Psychosocial Treatment

angelagreyI’ve been receiving psychotherapy since I was twelve plus in and out of group therapy from the age of fifteen. So why is it now that I’m being prompted to add other psychosocial treatments to the mix. I know the response: to improve socialization. However, doesn’t class work count towards psychosocial therapy?

Psychosocial treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (changing negative thought patterns), family education, occupational therapy, group and family psychotherapy, and cognitive remediation. They are thought to help lessen schizophrenia symptoms, learn new skills, help in coping with the illness, prevent relapse, and achieve a connection with others.I already learn new skills from all the classes that I take. Regarding the compensatory learning strategies, I think the classes I’m in also aid in memory, planning, organizing, and concentration.  I think this blogging helps, too. It allows me an outlet to journal experiences each day. In that way, it will aid in preventing relapse by getting feedback from my family members in order to stay focused on being mentally healthy.

Soul Journeying Lesson

intro to shamanic journeyOne of the things about me is that I’m open to new therapies such as soul journeying. It is for purely meditative reasons and Friday night’s class was tremendously calming and provided the opportunity for self-awareness. Clear intention, in the form of a clear question, made the journey to inner wisdom and healing very focused. The facilitator warned that lacking a clear intent would result in the journey being fuzzy. I wanted to know how I could be of help to a loved one. Others made it a healing journey, interpretive, a journey to meet with an ancestor, connection with the natural world, or explorative. We then learned how to create and hold sacred space so others cannot as easily harm us. We did this by restoring individual power and health (balance and harmony) through intention (focus).

She started by telling us our style options for journeying: being on the outside looking in, walking with our helping spirit, or merging with our power animal. Flipping back and forth between styles was also an option to us. Next we were told that everything that was about to occur on our journey was an answer to our question or intention.

Then the instructor guided us through the three worlds (lower, upper, and middle). Each has a transition area such as a tunnel, clouds, or fog. The lower world can be accessed through visualizing entrance via a natural body such as a lake, stream, roots of a tree, etc. I used a lake that I knew well as a child as my access point. The upper world passage for me was via hot air balloon. I visualized that then ran into a cloud layer as my transition point. The middle world is our world and entry was via a fog mist as I left my front door. Each world has power animals or guardian spirits that teach or guide us, thereby helping us solve our real world problems. (Drums guided us between worlds and to start/stop points along the way)

I thought it was sort of like a visualization puzzle. The class assisted us in expanding our awareness, self discovery, healing, increased energy and allowed us to access our own individual spiritual guidance, Higher Power, which varied for all involved. All in all, it enlivened me and restored balance and completeness.

Overcoming Schizophrenia


Spiritual networking, movement exercises, and peer group work are some of ways that I’m handling my schizophrenia diagnosis. In addition to spirituality and resilience group therapy, and as well as qigong and yoga, I’ve also signed up for the following classes:

The Art of Centering

Beyond Aromatherapy

Nutrition and Cancer

Crystal Singing Bowl Sound Bath

Integrative Wellness

WarmFeet Intervention

Writing from the Body

Soul Journeying and Drum Circle

The nutrition classes aren’t just for me but my family as well. My daughter was diagnosed with MALT lymphoma a few years back and is undergoing immunotherapy maintenance (Rituximab). Centering and Journeying are more spiritual in nature and WarmFeet is because I am pre-diabetic. The sound and aromatherapy is simply peaceful and relaxing while the writing is therapeutic and helps with cognitive setbacks.  I’m often socially withdrawn because of my schizophrenia and medication side effects so these classes keep me communicating with others. The others in the groups all experience different illnesses or are caregivers to someone so it helps to know how others cope with unfortunate illness or life’s setbacks.

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