An exploration of the place of Psychotherapy in the treatment of Schizophrenia in Ireland

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Cardus, Elisabeth
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BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this research was to explore the place, if any, that psychotherapy could have within the treatment of schizophrenia in Ireland, with a focus on community rehabilitation teams in the mental health service which were established in order to provide comprehensive multi-disciplinary care. The study firstly explored the opinions of professionals working with mental health service users in the use of psychotherapy as a treatment method for schizophrenia. Secondly this study explored the reasons why psychotherapy may not be considered to be an appropriate intervention with schizophrenia. Finally this study sought to understand any reasons behind progression or lack of progression of the use of psychotherapy within mental health services in Ireland. The study was carried out by way of a qualitative design. The sample consisted of four female participants from two separate teams based in Dublin. Semi-structured interviews were used to carry out the data collection, following which the data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings provided insight into the research subject from an Irish perspective and broadly supported the existing literature. The findings highlighted that psychotherapy as a discipline is largely missing within multi-disciplinary mental health care in Ireland. Evident throughout the findings was the different levels of knowledge regarding the different approaches of psychotherapy. Finally influences both internally and from a national perspective were found to exert a pressure upon the service. Three recommendations were made, firstly that all mental health staff working on multi-disciplinary teams should be provided with education and assessment training regarding the differing approaches within psychotherapy to ensure appropriate matching to intervention. Secondly, guidelines informing service users to access any current psychotherapeutic services should be made available. Finally, further consideration is to be paid to the current Irish context and the role of psychotherapy with regard to the economical pressures of a condition such as schizophrenia. Author keywords: Psychotherapy, schizophrenia, integration, Ireland, multi‐disciplinary, holistic