Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychosis and schizophrenia

Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes can affect your feelings and behaviour. It aims to teach you how to cope with problems by changing the way you think about them.

You should have at least 16 sessions of individual CBT and your sessions should be tailored to your experiences and symptoms. Your CBT should help you to:

  • monitor your thoughts, feelings and behaviours (especially those that are related to your symptoms)
  • help you to understand your experiences and learn how to manage experiences such as hearing voices
  • reduce your distress and make your daily life easier to manage

It’s important for you to try to attend all your sessions regularly, so you can get the most out of the treatment.

There isn’t much evidence about whether CBT is helpful for psychosis or schizophrenia in young people, but it has been found to be helpful for adults so it’s likely to be helpful for young people too.

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.

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