Suggested skills and attitude towards patients with psychosis

Caretakers and family’s care is helpful and essential towards the healing process of the patient.  However, there might be situations of difficult communication or negative emotions when caregiver’s concern is misinterpreted as anxiousness by the patient.

Sometimes, some family members tend to show negative emotions like frustration or anxiousness due to concern. We should be more aware of these emotions during communication and try to express these feelings in an alternative way. Communication is a form of art. Other than using language and actions to show your thoughts and feelings, effective communication also leads to a form of emotional exchange, resulting in a closer relationship between the caregiver and the patient.

The following are some common techniques and things to be aware of:

Attitude Action Example
Think and judge from a positive view point Focus on the patient’s talents and improvement, encourage him/her frequently O  ‘I really appreciate your courage and patience to accept this therapy’
O  ‘You really helped a lot with the housework, you are so considerate to your family!’
Replace judgments and comments with care and consideration Show care and support to patients, avoid judgment and harsh comments O  ‘You look a bit tired, is something bothering you?’
X  ‘I don’t like your attitude, you refuse to answer any questions!’
Use caring action and language effectively Show your concern and acceptance through language and action O  ‘You don’t look very happy, is something   wrong? Let’s go take a walk!’
O  ‘I wrote you a letter, read it when you have time!’
Listen patiently and encourage each other Listen to the patient before speaking, strive to understand his/her struggles and difficulties O  ‘Yes, I understand that these situations will make you frustrated’
X  ‘Stop complaining! You’ve been throwing a fit about your problems all afternoon.’
Strive to grow open-mindedly Learn more about the disease, avoid blaming the patient’s character for his/her actions O  ‘Maybe the medications is the cause of your drowsiness and lack of concentration.’
X  ‘Why are you not working? You are so lazy!’
Express yourself patiently and give him/her space to express themselves Repeat patiently when not understood, avoid talking when not in a good mood O  ‘Did you bring an umbrella?’ ‘Do you need an umbrella?’
O  ‘I understand that you are very angry, lets take a break and talk about it later?’
Be aware of your own expectations and standards Avoid over-estimations; be flexible about expectations to avoid unnecessary stress O  ‘If you are too tired to work, would you mind helping me with some housework?’
X  ‘You’ve been doing well in school all along, you can do better if you work harder!’
Be open and enthusiastic about communication Create conversations and open up chances for emotional connection and support, try to stay focus on one topic each time O  ‘I have a new colleague at work today, how about you?’
X  ‘My expectations are simple, first…….’