Schizophrenia & Psychosis

Residential Treatment and Day Treatment for Adults with Schizophrenia or Psychosis

As one of the nation's top treatment centers for schizophrenia, Skyland Trail provides expert, evidence-based psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder in our mental health residential treatment and day treatment programs. Skyland Trail also specializes in treating adults with complex diagnoses such as depression with psychosis or bipolar disorder with psychosis.

Residential treatment is our most intensive level of care for schizophrenia treatment or psychosis treatment. Residential treatment often is the best next step for adults leaving a hospital or acute care facility.

Effective Medication Therapy for Schizophrenia and Psychosis

Our first priority is to identify an appropriate medication strategy to reduce the symptoms of psychosis, to control the hallucinations and/or delusions. Untreated psychosis negatively affects the brain and can lead to cognitive decline and loss of IQ. Medication is critical in preventing these losses in cognition.

But medication is only the first step. We then work to help clients manage their illness and develop skills they need to feel safe and healthy in the world.

Cognition and First Episode for Schizophrenia and Psychosis

Young adults with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or a mood disorder with psychosis likely will be a part of our cognition and first episode recovery community. Not a "one-size-fits-all" program, Skyland Trail matches each client with a specialized team of experts and a structured daily schedule of therapeutic activities to address the client's specific challenges and goals.

Our psychiatrists, therapists and counselors who lead the cognition and first episode community have the specialized skills needed to connect with young adults and get them talking. They help clients understand and reduce symptoms, express their thoughts and feelings in healthy ways, practice independent living skills (including medication adherence) and find effective ways to interact with peers and build relationships.

Through individual and group therapy sessions, clients work to take responsibility for their problems, learn new coping skills and develop greater confidence in moving toward adulthood. Many therapeutic goals are focused on family roles.

Understanding Psychosis

Psychosis is a symptom of several psychiatric illnesses. Learn more about how psychosis is diagnosed and treated.

Treatment of Schizophrenia and Psychosis with Cognitive Training

All Skyland Trail clients with psychosis participate in cognitive training. Cognitive training is a computer-based cognitive rehabilitation training program for adults with memory, processing speed, or executive planning deficits related to untreated mental illnesses.

Over time, untreated mental illnesses can lead to long-term cognitive impairment – a loss of thinking and processing skills including memory, attention, problem-solving ability, and intelligence. Thought disorders also can impact a person’s social cognition – or “people skills” – including the ability to read nonverbal social cues like facial expressions or body language, or to see a situation from another person’s point of view.

Until recently, experts thought this type of cognitive decline was irreversible in certain situations. Today, research shows that in concert with therapy and medications, brain training through cognitive enhancement therapy may be effective not only in stopping cognitive decline, but even in reversing it in some situations.

Results are especially promising when cognitive training is started early in the course of a person’s mental illness, making it particularly important for first episode psychosis and young adults who are newly diagnosed.

Cognitive training groups meet weekly in our computer lab and are supervised by a counselor. Counselors can customize settings for each client to maximize their engagement and benefit. As clients progress, the software adapts to their new skill level so that they are always at the right level to continue making improvements. Some clients may receive additional assignments as “homework” to complete on their own time.

Schizophrenia and Alcohol or Substance Use

For adults with a thought disorder like schizophrenia as well as an alcohol use, substance use, or addiction problem, Skyland Trail offers a dual diagnosis treatment program. Clients receive specialized psychiatric care focused on their psychosis, but also participate in one-on-one and group therapy focused on preventing relapse and maintaining sobriety.

Clients have access to 12-step programs on campus and in the community. And they receive unique education and support on how to manage both the symptoms of their thought disorder as well as the cravings and triggers of a substance use disorder.

It's not just about "giving things up." We focus on helping clients add meaning to their lives by cultivating new skills, interests and relationships. Our treatment team helps clients replace unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol or marijuana use with new strategies to stay healthy like hobbies, skill-based activities, creative expression, and social activities in the community. Our vocational services team helps prepare clients for and connect clients to purposeful activities like volunteering, continuing education, or employment.

Help for Young Adults Experiencing First Episode Psychosis

Most young adults with first episode psychosis (FEP) due to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or a mood disorder will begin in our psychiatric residential treatment program. They will live at the Rollins Campus or South Campus where they will have a private bedroom and bathroom and receive 24/7 nursing care.

Many clients come to Skyland Trail after a stay in a hospital or inpatient treatment facility for schizophrenia. The Skyland Trail campuses - full of windows, light, and views of trees and sky - offer a welcoming environment as our clients transition back to more independent living in the community.

Young adults with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder likely will be a part of our cognition and first episode (CAFE) recovery community and will participate in cognitive training.

One-on-one work with the primary counselor as well as with the residential treatment team will focus on improving activities of daily living (ADLs). Clients receive support to chart goals for hygiene routines like showering, brushing teeth, doing laundry, and keeping their living space clean and tidy.

Young adult clients may also benefit from family therapy at Skyland Trail. A young person with schizophrenia may have been in the role of "dependent" with other family members serving as caregivers. Family therapy may help families adjust those roles to help the young person transition to more independent living.

Treatment of Chronic Psychosis

Adults with schizophrenia ages 25 and older who admit to our residential treatment program for schizophrenia live at Rollins Campus or South Campus. In addition to 24/7 nursing support, they receive a private bedroom and bathroom. Clients are encouraged to participate in activities in the shared living areas and in community activities.

More mature adults with schizophrenia likely will participate in our social integration recovery community. This specialized group focuses on promoting independence and improving social relationships through one-on-one and group therapy as well as hands-on learning in the community.

A Holistic Approach to Wellness

Our clients can practice the skills introduced through counseling sessions as they participate in a structured schedule of social activities and art, music and horticultural therapy classes. Clients are encouraged to pursue purposeful activity, whether they are working toward going to school, getting a job, or finding a volunteer opportunity.