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Psychology therapies of schizophrenia

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Token economy Token economy is a form of therapy based on the use of selective positive reinforcement or rewards. This tends to be used with institutionalised patients, who are given tokens, for behaving in appropriate ways. These tokens can later be used to obtain various privileges. Paul and Lentz used a token economy with hospitalised patients with long-term schizophrenia. Patients developed various social and work-related skills, and their symptoms were reduced. There was also a substantial reduction in the number of drugs that were given to the patients. After 4 1/2 years, 98% of patients in the token economy group had been released. Token economies were among the first forms of hospital-based treatments to show clear evidence of reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia. ...read more.


There are also ethical issues. The desired behaviours are decided by the psychologists and might not be acceptable to the patient. Moreover, token economies are an inappropriate form of treatment when dealing with several problems experienced by patients with schizophrenia. They are not likely to improve symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations and lack of emotion. In addition, token economies do not focus on some of the factors that play important roles in producing schizophrenia. The great majority of schizophrenics nowadays are treated in the community and token economies are less effective in community settings. Family therapies Family psycho education involves treating families as part of the solution rather than as part of the problem. The idea is to teach everyone in the family how to be constructive, undemanding and empathic with their schizophrenic relative. ...read more.


McFarlane et al. conducted a review of the literature of the effects of family psycho education on patients with schizophrenia. They concluded that it was associated with reduced relapse rates, improved recovery and improved family well-being. Family therapy has proved its worth by reducing relapse rates of patients and making it less likely that they will have to return to hospital. However, some patients who do not relapse are still re-admitted into hospital and continue to require drug therapy. Also, family therapies do not consider genetic and biochemical factors relevant to schizophrenia. In addition, family therapy is not successful on its own, but needs to be used in conjunction with drug therapy. In Falloon's study, the patients were also on drug therapy. Many patients of schizophrenia do not belong to a functioning family, so therapy cannot be fully implemented. ...read more.

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