The NY Times recently reported on a study conducted by Dr. Aaron Beck and other psychiatrists and PhD’s using a form of cognitive therapy to help individuals with severe schizophrenia who were considered beyond hope. The therapy was designed to help patients defuse the negative and self defeating cognitions.
The study was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania with 31 patients from mental health clinics in the Philadelphia area. The control group had 29 patients.
Some of the key and hopeful results noted in the NY Times Article are that people with severe schizophrenia can:
- Become more social, active and even employable
- Have more capability to improve their lives than previously thought
- Increase motivation and reduce negative symptoms
- Show measurable improvement in 6 months
For more information on the history and treatment of severe mental illness in the United States see Robert Whitaker’s award winning books: Mad in America and The Anatomy of an Epidemic. Here, in another article entitled A Schizophrenia Mystery Solved? where Whitaker documents some of the history of successful treatment with people suffering from schizophrenia.