Psychoeducation refers to the education offered to people with a mental health condition. Frequently psychoeducational training involves clients with psychological illnesses which may include trauma,  clinical depression, anxiety disorders, psychotic illnesses, eating disorders, and personality disorders. Additionally, this training often includes groups with individuals facing the psychological, spiritual, and/ or physical illness, or a  family training courses in the context of treatment for the presenting illness.

The goal of psychoeducation is helping the client and/ or family members  to understand and be better able to deal with the presented illness.  Also, the client’s own strengths, resources and coping skills are reinforced, in order to understand that relapse is a part of their recovery, and contributes to their own health and wellness on a long-term basis. The theory is, with better knowledge the client has of their illness, the better the client can live with their condition.

Since it is often difficult for the patient and their family members to accept the patient’s diagnosis, psychoeducation also has the function of contributing to the destigmatization of psychological disturbances and to diminish barriers to treatment. Through an improved view of the causes and the effects of the illness, psychoeducation frequently broadens the patient’s view of their illness and this increased understanding can positively affect the patient. The relapse risk is in this way lowered; patients and family members, who are more well-informed about the disease, feel less helpless. Important elements in psychoeducation are:
◾Information transfer (symptomatology of the disturbance, causes, treatment concepts, etc.)
◾Emotional discharge (understanding to promote, exchange of experiences with others concerning, contacts, etc.)
◾Support of a medication or psychotherapeutic treatment, as cooperation is promoted between the mental health professional and patient (compliance, adherence).
◾Assistance to self-help (e.g. training, as crisis situations are promptly recognized and what steps should be taken to be able to help the patient).

Psychoeducation in behavior therapy has its origin in the patient’s relearning of emotional and social skills. In the last few years increasingly systematic group programs have been developed, in order to make the knowledge more understandable to patients and their families.

Single, Family and Group Psychoeducation

Psychoeducation can take place in one-on-one discussion or in groups and by any qualified health educator as well as health professionals such as nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists and physicians. The purpose of Family psychoeducation are:

* A clinical approach, with patient outcomes as its primary focus (eg., reduced hospitalization) and family-member well-being as an intermediary or secondary goal.

* Created and led by mental health professionals.

* Usually offered as part of an overall clinical treatment plan for the ill individual (eg., person has to be in treatment for family to take part).

* A group lasts twelve months to three years; groups are usually diagnosis-specific.

* Considered by many to have enough scientific evidence behind it for the primary goals that it is an “evidence based practice.”

* Has not been widely available to family members due to dissemination and adoption obstacles on numerous levels.

In the groups, several patients are informed about their illnesses at once. Also, exchanges of experience between the concerned patients and mutual support play a role in the healing process.


Source: Psychoeducation from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia