Can psychotherapy reduce the risk of suicide in those with schizophrenia?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Psychotherapy treatments for people with schizophrenia are still being researched. However, one form of psychotherapy, called cognitive therapy, has been shown to reduce suicide attempts for some people with mental health problems. In one study, researchers assigned a group of participants who had previously tried to kill themselves, to a minimum of 10 sessions of cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy encourages people to change their thought processes from negative and destructive patterns to positive and healthy ones. For instance, a person may be taught how to stop obsessing about feelings of hopelessness and would be encouraged to reframe the obsessions into positive thoughts. At the end of the study, cognitive therapy participants were found to be less likely to attempt suicide than those who received other forms of treatment.

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