When a person is diagnosed with a mental illness, it’s normal for the client as well as his or her family members to have questions about it. Psychoeducation is the process where a trained professional provides information to the client and the people closest to him or her about a psychological condition. It is commonly used when a person has been diagnosed with one of the following:
- Anxiety Disorder
- Clinical Depression
- Eating Disorder
- Personality Disorder
Hearing that a loved one has been diagnosed with a psychological disorder can be distressing, and the goal of the therapist who is conducting a psychoeducation session is to help them accept the client’s diagnosis and answer any immediate questions they may have. When explaining the diagnosis to the client directly, a professional will need to consider the client’s ability to understand his or her diagnosis and treatment options. Great care needs to be taken not to overwhelm the client or his or her family members with too much information at once if their first response to the news is shock and/or denial.
Follow-up sessions may be scheduled where the client and family members receive information about the illness and the treatment options available. The client will learn about whether medication would be helpful and if referrals to other healthcare providers will be made to provide treatment. The ultimate goal of psychoeducation is to give the client the information he or she needs to live well with his or her psychological condition.