Psychoeducation is a specific form of education. It is aimed at helping persons with a mental illness or anyone with an interest in mental illness, to access the facts about a broad range of mental illnesses in a clear and concise manner. It is also a way of accessing and learning strategies to deal with mental illness and its effects.
Psychoeducation is not a treatment. It is designed to be part of an overall treatment plan. For example, knowledge of one's illness is crucial for individuals and their support network to be able to design their own relapse prevention plans and strategies.
Research has shown that the more a person is aware of their illness and how it affects their own lives and that of others, the more control that person has over their illness. This means that, with appropriate knowledge and techniques, episodes of mental illness occur less often and are usually less severe in intensity and duration.
No, psychoeducation has been around for a long time. It has remained consistently popular as a tool for families and carers to be able to make sense of what is happening to a person who is experiencing a mental illness and to help them to care for that person. It has often been used prior to, or in conjunction with, family therapy. It has been used less frequently in a formalised way as a tool for persons suffering mental illness although, many mental health professionals have used the concepts of psychoeducation in working with individual clients.
There are a number of ways to do this including:
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