Beyond Antipsychotics: Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis

Individualized single-session interventions and group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are legitimate considerations for psychotic patients who do not respond adequately to antipsychotic therapy, according to 2 studies presented here at the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) 60th Annual Conference.

Traditionally, schizophrenic spectrum disorders (SSDs) were believed to be amenable to medication only, noted Ian Weinroth, MD, a clinical fellow in psychotherapy at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

However, up to 50% of patients do not respond or respond poorly to antipsychotics — leaving a treatment gap that CBT can sometimes fill.

Single-session drop-in therapy delivered by a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, nurses, social workers, and family therapists can provide effective therapy and ease the burden on psychiatric services, 2 nurse therapists reported at the meeting.

“Single-session therapy is not assessment or triage — we are actually doing an intervention,” explained Maureen Osis, RN, MN, a marriage and family therapist at the South Calgary Health Center, a community mental health walk-in Clinic in Alberta, Canada.

“We don’t diagnose. We have people coming in with diagnoses, and we help them identify internal and external resources that have helped them in the past,” said Pat Carruthers, RPN, PhD, a clinical nurse specialist at the clinic.

The clinic opened 6 years ago and now receives 800 visits per year, with 77% of clients waiting less than 20 minutes to be seen, the group reported. “We divert patients from other services and provide an alternative to the use of hospital emergency departments [EDs],” said Dr. Carruthers.

Reported by Kate Johnson
Medscape Medical News

Submitted by Anna

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