Psychoeducation occurs when a person with a mental health or substance use disorder is educated about their condition. Through various methods, people with these disorders become more educated about their symptoms and other variables regarding their specific diagnoses.
Psychoeducation means much more than handing out informational booklets and telling people to read them. Each person learns differently, and psychoeducation for substance use disorder can make the difference between relapse and recovery. No program is considered complete without providing people with the tools to continue outside treatment.
Psychoeducation and other forms of therapy have been shown to help improve outcomes for people with substance use disorders. People must take the tools they learned in treatment and apply them in their daily lives. Psychoeducation acts as the bridge to connect the skills people built during treatment with their newfound life in recovery.
What Is Psychoeducation?
Psychoeducation means providing people with more information about their psychological, mental health, or substance use disorders. This information should help them understand their diagnosis better and reinforce the skills they have learned in treatment.
Psychoeducation for substance use disorders often focuses on topics people can use in their daily lives to control their emotions, interact better with others, and live healthier lives. They might include:
This includes learning about the physical hazards of substance abuse. Clients learn that just because they do not feel bad now does not mean they can view their use as harmless. They may also learn about the diseases they can contract through substance abuse, like HIV and hepatitis.
People may also learn about family conflicts and problems leading to substance abuse. Clients learn patterns they may have seen in their own family members growing up and how to prevent them from repeating in their own families.
In this type of psychoeducation, clients learn how to handle social situations related to their substance use disorder, repair damage to relationships, and how a relapse could jeopardize their employment or reputation in their workplace.
This includes learning about the facility’s treatments during therapy sessions and how they apply to the outside world. Clients also know what to expect in recovery, how to access services they may need after treatment, and skills training to help them stay sober.
Inevitably, people in recovery encounter cravings. How they handle these determines the success of their recovery. People learn about triggers for cravings, what to do when a craving hits, and what to do if they relapse.
Many people with substance use disorders have learned to associate substance use with having a good time or relaxing. In this type of psychotherapy, clients learn new ways to use their free time and how to separate having fun from using substances. Overall benefitting the healing process.
This includes clients learning to handle their new identity as people in recovery or who do not use substances. They may face many challenges, including people who do not trust this new lifestyle, so psychoeducation teaches them how to handle these situations.
How Do We Teach Psychoeducation?
Psychoeducation is a broad term, and all people learn in different ways. Therapists can use it during almost any type of therapy, individual or group. Research shows that psychoeducational groups could motivate people with substance use disorders to change their behavior.
Psychoeducation might look different depending upon the setting, such as:
Some of these activities teach a specific skill. Others teach broader ideas, like focusing on a future in recovery instead of dwelling on past mistakes or how to celebrate new small victories.
Psychoeducation at Everlast
Psychoeducation finds its way into all of our activities and evidence-based therapy at Everlast Recovery Centers. To provide people with the best chance at successful recovery and quality of life, we offer them as many tools as possible to take out into the world once they leave our care. These lessons can occur during any of our programs, including:
Everyone in our program at Everlast has a right to education about the substance use or mental health disorder they might have. They also deserve all the tools we can give them to help them in their recovery.
Everlast is committed to teaching our clients the skills and tools necessary to thrive in their recovery after treatment. Each of the specific skills we teach helps to build a whole, healthy life and a client ready to face the world.