How does it work? - By reduction levels of expressed emotion and stress, and by increasing the capacity of relatives to solve related problems, family therapy attempts to reduce the incidence for relapse for the person with schizophrenia. Family therapy makes use of a number of strategies, including:
Psychoeducation (helping the person and their carers to understand and be better able to deal with the illness), forming an alliance with relatives who care for the person with schizophrenia, reducing the emotional climate within the family and the burden for care for family members, enhancing relatives ability to anticipate and solve problems, reducing expressions of anger and guilt by family members, maintaining reasonable expectations among family members for patient performance, encouraging relatives to set appropriate limits whilst maintaining some degree of separation when needed.
Family therapy forms part of an overall treatments package and is commonly used in conjunction with routine drug treatment and outpatient clinical care. During family therapy sessions, the individual with schizophrenia is encouraged to talk to their family and explain what sort of support they find helpful