Cognitive-behavioural assessment and treatment of maladaptive help-seeking behaviour in a patient with schizophrenia

Gus Norris*, Roy Laube

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Maladaptive help-seeking behaviour in psychiatric patients is a significant problem for public mental health services, yet it is not addressed in the mainstream literature. We present a report on the successful treatment of a person with schizophrenia who displayed this common dilemma for patients and clinicians. Clinical picture: A 31-year-old man with borderline intellectual functioning had a 10-year history of schizophrenia marked by negative features. He frequently presented in crisis to public mental health services, the local hospital, and his general practitioner; this resulted in excessive use of services, including admissions. Treatment: The patient was reassessed from a cognitive-behavioural perspective rather than a syndromal perspective. Specific behaviours were modified, cognitions were identified, challenged and restructured, and other service providers were provided with an alternative to admission or acute community care. Outcome: At 24 months the maladaptive behaviour remains in remission. Conclusions: Behavioural problems in persons with chronic schizophrenia may be effectively treated by reconceptualising the behaviour as distinct from the major diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-691
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive-behaviour therapy
  • Help seeking
  • Schizophrenia


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