Psychoeducation in Depression Therapy
Psychoeducation refers to the education offered to individuals with a mental health condition and their families to help empower them and deal with their condition in an optimal way.
It was originally conceived as a composite of numerous therapeutic elements within a complex family therapy intervention.
Although the principal goal of psychoeducation in mental health counseling is to provide accurate and reliable information, additional objectives include teaching patients self-management skills and making them more able to make informed decisions about their own management within the context of a collaborative working relationship with their clinical team.
Where possible, psychoeducational interventions are usually personalized, for example, by taking account of an individual’s unique pattern of illness, their risk factors for relapse and their current social circumstances.
Psychoeducation in Depression Treatment
Pharmacological treatment is considered indispensable to major depressive disorder. In spite of this, a significant number of patients do not respond adequately to treatment based only on medication, presenting high relapse and recurrence rates.
Psychosocial interventions, such as psychoeducation, have been increasingly recognized as an essential component in the treatment of depression, associated with pharmacological strategies. Psychoeducational interventions can be delivered in a number of ways. They can be provided to individual patients either one-to-one or within a group setting.
A range of media are used, including written, audio, video and interactive or online delivery and many interventions blend more than one delivery method to maximize the impact and retention of material.
Cinema therapy, often called “film therapy” or “movie therapy,” is a process where a therapist prescribes movies to help their patient explore their psyches.
With Cinema Therapy, the therapist might suggest a movie for a client to watch based on what the client is experiencing. Afterwards, they will discuss in session some aspect of the movie, such as a character’s action during a particular scene. The goal of this type of intervention is that the client will gain further insight into how to manage their challenges.
There are several mechanisms by which a therapist can provide psycho-educational interventions that can have a positive therapeutic effect. People suffering from a depressive illness can benefit most from sharing their experience, expertise and insights about their illness. In this way, the therapist and client can work together to develop not only an effective treatment plan, but a relapse prevention plan as well.
Relapse prevention plans include improved insight into personal triggers, better recognition of prodromal symptoms, lifestyle changes, reduced drug and alcohol use, regularity of routines, increased competence in self-management techniques and enhanced relationships with family members, caregivers and professionals.
Psychoeducation also operates within the framework of what might be considered a more medical view of depressive illness, where the biological as well as social and psychological aspects of the disorder are acknowledged and where the synergistic benefits of both medication and therapy are emphasized.