Get rid of negative.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects a person’s ability to think, manage their emotion, and interact with others. It manifests with various symptoms. The symptoms are either negative or positive.
Positive symptoms don’t mean they are right. It means that the person is showing signs of hallucinations and delusion. These symptoms are a sign of abnormal thoughts, feelings, and behaviour which don’t show on a typical day. Therefore, positive traits add actions, ideas, and attitudes that are generally not there.
Negative symptoms mean that it takes away normal behaviour, thought, or feeling. Therefore, the person will be unable to show emotions, shows indifference, and withdrawal from social settings.
Social Skills Training
Social skills training is a program that entails using behavioural techniques and interpersonal communication skills to enable people who have schizophrenia to live independently in society and function well in their respective communities.
The main features of the social skills training involve the following steps:
1. Problem identification
This step helps the person suffering from schizophrenia to identify the main problems that can hinder the achievement of personal goals in life.
2. Goal setting
Goal setting is the use of short-term and long-term approximations of desired achievements within a stipulated period. The desired performance is the acquisition of individual-specific social, behavioural goals.
Here, the patients will try and demonstrate specific cues that will help them in their interpersonal communication with others in the community. The behavioural cues include verbal, non-verbal, and para-linguistic views.
4. Positive feedback and corrective feedback
After the patients have done their role-play, feedback is given. Positive feedback is given when good and corrective feedback is given on areas that require improvement.
5. Social modelling
Social modelling is presented through a demonstration of how the interpersonal behavioural communication of the patients should be. The display is done by the therapist or the patients’ peers as they observe.
6. Behavioural practice
The patients do continuous revision and exercise the behavioural skills required to the points where it is good enough for them to blend into society comfortably.
7. Positive reinforcement
For behaviour that is as stipulated by the training, the patient gets treated. Positive reinforcement encourages patients to keep going in their good practices.
8. Homework assignments
The patient is given activities to go and put into practice in real-life.
What’s the importance of social skills training?
Strengthening a person with schizophrenia’s social skills can go a long way in compensating for deficits such as poor reaction to stressful events, impaired perception, poor social adjustment, among others.
Using social skills training can be a method of protecting the patient from stress and vulnerability, which can be triggers for psychotic episodes. Not only does the social skills training help protect the patient from stress but also equips the patient’s resilience and problem-solving skills that they can use in his or her daily life.
When people develop schizophrenia, most of them show a deficiency in social skills. The inability to show emotion and withdrawal from social settings can be combated through social skills training.