Early Assessment and Support Alliance



Tips For Communication And Family Living

Most of the symptoms of psychosis have to do with perception and information processing. Psychosis directly affects a person’s ability to perceive, interpret and communicate information. Because of this, family members have to learn new communication skills.

A Few Key Tips:

  • Psychosis generally makes people much more sensitive to emotional tones and stimulation.
  • Be concrete and specific.
  • Be careful about word choice to avoid communicating judgment.
  • Provide consistent, sincere praise and positive feedback.
  • After you speak, give the person plenty of time to digest the information and respond.

Reflective Listening:

The steps in reflective listening with a person who has a psychosis:

  • Listen to what they’re saying. Look for elements of reality.
  • Ask clarifying questions only.
  • Give the person time to respond.
  • Give the person time to respond.
  • Begin to identify “common ground”- reality you can agree on, or a way of addressing the feelings the person is having.

Learning To Solve Problems:

  • Don’t put all your energy into problems.
  • When selecting where to focus, always prioritize safety and well-being.
  • Focus on only one problem at a time.
  • Articulate the problem in terms of the person or people who identified the problem, and no one else
  • It is helpful to do this process in a group.
  • Identify the problem in as behavioral, specific and concrete way as possible.
  • Think about similar situations in the past and what worked then.

Developing A Family Agreement:

  • There is a baseline of behavior with no exceptions
  • Supportive does not mean permissive.
  • Before a family meeting, make sure heads of household agree on baseline behavior and priority issues to address.
  • Choose no more than one to two key issues to address at a time.
  • Accept that your family member will not like the agreements.
  • Everyone’s needs should be addressed.