The Crucial Role of Psychotherapy in Treating SPMI Adults: Creating New Narratives 

Marilyn Ghezzi_photoThis workshop emphasizes the crucial role of psychotherapy in the effective treatment of adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses (in the wake of recent policy changes to the contrary). Clients with SPMIs often view themselves as “failures” and to blame for their illness; and medical discourse is rife with pejorative terms, such as “resistance,” “non-compliance,” and “lack of insight.” This workshop focuses on strategies to help clients relinquish harmful frameworks and create new narratives of recovery and meaning that emphasize their own self worth. Marilyn Ghezzi explores central themes that arise with SPMI populations, including the effects of loss, stigma, challenges in employment and relationships, and crises of identity, as well as how to discuss medication. Throughout her presentation, Marilyn Ghezzi supplies illustrative examples from her extensive work with this population.

Marilyn Ghezzi, MSW, LCSW is on the faculty of the UNC-CH School of Social Work, working as a field advisor and clinical lecturer. She has more than 25 years of experience in community mental health in a variety of roles, including as hospital liaison, psychotherapist, community support supervisor, and clinical supervisor.