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Empathy in the Care of Individuals With Schizophrenia: A Vital Element of Treatment.

Authors
  • Ruffalo, Mark L1
  • Kottapalli, Manjula1
  • Anbukkarasu, Preethashree1
  • 1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando (all authors); Department of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston (Ruffalo).
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of psychotherapy
Publication Date
Dec 14, 2023
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1176/appi.psychotherapy.20230022
PMID: 38093661
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although therapist empathy has long been recognized as one of the most important ingredients of successful psychotherapy, its role in the treatment of schizophrenia has been neglected, relative to the treatment of other psychiatric disorders. In this article, the authors aimed to explore historical and modern conceptions of the use of empathy in work with patients with schizophrenia, review the research on empathy as applied generally in psychotherapy and as it pertains to this population, and offer a case study demonstrating empathy's instrumental role in the management of schizophrenia. Empathic understanding of patients with schizophrenia has relevance across treatment settings: in psychotherapy, on inpatient psychiatric units, in the emergency department, and at home with family or caregivers. An empathic understanding of the psychological process occurring in schizophrenia is a vital component of effective treatment.

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