Early Intervention in Psychiatry
© John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd
Edited By: Patrick McGorry
Online ISSN: 1751-7893
Schizophrenia Special Feature
Bringing optimism and hope to the treatment of schizophrenia: A psychiatrist’s role
Should psychiatrists raise their aspirations for recovery in schizophrenia? In this article, internationally-renowned psychiatrists Professor Robin Emsley (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa) and Professor Douglas Turkington (Royal Victoria Infirmary, UK) discuss openly why they believe it is time to challenge the traditional role of the psychiatrist in schizophrenia management. Moving away from a purely symptom-based approach, Professors Emsley and Turkington call for psychiatrists to adopt a more positive and proactive stance, with more ambitious expectations for patients’ functional recovery such as employment, living independently and engaging in a range of social relationships. The professors underline the importance of individualised treatment, sustained remission and recovery. They discuss the essential role of the therapeutic alliance, early intervention, and integration of continuous medication with psychosocial interventions. They also explore best practice strategies, highlighting relevant studies and their experiences in clinical practice. The professors’ hope is that psychiatrists will take the lead in supporting patients to maintain recovery and fulfil their potential.
Professor Robin Emsley is based at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa, where until recently he was Head of Department. He serves on national and international professional and scientific committees and advisory boards, and is on the editorial board of several international journals, including Schizophrenia Research, Early Intervention in Psychiatry and Schizophrenia Research and Treatment. Robin’s particular interest is improving outcomes through psychopharmacological intervention following a first episode of psychosis.
Professor Douglas Turkington is Honorary Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. He has carried out extensive research into the efficacy and effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the treatment of schizophrenia, and has written three books on the use of CBT with schizophrenia patients. Douglas’ primary focus is the efficacy and delivery of CBT and other psychosocial therapies in schizophrenia as part of a comprehensive treatment package.