Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia can be a very difficult condition to live with for individuals and families. The set of symptoms an individual may experience are very broad and can include any of the following:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Thought Disoder
  • Disorganisation
  • Negative Symptoms

Up until approximately 15 years ago, it had been the conventional wisdom in psychiatric settings, that psychological treatments were ineffective and perhaps counter-therapeutic for those experiencing psychosis. Recent advances have demonstrated that, despite being a challenging condition, those with persistent and distressing symptoms of psychosis can benefit from psychological treatments.

Peter Walker, the Principal Psychologist at Peter Walker and Associates, has been an innovator in the adaptation of psychological interventions for those suffering from psychotic symptoms. He has published widely on this topic, delivers lectures for postgraduate students on psychological treatments for psychosis and provides supervision to other psychologists who work with psychotic clients. Unfortunately, the advances in the psychological treatment of schizophrenia have not been widely disseminated in Australia. As a result, there remains a general pessimism about the psychological management of schizophrenia and far too few clinicians offer treatment. Peter Walker and Associates aims to redress this imbalance, and a number of the clinicians here have considerable experience in the management of hallucinations and delusions.

The following treatments are utilised when working with clients experiencing psychotic symptoms:

  • Cognitive therapy
  • Meta-cognitive therapy
  • Coping strategy enhancement
  • Normalisation
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Method of Levels