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Psychotherapy for Psychosis

Date: May 24, 2017 8:00 pm

Combining CBT and Psychodynamic Technique in the Successful Psychotherapy of a Chronic Paranoid Psychosis, Without Antipsychotic Medication

Time: 8:00 to 10:00 PM


Presenter: Michael Garrett, M.D.


The speaker will present a rationale for the psychotherapy of psychosis in which the first phase of treatment the therapist uses CBT techniques to encourage the patient to see the literal falsity of delusions, followed by a psychodynamic phase in which patient and therapist explore the figurative truth of the psychotic symptom(s).  This approach will be illustrated with an extended case example detailing the first 16 sessions of the weekly psychotherapy of a woman, who for two decades had paranoid delusions, ideas of reference, auditory hallucinations, and the belief that people could read her mind.  The presentation will include videotape segments from an interview with the patient in which she contrasts her treatment with medication with her successful treatment with psychotherapy.


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Dr. Garrett was formerly the Vice Chairman of Psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where he is currently Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of Psychotherapy Education. He is also on the faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education (IPE) affiliated with NYU Medical Center in New York City. He received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed his residency training in Psychiatry at Bronx Municipal Hospital Center. Most of Dr. Garrett’s professional career has been spent in the public psychiatry sector, first at North Central Bronx Hospital, where he became Associate Director of Psychiatry, and then Medical Director in 1995. In 1997 he became Deputy Director of Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital, where he was responsible for clinical services. In 2003 he moved to SUNY Downstate as Vice Chairman for Clinical Services. At present his time is evenly divided between patient care, supervision of psychotherapy, teaching, and clinical research. He has for many years had an interest in the difficulties clinicians encounter when trying to develop a relationship with psychotic individuals who have a fundamentally different view of reality than the clinician. He has a particular interest in combined psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral treatments of psychosis. His academic and research interests also include the voice hearing experience and the relationship between psychosis and ordinary mental processes. He has numerous publications.