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On the last track we discussed three of five common negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The three negative symptoms that we discussed were apathy, incongruous emotional responses and reductions in speech.
On this track we will discuss the remaining two common negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The remaining two negative symptoms that we will examine are social withdrawal and reduced social performance. As with the last track, the focus of this track is to provide examples of negative symptoms and applicable techniques that schizophrenic clients can use to cope with or reduce those symptoms. While listening to this track, you might consider how to implement the techniques with your client.
Sympton #4 - Social Withdrawal
Gloria stated, “It’s so hard to look at people. Sometimes I get the feeling that if I don’t look at them, they lose their ability to know what I’m thinking.” Think of your client. Does he or she experience social withdrawal as a result of paranoid symptoms? If so, then perhaps the “Look at Me When You Talk” technique can benefit your client.
" Look at Me When You Talk" Technique, 4 Steps
--Step 1: First, I explained the importance of eye contact to Gloria. I stated, “Eye contact is part of how we communicate. It is almost as important as our words. It lets people know we are interested in what they are saying. Eye contact helps build trust, and that can be important in both work and social situations. Do you agree?” Gloria stated that she agreed, so I moved to the second step in the “Look at Me When You Talk” technique.
--Step 2: The second step was to talk with Gloria about what bothered her when she looked at someone. As I described earlier, Gloria’s uneasiness was the result of paranoid delusions that eye contact made it easier for others to read her thoughts.
--Step 4: In the fourth step, I began pointing out when Gloria didn’t make eye contact. I worked with Gloria to help her become aware of lapses in her eye contact.
Think of your Gloria. If your client began to feel comfortable around others in a social setting, could his or her symptoms decrease? Could the “Look at Me When You Talk” technique benefit your client?
However, I have found that some clients experience reduced social performance as a result of the way they feel. You are well aware that schizophrenia isn’t typified by self-confidence or feelings of well-being. Peter was no different. Peter, age 32, stated, “I didn’t used to dress like such a slob. Before I became ill, I had good hygiene and took care of myself. But now I feel like shit all the time because I hear this running commentary in my head about myself, what I’m thinking, even what I’m doing.”
Do you agree that when clients feel ill, they sometimes don’t dress well or take care of their hygiene? I stated to Peter, “Your hygiene and appearance might cause problems, because if you don’t look well, people might think something is wrong with you.” I gave Peter a list of things he could do to improve on his reduced social performance.
Peter's List to Improve his Reduced Social Performance
On this track we have discussed the remaining two common negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The remaining two negative symptoms that we examinee were social withdrawal and reduced social performance
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