Family therapy AO3


Requires motivation

P – One weakness of family therapy as a treatment for schizophrenia is that it requires motivation from the patient

E –This is because patients are required to attend multiple sessions in order to reduce stress & levels of expressed emotion in the family to control their symptoms of schizophrenia. This could be difficult for some families because there is emphasis on ‘openness’ which can be an issue because some families may be reluctant to talk about or even admit their problems.

E - This is unlike drug therapy where patients are only required to remember to take the drug clozapine in order to balance their levels of dopamine & reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia such as delusions.

L – Therefore family therapy may not be an appropriate treatment for schizophrenia as this may lead to high dropout rates, further questioning the effectiveness of the treatment for schizophrenia

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Family therapy AO3 (RTS + Aetiology)

RTS: Leff et al (1985) compared family therapy with routine outpatient care for schizophrenics and found that in the first 9 months of treatment 50% of those receiving routine care relapsed, compared with only 8% of those receiving family therapy. This suggests that family therapy is an effective therapy for treating schizophrenics.

Other: A limitation of family therapy as a treatment of schizophrenia is that it does not get to the root cause (aetiology) of schizophrenia. It works by helping to reduce the stress of living with schizophrenia in a family, for both the patient and family members, this does not eliminate the symptoms completely. This questions the appropriateness and effectiveness of the therapy as when the therapy stops patients could relapse, which is what Hogarty et al (1986) found in a follow-up study of patients who had received family therapy.

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