‘Talk Therapy’ Important In Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Ireland has published a new document outlining the benefits of psychological or talk therapies in the treatment of psychosis as part of Lucia Week, the national schizophrenia awareness week.

“The need for greater access to psychological or talk therapies has been clearly articulated by many groups.  The demand for psychological and social therapies and the evidence for their effectiveness has been growing in recent years,” said John Saunders, director of Schizophrenia Ireland.

The document, Talking about Talking Therapies: Psychotherapy and Psychosis, is published in conjunction with the present government mental health policy, which emphasises the need to provide a range of drug, psychological and social therapies to aid people in their recovery from mental illness.

Psychological therapies should be regarded as a routine component of basic mental healthcare services, rather than being viewed as additional options that are not consistently available, Mr Saunders added.

This is the consensus among users and service providers alike, he said.

The document gives a simple analysis of what psychotherapy is, explains how counselling and psychotherapy can work for carers of people with schizophrenia, and outlines the usefulness and benefits of psychotherapy in psychosis.

It also provides evidence for the use of psychotherapy in schizophrenia and describes how it can aid the process of recovery, as well as detailing Schizophrenia Ireland’s counselling service and its role in providing support for carers and users of mental healthcare services.

“We hope the reader will find Talking about Talking Therapies a useful and informative resource on psychotherapy and its role in psychosis,” Mr Saunders continued.

Schizophrenia Ireland, the national organisation dedicated to upholding the rights and addressing the needs of all those affected by enduring mental illness, are hoping the information will provide further support for the inclusion of psychological therapies in the range of statutory mental healthcare services.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterised by disturbances in a person’s thoughts, perceptions, emotions and behaviour. Symptoms can include delusions and hallucinations.

The condition affects around one in every 100 people, with an estimated 41,000 people in Ireland currently affected.

Talking about Talking Therapies was launched by Dr Edmond O’Dea, chairman of the Mental Health Commisson. For more information, see www.sirl.ie