"Maybe He Was in Love With You?": How to Talk With People in Psychosis

May-May Meijer; Femke Meijer


Schizophr Bull. 2020;46(1):6-8. 

In This Article


What puzzles us is that a psychologist taught cognitive behavioral therapy to May-May. However, psychiatrists and nurses hardly apply this technique themselves. In general, they use more of an interrogative, questioning approach. This makes people suffering from psychosis feel suspicious, alone, and not wanting to share their experiences. We are both convinced that a caring and cognitive behavioral approach helps people suffering from psychosis enormously. It makes them feel not alone with the horrors in their head, and it contributes, together with medicines, to get them back into reality. In addition, we assume that, if trust is there and patients are taken seriously when they talk about the side effects of the medication, they will also be more open to learning about their psychological vulnerability and will be more likely to take medications.

Another element put forward in this article is the importance of discussing openly with the patient their symptoms of illness and how this illness can affect their behavior. Such as the psychiatrist who explained that the lack of sadness when reading about terror attacks was caused by mania. Most important, however, is to show that you care about the person who suffers from a psychosis and to treat her/him on an equal footing.