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There are many other treatments to support you and your family. More than one may be used. If problems persist or worsen, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be useful.

Psychosocial Treatments

Medicine is used to treat schizophrenia. But there are other problems they cannot help. The goal is to help make daily life easier.

The methods used are tailored to each person based on their needs. Some methods are:


Rehabilitation includes a wide range of actions. They focus on social and job training to help people with certain problems. Programs may include:

  • Job and career counseling
  • Problem solving skills
  • Daily life skills such as shopping, coping with stress, or cooking and cleaning
  • Use of public or other types of transportation such as a car service
  • Social skills training
  • Information on housing
  • Where to go for help during a crisis such as thoughts of suicide or self-harm

Learning these skills will help them lead more productive lives once they are back in the community.

Individual Psychotherapy

This involves regular talks with a mental health professional. The focus of therapy may be on current or past problems, experiences, thoughts, feelings, or relationships. Talking helps people understand more about themselves and their problems. It can also help them sort out what is real and what is not.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you learn to change thought patterns and actions that are harmful or wrong. You will look at your feelings and thought patterns, learn to grasp them, and use coping methods.


People with schizophrenia are often in the care of their family. Psychoeducation involves teaching you and your family about your health problem and how it is treated. You will learn the signs of it coming back so that you can get early care and avoid a relapse.

Support Groups

Support groups help those with similar problems. They help people realize they are not alone in the problems they face. In addition, families working together come together to advocate for research or community resources. People who live with schizophrenia can help remove stigmas or draw attention to problems such as discrimination.


ECT may be an option for some people. It may be used if other treatments do not work. During ECT, a small amount of electricity is sent to the brain. It may need to be done more than one time. The time between treatments depends on your needs. ECT can cause problems with memory for weeks to months.


Counseling therapies for schizophrenia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated March 1, 2019. Accessed August 14, 2019.

Holder SD, Wayhs A. Schizophrenia. Am Fam Physician. 2014;90(11):775-782.

Nonpharmacological interventions for patients with severe mental illness. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: . Updated July 22, 2019. Accessed August 14, 2019.

Schizophrenia. Mental Health America website. Available at: Accessed August 14, 2019.

Schizophrenia. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: Updated February 2016. Accessed August 14, 2019.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
  • Review Date: 12/2018
  • Update Date: 08/14/2019