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What Is Psychoeducation and 5 Examples

June 10, 2024
Written By: Hero Journey Club

Psychoeducation is a key aspect of many forms of therapy — both in a group and one-on-one. The main goal of psychoeducation is to help you understand your mind better and equip you to navigate the complexities of a specific mental health diagnosis. It’s helpful, it’s empowering, and it’s a worthwhile investment into your long-term mental wellness.

Below, we’ll go in-depth on psychoeducation and provide some real-world examples of what to expect from it.

What Is Psychoeducation?

We can use the term psychoeducation for anything a therapist or other professional does to teach a client or the members of their support system about mental health. This can include learning coping skills, coming to a deeper understanding of certain conditions or symptoms, or even practicing self-acceptance and self-affirmation.

How Does Psychoeducation Aim To Help?

Psychoeducation does all of the following to improve your quality of life:

  • Provide mental health insight
  • Help with recognizing and managing symptoms
  • Help with problem-solving and crisis management
  • Develop a variety of helpful skills
  • Reduce stress for yourself and family members
  • Prevent relapses

Provide Mental Illness Insight

Psychoeducational interventions aim to give you a deeper understanding of your well-being and equip you with coping strategies that will help you stay strong. A psychoeducational approach may also give you information about a condition you deal with, whether that be depression, a personality disorder, an anxiety disorder, or otherwise.

Recognize and Manage Symptoms

In addition, psychoeducation helps you improve your overall well-being by identifying the symptoms of your mental health condition and helping you prepare to manage them. A mental health professional might also use psychoeducation as an opportunity to explain your symptoms to parents, caregivers, and other members of your support system — this is sometimes called family psychoeducation.

Promote Problem-Solving Skills and Crisis Management

Psychoeducation programs can also better prepare you for a potential crisis. This form of skills training equips you with the resources you need to stay healthy and safe if your symptoms flare up. This aspect of psychoeducation might include filling out a safety plan, which provides you with crisis numbers, designates your primary support people, and gives you a set of coping skills to rely on.

Develop Assertiveness and Communication Skills

Another important component of supportive services and psychotherapy is assertiveness training, which helps you become your own biggest advocate. Teaching assertiveness may involve equipping you to speak up when you need help or feel disrespected, helping you set healthy boundaries and more.

Reduce Individual and Family Stress

Mental health disorders can be stressful to manage — both for yourself and for loved ones. Psychoeducation group sessions can help your family learn how to better support you throughout your treatment process, taking the burden of explaining your condition to your family off of your shoulders.

Prevent Relapse

If substance use is one of your reasons for seeking help from a therapist, they might give you a set of relapse prevention measures to implement into your daily life. These might include designating a support person, keeping doors unlocked or open inside your home, and keeping triggering substances out of the private areas where you live — and out of the house entirely, if possible.

How Is Psychoeducation Used in Supportive Contexts?

Below are a few more specific examples of the use of different types of psychoeducation. It’s worth noting that psychoeducation usually goes hand-in-hand with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), an evidence-based form of treatment for both individuals and groups.

1. Emotional Regulation

Psychoeducation can help you learn how to recognize and regulate difficult emotions, teaching you coping skills, communication skills, and other measures that you need for an emotionally healthy life. Role-playing, storytelling, and creative expression can all be parts of the emotional regulation aspect of individual or group psychoeducation.

2. Social Skills

One of the key elements of group therapy or other types of group support in any form is building relationships and learning how to better get along with others. A group session often involves multiple opportunities to support, listen to, and advocate for other members of the group, which can build your overall social skills in a noticeable way.

3. Self-Awareness

Psychoeducation can also help you understand yourself better and have more compassion for yourself and others. The exercises and activities used in psychoeducation often encourage you to examine and reflect on your actions and feelings, which can make you a more balanced, kind, and healthy person over time.

4. Relationships

A therapist can help you navigate the twists and turns of relationships with friends, family, and others in your life. During psychoeducation, you’ll learn how your condition affects the way you relate to others, as well as steps you can take to build healthier relationships as you learn to manage your symptoms.

Psychoeducation is also often a part of family therapy. In this context, it’s used to help family members connect, learn to understand and support each other and let go of past hurts. Psychoeducation can also strengthen family relationships by giving your loved ones helpful information about your diagnosis and teaching them how to be there for you. 

5. Dealing with Change or Setbacks

Everyone can benefit from becoming more resilient and learning how to respond to change. Dealing with a mental health condition often has its ups and downs, and extra resilience and adaptability can make all the difference when things get difficult. 

Psychoeducation can help you learn how to handle change and adapt when life throws a curveball at you. Working with a professional therapist, you’ll learn to expect surprises along the way in your mental health journey and figure out how to calmly and compassionately respond to them.

Hero Journey Club: Making Psychoeducation Fun With Therapeutic Video Games

Hero Journey Club takes a one-of-a-kind approach to psychoeducation by teaching you new mental health skills within fun, therapeutic video games. With weekly groups that meet inside games like Minecraft, Animal Crossing, and Stardew Valley, you can play behind the scenes as each session takes place.

As you play, you’ll gain helpful knowledge from others’ perspectives and experiences — and get a chance to share what you’ve learned on your own journey. Meanwhile, every group is facilitated by a Masters or Doctoral-level professional, who can offer helpful guidance. In addition, you never have to speak up if you don’t want to. We always leave room to just listen and take it all in. 

With HJC, psychoeducation is fun, rewarding, and relational. It’s something you can look forward to all week rather than another task to check off your list.

Research and Early Results of Video Game Therapeutics

Our model is backed by over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles that support the positive impact of a gaming-centered community on mental health and overall wellness. In addition, HJC members report that their experiences in groups have been truly life-changing:

  • 96% of members reported feeling better after a session
  • 94% said they made some of their deepest connections through HJC
  • 70% made measurable improvement based on clinical measures

These results are part of our ongoing exploration of the incredible benefits of video game therapeutics. There’s plenty more research to be done on the subject, but we’re already seeing the tide shift; people are beginning to recognize that games aren’t the problem — loneliness, isolation, and untreated mental health conditions are. 

Is Hero Journey Club Right for Me?

Hero Journey Club was created to be accommodating, inclusive, and welcoming to all. No matter what your diagnosis is, what your life looks like at the moment, or what role gaming currently plays in your life, there’s a space for you here. 

Consider adding a weekly group into your schedule if you need a safe place to process, learn, grow, and build relationships with others. During your onboarding process, we’ll match you with like-minded folks who you can relate to, connect with, and cheer on as you take the journey together. 

In addition, Hero Journey Club is a perfect fit for you if you’re looking for ongoing support throughout the rest of the week. We create a private space for HJC members to check in on each other, play games, and get to know each other better, which is completely exclusive to you and your group. That space is yours to enjoy whenever you need it.

The Takeaway

Psychoeducation can be a key part of your overall mental health care plan, putting valuable tools in your toolbox as you get to know yourself better. We always recommend supplementing ongoing therapy with a form of psychoeducation like Hero Journey Club, which makes the experience more fun and rewarding than ever. 

Sign up for HJC today to get started!

Sources: 

Clinical Practice Guidelines for Psychoeducation in Psychiatric Disorders General Principles of Psychoeducation | PMC

Mental disorders | WHO

Cognitive behavioral therapy | Mayo Clinic

Efficacy of transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral therapy for assertiveness: A randomized controlled trial | PMC