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CBTp for schizophrenia and looking for CBTp therapist

I am looking for a competent practitioner of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis (CBTp).

 

CBTp is not new. I understand that it has been around for about 30 years. Despite a lot of very positive reports as well as gaining official government approval for treatment of schizophrenia in countries like the US, UK and Australia it remains controversial and appears to have been effectively sidelined.

 

I have spent quite a bit of time going through a lot of research information. This stuff is not particularly easy reading but there appear to be three groups of academics interested in CBTp.

 

First there are those who are strongly in favour of it. They claim it has produced some wonderful results and advocate for its increased use.

Then there are those who are strongly opposed to it. They claim that it has no value whatsoever and strongly discourage its use.

A third group aren’t sure and seem to spend their time debating the various problems of different research reporting methods.

 

The argument for and against CBTp seems to revolve around the main stream medical/pharmacological model of treatment and whether or not a psychological intervention like CBTp is a better or viable alternative for  treating schizophrenia compared to anti-psychotic medication.

 

It is perhaps not surprising that those opposed to CBTp want to evaluate it using similar criteria to those used for evaluating pharmaceutical solutions. They often dismiss other criteria for evaluating CBTp as irrelevant.

 

In my experience anti-psychotic drugs do a pretty good job of stopping hallucinations and preventing or at least minimising psychotic episodes. The problem is that they also often do a pretty good job at minimising quality of life, sometimes to near intolerable levels not to mention an average reduction in life expectancy of around 15 years. My understanding of CBTp is that it is more concerned about quality of life than symptoms which it is claimed often diminish and sometimes even disappear completely when underling issues are dealt with or resolved.

 

We are told that schizophrenia affects about 1 person out of every 100 in Australia. Schizophrenia is therefore not a disease - it is a phenomena! If a psychological intervention like CBTp can help even a small percentage of this vast number of people surely it should be encouraged and supported.

 

In my view, blanking out 1 in 100 lives with often unwanted and unwelcome chemical interventions borders on criminal negligence, particularly when pressure, threats and sometimes force is used to make people comply.

 

I was involuntarily hospitalised and diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 24 years old and subjected, without consent to intensive drug therapy. The overall experience has had a very significant and negative life long impact on me. I am just about to turn 71.

 

I used to have quite a few friends who suffered from schizophrenia. Sadly only one of them is still alive today. The others, “stabilised on medication”, lived a drug induced shadow existence and died prematurely from the side effects of the potent chemicals that they were coerced into taking.

 

As part of my investigations I found a You Tube video lecture given to student CBTp practitioners by Laura Tully, the director of clinical training at the UC Davis early psychosis program in the USA. The lecture made a lot of sense and was easy to understand. Here is the link in case anyone is interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4edinfIt5QM

 

I want to give CBTp a try to see if it will help with some of the problems I experience from periodic hallucinations and psychotic episodes. I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Reasonable access is obviously an issue. If anyone knows of or about a CBTp practitioner and can point me in their direction it would be very much appreciated.

The Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and EDAPT Clinics at UC Davis presented a half-day conference on December 13, 2017, "Psychosis: Understanding Your...
6 REPLIES 6
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Re: CBTp for schizophrenia and looking for CBTp therapist

hi @Willy that's great you've found a treatment method you'd like to try. This could be really positive for you and improve your quality of life. I reckon the only way you'll know if it is effective for you is to give it a go. I hope you can find a good practitioner to try it with.

 

I have a psychotic illness & have tried a lot of different treatment methods, I was anti-medication for about 20 years & refused to accept the medical model or see a psychiatrist. In the end, nothing worked & a lot of treatments made me worse in the short term & gave me a cynacism for practitioners in the long term. I eventually saw a psychiatrist & he's awesome & a great mentor to me, I responded really well to meds & now have a good quality of life, I'm even back in the workforce after 7 years of unemployment. Ironic really when I was so anti-meds.

 

From my expereince I learned that the only way to find an effective treatment is to give it a try. Everyone is different & responds to different treatments differently. Individual mental illness is still not that well understood as individuals differ so much - hence the differences in the research findings. I'm not personally a fan of CBT but my brother finds it very helpful & we share genes & MI so who knows why that is. I think you should go for it, good luck.

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Re: CBTp for schizophrenia and looking for CBTp therapist

Hello @Willy 

 

We are not able to refer specifically, but I found your post  very informative and helpful in relfecting on my past.  By talking about things, I have found those in the field, start getting better quals .... I get that you have been very patient .... keep looking ... and asking ... in a good forward looking clinic ... the practitioners are often trying to imporve skills .... I think there was a lot of hesitance about engaging with people suffering from a disease with psychosis even if they were not currently.experiencing psychosis ... the notion of psychosis as episodic is fairly new ....

Good Luck

Smiley Happy

 

@BryanaCamp  your experince is interesting.  I am so glad you are doing well and batting for you from behind the scenes re your new job ... WTG

Smiley Happy

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Re: CBTp for schizophrenia and looking for CBTp therapist

@Willy 

I am very impressed by the link you posted. Pretty sure the approaches out;lined could have been beneficial to my family diagnosed with Sz instead of just meds and hopeless assumptions that nothing can be done ... talk about self fulfilling prophecies.

 

Not half way through yet, but her break down of how a CBT session could be divided ...

 

Welcome to the forum

Smiley Happy

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Re: CBTp for schizophrenia and looking for CBTp therapist

Dear Appleblossom,

I wasnt looking for or expecting a specific referal. I was asking if any one could point me in the right direction for finding a CBTp (NOT a CBT) practioner. I have spent a lot of time looking for such a person and so far have just drawn a blank.

Does anyone  know or even have heard of any CBTp practioner practicing in Australia or preferably Melbourne? Any clue to help me in my search for this elusive breed of therapist would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: CBTp for schizophrenia and looking for CBTp therapist

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Re: CBTp for schizophrenia and looking for CBTp therapist

@Willy Hi Willy, I hope you're doing well. I liked you thoughtful and articulate post at CBTp - my son has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is heavily bombed out on medications. I have been doing a lot of research and can seen there are some new emerging ways of treating psychosis-related conditions. Like you, I am very interested in finding a CBTp therapist but have had no luck as yet (I'm on the far north coast of NSW).

If you're in Melbourne you could try contacting some of the professionals mentioned on websites such as http://www.isps.org.au/ to see if they can help - they at least seem to have a broader understanding of psychosis and may know a practitioner close to you.

Or perhaps you might find it useful to do an online course on it yourself, in a way of self-help understanding? There is an inexpensive one at https://www.udemy.com/.

Reading books about your condition from psychological perspectives might also help in furthering your understanding and seeing it as more than a 'biological' condition - check out the work of Jim Geekie & Debra Lampshire from NZ - their book is very interesting!

All the best!

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