Reintegration of Schizophrenia Diagnosed Patients in Social Environment through Art Therapy- A Pilot Study

  • Octavian VASILIU University Emergency Central Military Hospital “Dr. Carol Davila”, Psychiatry Department, Bucharest, Romania
Keywords: art-therapy, schizophrenia, atypical antipsychotics, social reintegration, social environment


Art-therapy is considered a somewhat controversial method of treatment in the field of psychotic disorders. While randomized trials with various comparators reported few if any benefits from this method in schizophrenia diagnosed patients, case reports are more enthusiastic in this regard. The main objective of this research was to construct a pilot study for a clinical trial focused on patients with schizophrenia, stabilized on pharmacological treatment, who intend to participate in a form of structured, 10-session, once a week, individual art-therapy. A group of 5 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia according to DSM IV TR criteria, stabilized on atypical antipsychotics, were included in an art-therapy program, with weekly individual sessions, focused on the relation between self and social environment. Themes like “meeting a school colleague”, “at the cinema”, “a dinner out”, “improve your neighborhood appeal” and “making new friends” were approached during the 10 weeks of the program. All art-therapy sessions included cognitive restructuring and role play, as augmentation strategies for the experiential processing of emotions. A 10-points visual analogic scale (VAS) recording overall patient satisfaction within social relationships was applied at each visit. Patients reported improvements on VAS with a mean of 35% after 10 weeks. The overall number of social contacts initiated by patients increased with 20% compared to baseline. Caregivers reported a better collaboration with the patients in the domain of daily chores and a decrease of expressed aggressiveness. In conclusion, art-therapy could be useful in improving psychotic stabilized patients’ frequency of interpersonal contacts, decreased aggressiveness and improved their involvement in daily activities.


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How to Cite
VASILIU, O. (2017). Reintegration of Schizophrenia Diagnosed Patients in Social Environment through Art Therapy- A Pilot Study. LUMEN Proceedings, 1, 931-942.