A Recovery-Oriented Model

Under the direction of Judith S. Beck, PhD, and led by Aaron Brinen, PsyD, this experiential workshop will cover the theory, empirical basis, strategies, and interventions of cognitive behavior therapy for patients with schizophrenia (both those who are higher functioning and those who are lower functioning). Topics covered will also include how to engage patients, how to develop a conceptualization based upon the cognitive model, how to plan treatment based upon goal setting, goal attainment, and tracking goal progress, how to address positive, negative, and disorganized symptoms, how to get patients behaviorally activated (including constructive and pleasurable activities and increased socializing with others), and how to work with patients who have cognitive impairments, low insight, and/or low motivation for treatment. The workshop will be a mix of information, video clips, and interactive exercises.

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Workshop Curriculum

Day 1: Cognitive Therapy for Schizophrenia

  • Introduction and overview of CT
  • Cognitive model of negative symptoms (low motivation, asociality, flat affect, alogia)
  • Cognitive model of positive symptoms (thought disorder; hallucinations; paranoid, persecutory, control, and grandiose delusions)
  • Conceptualizing individual clients with schizophrenia
  • Adjusting therapy for neurocognitive deficits
  • Talking with clients about delusions and hallucinations
  • Adjusting therapy for low clinical insight

Day 2: Engagement and Behavioral Activation Phases

  • Engagement of clients with schizophrenia
  • Goal setting, achievement, and progress monitoring
  • Activity monitoring and scheduling
  • Graded task assignment
  • Coping strategies
  • Incorporating cognitive remediation and social skills training
  • Behavioral experiments

Day 3: Cognitive Change, Maintenance, and Treatment Course

  • Strategy and techniques for changing key beliefs in schizophrenia
  • Maintenance phase: consolidation of skills learning and relapse prevention
  • Structure of the session
  • Adapting to shorter sessions
  • Course of treatment
  • Action plans
  • Starting CT for schizophrenia

Workshop Objectives

  1. Use specific procedures to promote recovery in individuals with schizophrenia.
  2. Use a cognitive conceptualization of schizophrenia to plan the course of treatment.
  3. Engage clients and develop a therapeutic alliance.
  4. Apply engagement strategies to reduce impact of dysfunctional beliefs on current functioning.
  5. Describe the development of delusional beliefs.
  6. Describe how to treat positive, negative and disorganized symptoms.
  7. Employ techniques to reduce thought disorder.
  8. Discuss how to adjust therapy for neurocognitive challenges.
  9. Describe how to help clients sustain motivation.
  10. Describe how to work with clients with low insight.
  11. Use effective interventions to change beliefs and promote long-term change and progress toward recovery.
  12. Identify and reduce obstacles to recovery.
  13. Plan for maintenance and relapse prevention.

Recommended Reading

Applicant Prerequisite

This course is appropriate for those with an intermediate to advanced level knowledge in the mental health or medical field.

Doctorate or master’s degree (or equivalent degree for practitioners outside of the US) in a mental health, medical, or related field. Core 1 Workshop recommended.

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