Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology

The Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia: A Review of the Evidence for Psychodynamic and Nonpsychodynamic Treatments


Department of Psychiatry, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, USA; Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2023; 33: 222-228
DOI: 10.5152/pcp.2023.23627
Read: 2582 Downloads: 783 Published: 03 August 2023

Following the discovery of chlorpromazine’s effectiveness as a treatment for schizophrenia in the 1950s, a gradual shift away from psychotherapeutic and toward biological methods of investigation has ensued. Nevertheless, psychological approaches to schizophrenia have a long history and continue to represent an important component of schizophrenia treatment. In the past 2 decades, there has been renewed interest in psychotherapy for schizophrenia among some clinicians and researchers. This article examines the current evidence for both psychodynamic and nonpsychodynamic (cognitivebehavioral, cognitive enhancement, and psychoeducational) therapies for schizophrenic illness. There is evidence to support the use of both types of therapies though these orientations generally differ in their views on the role of psychological factors in the etiology of schizophrenia. It is argued that a pluralistic or biopsychosocial model of schizophrenia is necessary to account for the complexity of the disease and to provide the most effective treatment.

Cite this article as: Ruffalo ML. The psychotherapy of schizophrenia: A review of the evidence for psychodynamic and nonpsychodynamic treatments. Psychiatry Clin Psychopharmacol. 2023;33(3):222-228.

EISSN 2475-0581