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   Life Needs

Finding a Therapist

It is very difficult to find a good and suitable therapist for schizophrenia.  There are few therapists who have substantial experience helping people with schizophrenia, and whose orientation is not primarily medication. That being said, listed below are web sites on which you can locate therapists. Several of the sites require the listed therapists to subscribe to a particular set of principles, and some permit a search for therapists who list schizophrenia as an area of practice. In choosing a therapist, it is important to ask questions and find someone who feels right for your situation.

 

MindFreedom, an organization of groups and individuals who advocate for rights of individuals labeled with psychiatric disabilities,  and lists on their site only therapists who agree with their very strong set of principles: 

MindPRINCIPLES: Our practitioners, groups, and agencies...

  • Do not tell people that they suffer from ‘irreversible genetic and biochemical abnormalities.’ Instead, our providers believe that recovery, growth, and change are extremely probable, especially given the right conditions.

  • Never pressure people into taking psychiatric drugs or into getting off them.

  • Give people complete information about the risks and benefits of psychiatric drugs as well as the risks and benefits of alternative modalities.

  • Respect people’s decision to discontinue using psychiatric drugs. If within a provider's scope of practice, a provider will help titration off psychiatric drugs safely. If not with a provider's scope of practice, a provider will proactively seek practitioners to aid in this process.

  • Do not use psychiatric drugs as the primary treatment modality.

  • Do not use psychiatric diagnosis as the primary way of understanding and relating to people.

  • Are willing to have a collaborative dialogue about any diagnosis.

  • Recognize and uphold the rights of people to conduct their lives free from coercive treatments.

There is no systematic way to search for those who provide therapy regarding schizophrenia, and few therapists listed specify such service, but given the group’s focus, it probably is reasonable to assume that most of the listed therapists service individuals labeled schizophrenia. The only systematic search is for location.   

 

Goodtherapy.org provides a set of principles, and permits a systematic search for therapists who provide therapy for schizophrenia. The site provides that “only therapists and counselors who strive to adhere to the Elements of Good Therapy and who describe their therapy and counseling as empowering, non-pathologizing, and collaborative are allowed to be listed in the GoodTherapy.org therapist directory. We believe that given a choice, people would rather search a directory of therapists who are non-pathologizing and collaborative, than to search the alternative.” 

 

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a nationwide network of mental health professionals dedicated to providing in-office mental health care—at a steeply reduced rate—to individuals, couples, children, and families in need.” In-office or online video mental health care is provided for $30 to $50 a session. While not specifying schizophrenia, a search can be made for those who provide therapy for psychosis.

 

At the All Therapist site, schizophrenia can be used as a search word to find therapists who provide services for schizophrenia. That search yielded very few therapists, however. Therapists are listed in a limited number of states.

 

Lifescript permits a search for therapists by Symptoms/conditions, of which schizophrenia is one listed. While there are many criteria available to conduct a robust search, the site is not easy to navigate. 

 

Zocdoc is easy to use, but there is no systematic way to find a therapist who treats schizophrenia, and only certain areas of the country are covered. The information about the therapists is more extensive than most of the other sites, ratings are given, insurance information, including medicare and Medicaid, is given, and location. Plus, it is the only search site where appointments can be scheduled on line. The information given is very helpful in finding appropriate candidates to interview.

 

Psychology Today provides an extensive list of therapists, but there is no systematic way to find one who provides service to one diagnosed with schizophrenia.

 

On its web site, The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) lists some places and people offering help.

 

Safe Harbor focuses on alternative mental health, and has directories of practioners and organizations

 

The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery has a directory for peer facilitators.

A facilitator must follow the Center’s principles:

  • honor the participants.

  • accept them as they are and as unique, special individuals.

  • remind them that there are “no-limits” to anyone’s recovery.

  • give them a sense hope.

  • validate their experiences.

  • treat them with dignity, compassion, respect and unconditional high regard.

  • give each person choices and options, not final answers.

  • support the concept that each person is the expert on themselves.

 

Mad in America also features a guide to different services.