Example Of Does Cognitive Therapy Provide Better Results In The Treatment Of Schizophrenia In Children? Research Proposal
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Does Cognitive Therapy Provide Better Results in the Treatment of Schizophrenia in Children?
I would like to research on the question “Does cognitive therapy provide better results in the treatment of schizophrenia in children?” I choose this topic because amidst various medications available for the treatment of schizophrenia, there is lack of information on the effective treatment strategies. While the cases of schizophrenia are increasing day by day, there is an extreme necessity for an efficient treatment that would help the children get rid of the symptoms and lead a normal childhood. In the recent past, the studies failed to determine the effectiveness of cognitive therapy in the treatment of schizophrenia, especially in children. Since the symptoms of the illness in the children are complex, it is essential to research on the possible solutions that would offer the best results.
With the continuously changing society, the changes in health have led to remarkable improvements in the way of identification of diseases. The prospect of disease prevention requires a clear understanding of the risk factors. Similarly, the process of treatment also involves a clear understanding of all the available options and the best option. After ruling out all possible options of treatment, cognitive therapy stands at the top in the list proving efficient results. While there is an extensive research on schizophrenia in general, there is no significant study of the illness in children due to the complexities and disparities involved in the diagnosis of the illness. My topic is of a great interest to me as it would provide the evidence to make informed decisions about the advantages and costs of cognitive therapy in the treatment of schizophrenic children.
Let me explain the major reason for choosing the topic “Does cognitive therapy provide better results in the treatment of schizophrenia in children?” I choose the topic to understand on three major issues, namely, schizophrenia, schizophrenia in children and cognitive therapy in the treatment of the illness. A research on the topic is valuable to the field of psychology, because, if the illness resolves at a very early age in children, it would help them pursue a good career in life. Cognitive behavioral therapy facilitates the treatment process, enhances adherence and provides schizophrenic children with tools for coping with symptoms while they struggle to find the medication regime that will enable them achieve and maintain full remission. Several studies from the United States, UK and Australia have proved the efficacy of cognitive therapy in the remission of delusions and hallucinations in children suffering from schizophrenia.
Moreover, the studies were able to justify that a maximum number of individuals suffering from of other mental illnesses benefit from cognitive therapy. The research is an attempt to take the studies further and develop a significant means of tackling with the challenges associated with the treatment of the illness. My research is important to the field of psychology as it is not detrimental to the society as it maintains all the ethical standards. The topic that I have selected is a current issue with no complete evidence of the methodology and epistemology of the subject. There is a great hope that cognitive behavioral therapy would help the schizophrenic children to overcome the illness.
I would like to take the research further and elaborate on the same to contribute my part to the field psychology. Hence, I would like to explore the whereabouts of the illness, along with strong evidence of why cognitive therapy is beneficial in children with complex symptoms of schizophrenia. I would also like to provide some basic facts on what Schizophrenia is all about and its incidence in children, along with the treatment of cognitive therapy. My research would be a step forward to increase the scope of the treatment options available for the illness as I would cover all the literature regarding schizophrenia in children and the role of cognitive therapy in providing efficient results in the treatment of the illness.
Schizophrenia is one of the chronic, severe mental illnesses characterized by withdrawal from reality, delusions, hallucinations and illogical patterns of thinking. While the positive symptoms of Schizophrenia include disorganization syndrome with catatonic behavior, negative symptoms include flat effect, which is lack of ability to show emotions, poverty in speech and lack of motivation or initiative . Social or occupational dysfunction is often present in children suffering from schizophrenia and refers to the failure of achieving the expected level of self-care, interpersonal or academic achievement. Schizophrenia in children is complex to diagnose for various reasons. Disorganized speech and behavior are common in non-psychotic children and may result in the diagnosis of schizophrenia when it is not the case.
Children’s conceptions of reality change over the course of normal development and many children believe in fantasy figures for a period of time, which is not Schizophrenia. A formal thought disorder which represents the form or manner in which the child presents his thoughts to the listener include illogical thinking, incoherence, echolalia, circumstantialities, vague speech, over elaborate speech, neologisms, thought blocking and many others . Hallucinations in children may be visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory or tactile, with auditory ones being the most common. The hallucinations occurring in Schizophrenia are different from those that appear while falling asleep or while waking up and appear to be rare in children younger than 6 years of age.
Command hallucinations are disturbing and lead to dangerous behaviors, such as suicide or homicide. There are sub groups of children within the schizophrenic spectrum who present complex developmental disorders and possible psychotic symptoms, such as multidimensional impairment, pervasive developmental disorders and multiplex developmental disorders. Delusions occur in children at an incidence of 36 to 94 percent . Cognitive psychotherapeutic techniques prove to demonstrate effective results in the treatment of schizophrenic children. Cognitive therapy is a non-drug therapy that works by helping the patient understand thoughts and beliefs that are irrational, bizarre or inappropriate . Distractive treatment and focusing treatment are a part of the cognitive therapy and aim to reduce the distress and disruption caused by auditory hallucinations. Cognitive therapy helps a schizophrenic child to cope up with the symptoms of the disease and deal with life stressors.
The therapy aims at improving the self-esteem, self-control and classroom behavior of disruptive children at school. It focuses on problem solving strategies, modeling, self-instruction, social skills training and covert imagery . The schizophrenic children undergoing the cognitive behavioral therapy learn how to recognize and understand feelings, make positive and effective choices, and keep the disorder from accumulating anger and violence . The therapy plays an important role in schizophrenic children suffering from social phobia, separation and generalized anxiety. It includes therapy for interpersonal difficulties, mindfulness training, and a therapeutic focus on intolerance of uncertainty. It emphasizes on education, skill building and application. In children, the cognitive therapy resolves difficulties in concentration and motivation, which may lead to poor academic performance .
Regardless of the child’s difficulties, each success with an exposure exercise in terms of cognitive therapy increases the child’s confidence and acts to empower the child as a reward. The therapists should use modeling techniques to allow the child witness and participate in different situations, try alternative ideas, and observe the outcomes. Although child-focused cognitive therapy techniques do not involve traditional family therapy strategies, the active involvement of the parents helps to understand what specific situations provoke the child and how the child typically reacts in such situations . The level of parental involvement in cognitive behavioral therapy varies from minimal, with the parents simply providing encouragement to more intensive, with the parents being target of specific aspects of intervention. It is the responsibility of the parents to recognize their own beliefs about the child’s schizophrenia and treatment, and develop objective ways to assess the benefits and drawbacks of the treatment.
Findling, R. L., & Schulz, S. C. (2011). Juvenile-Onset Schizophrenia: Assessment, Neurobiology, and Treatment. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.
Remschmidt, H. (2011). Schizophrenia in Children and Adolescents. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
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