Psycho-educational groups are a form of therapeutic intervention designed to teach patients about their disorder and help them learn how to manage the related symptoms, behaviors and consequences. The focus is often on a specific topic that affects the patients who participate, and the group is facilitated by a mental health professional who specializes in the treatment of that disorder.
Often, video and other lecture materials are used to enhance the experience for patients.
What Are the Benefits of Psycho-Educational Groups?
Psycho-educational groups can be effective for a number of different people involved in recovery – prior to fully investing in treatment, during treatment and after treatment. Psycho-educational groups can benefit:
- Those who are not yet ready to take on a comprehensive treatment program
- Family members who would like to learn more about the disorder that is negatively impacting their loved one
- Those who need more information about how to protect themselves from the issues associated with the disorder
- Those who would like to know more about the resources available in the community to help them heal
Can Psycho-Educational Groups Be Affective in Substance Abuse Treatment?
Psycho-educational groups are often used effectively in substance abuse treatment, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The goal is to provide patients with actionable tools and resources to implement when they feel tempted to relapse or face hardships in recovery. This happens by improving a patient’s:
- Ability to identify opportunities for improvement or growth
- Ability to identify positive resources in treatment and in the community
- Understanding of both addiction and recovery
- Confidence in their ability to better their lives and make good choices
Can Psycho-Educational Groups Bring About Positive Change When Co-Occurring Disorders Are Present?
According to the International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, psycho-educational groups are also effective in the treatment of those who are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. (i.e., those diagnosed with both eating disorders and a substance abuse issue). The goals of the substance-abuse-treatment-based psycho-educational group are amplified in this situation to include topics that affect someone who is struggling with disordered eating habits in addition to the temptation to use drugs in order to further weight loss or low weight maintenance. This can be an especially effective tool for patients who are not yet ready to commit to making long-term changes in their eating or drug use habits, especially when session topics focus on increasing awareness of the dangerous psychological, behavioral and medical consequences of avoiding treatment when a dual diagnosis is present.
How Can Psycho-Educational Groups Help Those Fighting an Eating Disorder?
Learning how to have a functional relationship with food can be difficult. It affects every aspect of life, and psycho-educational groups can provide a forum for addressing each one of these effects. Participants can deal with areas of difficulty including:
- Denial that eating behaviors are problematic
- Continued commitment to treatment and implementing newly learned behaviors on a daily basis
- Dealing with co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse, depression, anxiety and others
- Helping patients adjust their perspective and attitude toward living a healthy life when negative attitudes threaten progress
Will Psycho-Educational Groups Benefit Your Mental Health Treatment Plan?
Your progress and healing in substance abuse issues or co-occurring disorders can be augmented by the inclusion of psycho-educational groups. Creating a personalized treatment plan that includes a number of different traditional, holistic and alternative treatments is the best way to build toward a successful recovery. Contact us at Futures today for more information.