32. Psychological Treatment of Psychosis

  1. Daniel R. Weinberger MD3 and
  2. Paul J. Harrison MA, BM, BCh, DM(Oxon), FRCPsych4
  1. Gillian Haddock BSc, MClinPPsychol, PhD1 and
  2. Will Spaulding PhD2

Published Online: 8 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444327298.ch32

Schizophrenia, Third Edition

Schizophrenia, Third Edition

How to Cite

Haddock, G. and Spaulding, W. (2010) Psychological Treatment of Psychosis, in Schizophrenia, Third Edition (eds D. R. Weinberger and P. J. Harrison), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444327298.ch32

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program, Clinical Studies Section, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

  2. 4

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

  2. 2

    University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 10 DEC 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405176972

Online ISBN: 9781444327298



  • cognitive–behavioral therapy;
  • family intervention;
  • neuropsychological therapy;
  • social skills training;
  • dual disorders. schizophrenia


Psychological treatments for psychosis have been widely studied over many years. Early studies were mainly in the form of individual case studies or case series. However, more recently, treatments have been evaluated in larger, controlled trials, leading to a larger evidence base on which to judge their effectiveness. This evidence base suggests that certain approaches can be effective in reducing the severity and distress associated with psychosis and some of these have become more widely employed in the treatment of severe mental health problems over the last decade in the UK, Europe, and the US. Generally, the treatments with the greatest evidence base in psychosis are in the following treatment domains: (1) individual cognitive and behavioral therapies; (2) family interventions for psychosis; (3) neuropsychological and cognitive remediation approaches; (4) social skills training and other skills training approaches; and (5) contingency management approaches. Characteristics of the approaches are described, using clinical examples and evidence in support of their effectiveness. The implications for applying the approaches with complex cases, such as those with dual diagnoses, are described. Finally, the challenges facing services in implementing the approaches is discussed.