While few outpatient, private practice therapists deal much with those diagnosed with schizophrenia, there are things therapists can do to ease the suffering of both client and family. Kim Mueser, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School has published a number of helpful research and popular writings designed to increase social and cognitive functioning and decrease family distress in people with schizophrenia. Click here for an Amazon.com list of his writings. His Complete Family Guide (#1 on the list) is probably the best though several other texts may be just as useful depending on the reader’s focus. And while medications are important in the treatment of schizophrenia, it is quite clear that when families and client learn to minimize family distress and conflict, they also reduce active psychotic episodes
There are a number of interesting research angles on the pathways of Schizophrenia. One such hypothesis is that the croticostriatal loops do not work correctly in such patients. In lay terms this means that information doesn’t flow normally from the frontal lobe of the brain to some of the mid-brain structures and then back again. This seems to be part of the cause of apathy and lack of volition and/or planning. One wonders whether the longer time it takes for information to flow properly in order to make a decision or interpretation increases the likelihood of making random assumptions about the world. I know that when my children get stuck in a math problem, they are more likely to begin wild guessing to complete the task.