Valius Sruoga1, Alina Stigienė1
1Republican Vilnius Psychiatric Hospital, Vilnius, Lithuania
Introduction: Patients with chronic psychiatric disorders along with specific clinical symptoms have in common that they become egocentric, intolerant, full of fear, guilt and shame. They experience the feelings of uselessness, alienation; they lose faith and hope. These are the symptoms of their ailing souls and the cure is the faith (not in the religious sense of the word). It is necessary to revive and to restore their feeling of self-assurance and the faith in their selves as well as other people. The faith is not a single act, but the evolving process and its main feature is that you cannot to restore faith being in solitude, but only with other people and among them. One of the most effective methods, which prove itself in practice, is 12 steps program, used by patients with dependence disorders.
Methods: In the Center of Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy of Republican Vilnius Psychiatric Hospital patients with chronic psychiatric disorders were taught the faith in 12 steps program. 75 patients (45 women and 30 men) participated in this program. They gathered for group therapy once a week and were psychotherapeutically counseled individually. Results: The results for the 75 patients taking part in this program are: no patient had exacerbation of psychic state, which required hospitalization; several patients had mild exacerbation, but this was corrected in out-patient service; 40 patients were able to diminish the use of psychoactive medication by 1/3; there was enhancement of the cognitive functions and behavior; their faith and self-assurance have remarkably improved; they remain in families, keep working and studying.
Conclusions: The results of 5 years of work with chronically ill psychiatric patients using 12 steps program has proved, that this program deserves its place along with other psychiatric and psychotherapeutic forms of their treatment and rehabilitation.