From the research I have conducted and the health professionals I have
talked to it appears that there is no contest between Cognitive
Behavioral Therapy vs Anti-Psychotic medications. They all seem to
agree that medication is not only better but in the majority of times
required in order to treat schizophrenia.
"...medication is almost always necessary in the treatment of schizophrenia..."
"Antipsychotic drugs are the best treatment now available, but they do
not ?cure? schizophrenia or ensure that there will be no further
psychotic episodes. "
"It has been shown, however, that psychotherapy alone is not an
"The large majority of people with schizophrenia show substantial
improvement when treated with antipsychotic drugs."
"American Psychiatric Association's Guideline For The Treatment Of
Patients With Schizophrenia states: "antipsychotic medications are
indicated for nearly all acute psychotic episodes in patients with
schizophrenia." In addition to antipsychotic medications, some
patients also take anti-depressants or mood-stabilizers to help
control related symptoms."
While medication is necessary in treating schizophrenia it is often
not enough. When combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy a much
stronger treatment is formed.
"CBT has emerged as an effective adjuvant to antipsychotic medication
in the treatment of schizophrenia. It should be considered as a
component of a comprehensive treatment package. As it is an
intervention that focuses on distress, beliefs and understanding of
the symptoms it may be of more value if offered very early in the
illness. It can be cost-effectively delivered in the inpatient or
"In the case of therapy, some research has shown that psychotherapy
and medication can be more effective than medication alone (however,
the same study noted that psycotherapy alone was NOT a substitute for
medication). The three main types of psychosocial therapy are:
behavioral therapy (focuses on current behaviors) cognitive therapy
(focuses on thoughts and thinking patterns) and interpersonal therapy
(focuses on current relationships). For schizophrenia,
cognitive-behavioral therapy has shown the most promise in conjunction
CBT is also being shown to be an option for those with a resistance to
"Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in treating negative as
well as positive symptoms in schizophrenia resistant to standard
antipsychotic drugs, with its efficacy sustained over 9 months of
"Probably the most likely long-term effect is that schizophrenia will
be treated with a combination of antipsychotic medication and a
variety of psychosocial interventions targeted at supporting families,
and improving the social functioning of those with schizophrenia."
In conclusion, anti-psychotic medications are still considered to be
the most effective treatment for those dealing with schizophrenia.
CBT is emerging though as a good compliment to the treatment and in
the case where medication is not a viable option it does provide the
patient with some help.
If you have any questions or need anything cleared up, please request
a clarification before rating my answer and I will be more then happy