of clinical treatment. His work has been featured in national publications and on several television programs.

Skill Training for Cognitive, Behavioral and Psychotherapeutic

Skills Training

The cognitive therapy approach to CBT is designed to help patients successfully change their negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves and others and substitute them with realistic and positive ones. Patients benefit tremendously from this cognitive behavioral approach when they are able to successfully modify their distorted perceptions. This allows for improved skill in goal setting, problem solving, problem avoidance, and stress management. The clinical program offers the following benefits:

o Significant improvements in self esteem and personal worth occur quickly and reliably. Patients report significant improvement in mood and attitude, increased confidence, better sleep quality, better coping skills, more balanced fitness and balanced diet, less substance abuse, less negative thoughts and beliefs, and more productive interpersonal relationships. Patients also report greater participation and less resistance to peer pressure in the short-term and long-term interventions offered with CBT. o Cognitive behavioral therapy is flexible, addressable, and scalable. Upkeep is minimal and occurs mostly during the week.

o The cognitive skills module trains the client in changing their negative beliefs about themselves and others and replacing them with more positive and realistic beliefs. The cognitive skills therapy incorporates techniques such as exposure, cognitions-replacement, and elaborative clarification. Exposing patients to their fears and eliminating the beliefs that support those fears is an important part of CBT. The cognitive therapy also helps patients change their negative thought processes about their self and others. In particular, clients learn to:

o Developing positive self-esteem and self-efficacy. Patients’ self-efficacy is improved by the addition of evidence-based practical communications skills. These communications skills include understanding the difference between what is known and what is being said, being able to correctly communicate with others, understanding how to properly negotiate and settle on an acceptable outcome, and communicating effectively with colleagues and peers. Developing goal setting is also an important part of this treatment. Patients learn to set goals that are realistic, practical, achievable, relevant, and reasonable.

o Using cognitive behavioral therapy intervention to address positive as well as negative symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses the positive as well as negative symptoms in schizophrenia and can be effective in reducing negative symptoms of this disease. Positive symptoms include assertive social interaction, social toleration, and an overall sense of personal control and independence. Negative symptoms include complaints regarding insomnia, oversleeping, suicidal thoughts, general irritability, guilt, and lack of concentration.

o Utilizing skills training to improve functioning during a controlled trial of antipsychotic medications. Medications for schizophrenia can have severe side effects and patients may benefit from using these drugs to improve their symptoms. A controlled trial is usually conducted to determine if the use of medication will help patients’ mental health. During the controlled trial, patients are given medications under careful medical supervision to determine if they will actually improve their functioning or not.

End Note

Skills Training

o Using cognitive behavioral psychotherapy in conjunction with a specially designed daily exercise program. This program is called the Optimizing Social Engagement (OSCE) and it is focused on improving social functioning, which includes goal-oriented supportive contact. The program targets the areas of core mental health. For example, the core components of OSE are cognitive behavioral, interpersonal skills, physical functioning, and mind/body integration. People with schizophrenia who are at a high risk for poor outcomes and need to lose weight, gain muscle tone, have long-term success goals, or have a history of substance abuse are excellent candidates for the program.

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