Treating Schizophrenia


Ziv's Mental Health Center held a seminar on the topic of schizophrenia, attended by an audience of 200 professionals.
Approximately 200 professionals country-wide, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, doctors, nurses and care-providers from different fields of care giving and from facilities such as, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and non-profit organizations participated in the Seminar

Deputy Director, Dr. Calin Shapira
and Head Psychologist, Chana Manne opened the seminar and were followed by lectures and discussions. Bruria Shifron, a senior psychologist in Ziv's Adult Day Hospitalization Unit presented Ziv's therapeutic art studio, a unique model for treatment of schizophrenics. Research conducted by the studios therapists indicate that about 88% of the patients who received treatment in the studio were able to avoid recurring hospitalization.

Clinical psychologist Einat Shafrir-Yitach, together with art therapist Reut Barnea explained the process of treatment in the studio, its different features and range of possibilities for the patients to express themselves by means of art.

Guest speaker, Prof. Gabi Shefler, Head Psychologist at the Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem and Director of the Freud Center for Psycho-analytical Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, spoke about the value of research in planning psychotherapy in general and for schizophrenic patients in particular.
During the seminar, the audience viewed a play based on poems written by Nahir Libi while hospitalized in a closed psychiatric ward, diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The play was an eye opener for the professionals who experienced a deep and moving opportunity to see the illness as expressed from the other side of the fence.
Dr. Lidia Izakson, Head of the Adult Psychiatry Department delivered the closing remarks of the Seminar. "Treating schizophrenia is central to our work in the Department. One percent of the population suffers from schizophrenia and therefore, naturally this illness occupies much of the focus of the staff in psychiatric frameworks. During this seminar different approaches to treatment, at the different stages of the illness were presented and discussed, from the hospitalization stage through rehabilitation".

The difficulty of dealing with schizophrenia is that it overpowers the person suffering from the illness. They display strange behavior, illogical modes of thought, delusions and paranoia which are difficult to understand. These modes of behavior make it difficult for the patient and their surroundings to lead routine lives. Schizophrenic patients lose, in varying degrees, their connection to reality and live in a different, threatening and incomprehensible reality.

In the picture (l to r): Ms. Chana Manne, Prof. Gabi Shefler, Dr. Calin Shapira, Dr. Lidia Izakson.