New study questions effectiveness of CBT as a treatment for schizophrenia

A new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggeststhat cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has little impact on the symptoms of schizophreniaeven though it is recommended as a treatment by the National Institute for Healthand Care Excellence (NICE).

Keith Laws, Professor of cognitive neuropsychology at theUniversity of Hertfordshire who led the study, said: “With this evidencethe current government policy which mandates this treatment for all patientswith schizophrenia in England and Wales needs to be reconsidered.”

Read more on thestudy here:

A spokesperson for Welsh mental health charity Hafal said: “It’simportant to note that the study focuses specifically on CBT and not on alltalking therapies.

“Rather than unearthing causes of a mental illness orletting the client release their feelings, the goal of CBT is to change the waya client thinks about a particular thing in order to solve a specific problem.

“While this may have some benefits for patients withschizophrenia, we believe that more in-depth and longer-term talking therapies canbe more effective. We are concerned that there remains an imbalance in mentalhealth services which do not give sufficient weight to psychological therapies:many patients with schizophrenia would gain from in-depth counselling andpsychotherapy as this would ‘dig deep’ and facilitate self-understanding.”