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Art Therapy and Cognitive-behavioral Therapy in Schizophrenia Treatment

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Words: 1061 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Oct 23, 2018

Words: 1061|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Oct 23, 2018

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Art Therapy - A Creative Path to Healing
  3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  4. Conclusion
  5. References

Introduction

Schizophrenia, as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, is a chronic and debilitating mental disorder characterized by deficits in thought processes, perceptions, and emotional responsiveness. Patients afflicted with schizophrenia often manifest a wide array of symptoms, broadly categorized into positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include delusions, thought disorders, and hallucinations, while negative symptoms encompass avolition (a lack of motivation to pursue goals) and an impaired desire to establish social relationships. Although schizophrenia is inherently incurable, it can be managed through a combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapies, aimed at improving the patient's overall condition. However, many schizophrenic patients continue to experience symptoms despite medication, necessitating alternative approaches. One such approach is art therapy, a form of expressive psychotherapy that harnesses the creative process of making art to enhance an individual's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Additionally, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has emerged as a valuable intervention for schizophrenia, drawing from its success in treating anxiety and depression. This essay explores the role of art therapy and CBT in the treatment of schizophrenia and examines their potential benefits in enhancing patients' quality of life.

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Art Therapy - A Creative Path to Healing

Margaret Naumburg is widely regarded as one of the founding figures of American Art Therapy, a discipline that emerged in the mid-20th century. Art therapy primarily evolved within adult psychiatric inpatient units and was tailored to individuals for whom traditional verbal psychotherapy proved challenging, as often observed in cases involving schizophrenic patients. The therapeutic process of creating art allows patients to explore and express their inner psychological turmoil in a non-confrontational manner, fostering a therapeutic relationship and utilizing art materials. Through the act of artistic expression, patients can delve into their psychological issues, stabilize their behaviors and emotions, reduce stress, and bolster self-esteem and self-awareness. Psychologists and counselors employing art therapy can decode the underlying messages conveyed through the patient's artwork, aiding in the healing journey. Art therapy yields diverse outcomes for different patient profiles, serving as a form of counseling, healing, rehabilitation, and psychotherapy, while providing deeper insights into patients' psychological landscapes. Extensive research underscores the positive impact of art therapy across various age groups, revealing improvements in communication, concentration, reduced feelings of isolation, and enhanced self-esteem, confidence, and self-awareness. Art therapists, possessing a profound understanding of the transformative potential of the creative process, employ a blend of psychological, spiritual, and artistic theories, amalgamated with clinical techniques, to facilitate therapeutic progress. Art therapy techniques encompass a broad spectrum, including painting, finger painting, doodling, scribbling, sculpting, carving, pottery-making, card creation, textile use, and collage assembly. This diverse array of techniques accommodates individuals who may struggle with verbal communication, feel disconnected from their emotions, or face difficulty in addressing painful experiences. Particularly for schizophrenic patients, who often grapple with verbal expression, art therapy offers an alternative channel for self-discovery and healing.

Empirical research in the field of art therapy underscores its efficacy, notably in the treatment of in-patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. A randomized controlled trial involving 58 hospitalized schizophrenic patients who received standard treatment alongside biweekly art classes over 12 weeks demonstrated promising results. Patients exposed to art therapy exhibited a significant reduction in positive symptoms, an improvement in psychosocial functioning post-treatment and during follow-up assessments, and a noteworthy decrease in negative symptoms during follow-up evaluations when compared to the standard treatment group. Additionally, art therapy participants displayed heightened emotional awareness and an enhanced capacity to empathize with others' emotional states, signifying improved mentalizing function. This evidence suggests the feasibility and potential benefits of incorporating art therapy into the treatment regimen for individuals experiencing acute psychotic episodes.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has emerged as a valuable intervention for schizophrenia, drawing from its proven efficacy in addressing anxiety and depression. Although Aaron Beck's early experimentation with a cognitive approach to treating psychosis dates back to the 1950s, the research in this domain lay dormant for decades. It was only in the 1990s, following the successful application of cognitive therapy to depression and anxiety, that the exploration of psychological treatments for psychotic conditions regained momentum, with Beck playing a pivotal role. Pharmacologic therapy, despite its widespread use, may leave up to 60% of psychotic patients with persistent positive and negative symptoms, even in cases of medication adherence. Furthermore, medication compliance remains a significant challenge. Studies reveal that discontinuation of treatment affects an estimated 74% of both outpatient and inpatient schizophrenia cases. Cognitive-behavioral therapy now stands as a recognized and effective intervention for schizophrenia, as reflected in clinical guidelines in both the United States and Europe. Despite its strong empirical foundation and minimal side effects, the accessibility of CBT within community settings remains limited.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, schizophrenia, a complex and debilitating mental disorder, poses substantial challenges for both patients and clinicians. While pharmacotherapy remains a cornerstone of treatment, the persistent presence of symptoms necessitates alternative approaches. Art therapy, a creative and expressive form of psychotherapy, has emerged as a powerful tool for individuals with schizophrenia. By offering a non-verbal means of self-expression and exploration, art therapy enables patients to address psychological issues, stabilize emotions, and enhance self-awareness. Additionally, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), originally developed for anxiety and depression, has gained recognition as an effective intervention for schizophrenia. CBT equips patients with cognitive strategies to manage residual symptoms, thereby improving their overall quality of life. In light of the evidence supporting the efficacy of both art therapy and CBT, it is crucial to expand their accessibility within community settings to enhance the treatment options available to individuals living with schizophrenia. Through a comprehensive and holistic approach that includes pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and creative interventions, we can strive to alleviate the burdens of this chronic disorder and improve the lives of those affected by it.

References

  1. National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Schizophrenia. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml
  2. Naumburg, M. (1950). Dynamically oriented art therapy. Grune & Stratton.
  3. Silver, R. (2001). The art of art therapy. Psychology Today, 34(6), 48-50.
  4. Morrison, A. P., & Barratt, S. (2010). What are the components of CBT for psychosis? A Delphi study. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 36(1), 136-142. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbn077
  5. Beck, A. T., Rector, N. A., Stolar, N., & Grant, P. M. (2009). Schizophrenia: Cognitive theory, research, and therapy. Guilford Press.
  6. Wykes, T., Steel, C., Everitt, B., & Tarrier, N. (2008). Cognitive behavior therapy for schizophrenia: Effect sizes, clinical models, and methodological rigor. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 34(3), 523-537. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbm114
  7. Tarrier, N., Wykes, T., & Ismail, K. (2010). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for schizophrenia: A review. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32(1), 85-94. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-009-9165-2
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Art Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Schizophrenia Treatment. (2018, October 23). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-art-therapy/
“Art Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Schizophrenia Treatment.” GradesFixer, 23 Oct. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-art-therapy/
Art Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Schizophrenia Treatment. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-art-therapy/> [Accessed 29 May 2024].
Art Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Schizophrenia Treatment [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 23 [cited 2024 May 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-art-therapy/
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