Psycho Education

At the heart of psycho-education is the idea that learning about the issue at hand has a strong role to play in the emotional and behavioral change of an individual. People with disorders that they have to learn to live with like anxiety disorders, eating disorders, clinical depression, schizophrenia and personality disorders (to name a few) are educated in not only the cause and effect of their illness but how to successfully cope. Through knowledge comes empowerment to help the individual deal more effectively with the illness at hand. In addition to helping an individual function from a position of more awareness psycho-education also goes a long way in de-stigmatizing the psychological issue, which in turn helps in reducing the barriers to treatment. This stands for both the patient and, or their families.

Family members and the wider community can also undergo psych-education. A teacher with students that have behavioral issues can be a much more potent teacher with psycho-education to propel and guide his or her actions. Likewise a parent, family member or caregiver of someone with a diagnosis under the umbrella of psychological disorders will likely have more success going forward with this type of education. In understanding the nuances of the diagnosis they are dealing with, family members can respond with much more tact, empathy and ultimately effective care for the individual.

Psycho-education looks at creating awareness for the people themselves. I, for example, may believe I am anxious as a person however it will take someone better versed with anxiety related disorders to not only provide a diagnosis of a disorder but to give me a working framework of how to deal with this disorder. Being aware myself that I react in a certain way when I am anxious then shifts to how to cope with these feelings when there are specific types of triggers. The practitioner will help the individual become aware of what is going on and through education teach and empower them and provide an effective coping mechanism. As such all interactions with a therapist or counselor would involve some level of psycho-education. Counseling and therapy both individually and in a group setting, whether part of a curriculum or individually tailored to meet the person or groups needs all fall under the spectrum of psycho-education.

The process of psycho-education is an unobtrusive way of gaining insight into the way we operate whilst gathering more self-awareness. Individuals learn about their own vulnerabilities. In the TA scope a TA101 would be seen as an introduction to the concepts. It would however be a rigorous grounding in a TA learning group that would fit the parameters of psycho-education. You are aware that there are aspects for you that are not working and so you are drawn to the arena. Once there your TA education (or psycho-education in a TA framework) helps you unpack label and then move forward with more effective tools for how to function in life.

In a nutshell psycho-education is a powerful tool to managing a vast spectrum of disorders and coping breakdowns. The education of said diagnosis is what will help the individual to function in a successful way in their family, community, society and beyond.