Benefits of Psychoeducational Group Sessions
Discover the benefits of attending a psychoeducational group and what the sessions entail in this comprehensive article.
What Is a Psychoeducational Group?
Psychoeducational groups educate people about physical and mental health conditions, substance abuse, signs and symptoms, consequences, and treatment options. These psychoeducational groups are led by mental health professionals who provide structured, group-specific content through handouts, videos, books, guest speakers, and lectures.
The primary goal of a psychoeducational group is to educate individuals about their condition and provide healthy coping mechanisms to improve their quality of life. Further, these groups expand awareness about behavioral, medical, and psychological consequences of substance abuse and mental health conditions as well as motivate people through each stage of recovery. Each group is guided by a trained therapist who sets goals to help monitor and assess each individual's progress.
Types of Psychoeducational Groups
There are various psychoeducational approaches based on the needs of the people involved. These psychoeducational group examples can vary between:
What Is a Major Benefit of Group Therapy?
There are various benefits of group therapy, with each of the psychoeducational group types having specific group therapy advantages. Nonetheless, a major benefit of group therapy lies in the support system. Group therapy provides a safe space for people to share and connect with others in similar situations, creating a special bond that can strengthen trust, self-awareness, and willingness to work toward recovery.
Characteristics of Psychoeducational Group Therapy
Psychoeducational groups help establish and maintain abstinence and guide people to make more effective choices. Psychoeducational group therapy focuses on developing each individual's thoughts, feelings, and behavioral skills. A leader must provide factual information and help group members adopt the knowledge. Characteristics of psychoeducational group therapy will be detailed below.
Listening and Evaluating Each Other's Speech
This is an essential feature of psychoeducational groups. Evaluation helps members learn to listen closely (a critical aspect of effective communication) and critically evaluate each individual's position on a particular issue.
Collective Identity of a Group
The group must share a common goal, and the members must be able to identify with each other. Each psychoeducational group therapy session is characterized by understanding and working together as a team, allowing them to develop trust in their ability to achieve their goals.
Modeling, Guiding, and Providing Rewards or Penalties to Other Group Members
The group leader is saddled with the responsibility of modeling the desired behavior of each group member. When a group member is unwilling or has done excellently well, the therapist or moderator in charge should provide mild penalties or rewards.
Constant Interaction Between Group Members
One major characteristic of group therapy is that group members must constantly interact. The therapist is vital in promoting healthy interactions by limiting interference and encouraging others to talk about themselves.
Norms for Effective Interaction With the Group Members
A few guidelines that keep psychoeducational activities in check include listening to members with an open mind, not interrupting others, and taking turns speaking and listening.
Benefits of Psychoeducational Group Sessions
There are several benefits of psychoeducational group sessions, which will be discussed further below.
Reduces Relapse Rate and/or Improves Rehabilitation Rate
A psychoeducational group can help maintain progress and prevent relapse or a need for further treatment. This goal is achieved when individuals are properly educated about triggers and the best possible ways to avoid cravings.
One study examining patients with depression found significantly greater remission outcomes in psychoeducational therapy compared to treatment as usual (TAU). After three months, 34.45% of patients in the psychoeducational group achieved remission compared to 18.75% in the TAU group. After six- and nine-month follow-ups, 40.34% of the psychoeducational group and 26.79% of the TAU group achieved remission.1
Provides Positive Support Systems
Support systems are essential for the growth and benefits of a psychoeducational group. While being educated, people in each psychoeducational group can help motivate and reinforce helpful behavior in each member.
Significantly Decreases the Burden and Distress of Families
Another benefit of group therapy is that it provides families with valuable information and healthy coping mechanisms. This can generally reduce the stress, grief, or pain felt by family members.
Gives Exposure to New Behaviors, Thoughts, and Beliefs
The group members can cope in a healthy manner by talking and sharing experiences. Those who attend these sessions gain the benefits of group therapy and learn how to manage their conditions better by being exposed to a broader perspective. They often become more assertive, social, confident, and generally independent.
Improves Problem-Solving Abilities
A psychoeducational group provides a supportive, non-judgmental setting to discuss problems and difficulties. Through this process, each individual learns about critical analysis and the best ways to address issues.
The group sessions are designed to push each member forward in life. After every psychoeducational session, each person is equipped with enough information to make progress and better life choices.
Encourages a Positive Attitude Toward Medication
In group therapy, patients have the opportunity to talk openly about their medication in a positive setting and gain valuable information regarding various medicines and how to take medications properly.
Provides a Sounding Board
Another group therapy advantage is that it provides an environment where individuals can share ideas before implementing them in the real world. Psychoeducational groups help solve problems, aid members in making the right decisions, and increase productivity by making it easier to ask for assistance.
Reduces Symptoms of Mania
Mania is a mental health condition characterized by delusions, hyperactivity, and unexplained euphoria. A psychoeducational group can help patients identify triggers that may lead to manic episodes and the best ways to avoid or deal with them safely.
Improves Quality of Life
The most significant benefit of group therapy is its ability to improve a person's quality of life. Psychoeducational groups help provide necessary information to help members make better decisions with resultant improvements in overall quality of life.
Conditions Commonly Addressed With Psychoeducation
Psychoeducation addresses many mental health conditions. Some of the most common disorders include:
This mental health condition causes mood, energy, and activity shifts. Psychoeducation helps manage bipolar disorder by enabling patients to control behavioral changes. Two studies found that patients with bipolar disorder who received psychoeducational therapy experienced a decrease in manic episodes by 66% and depressive episodes by 75% over a five-year period.2
These are serious mental illnesses that affect eating habits and can cause serious harm to health and overall well-being. Psychoeducational groups help individuals understand and pinpoint poor eating habits while providing information necessary for change.
A mental disorder exhibited through abnormal behavior, thinking, and significant social problems. An analysis of forty-four studies found that psychoeducational therapy for patients with schizophrenia provided more favorable and beneficial outcomes compared to regular treatment. For instance, many studies showed improved patient compliance, relapse rates, mental state, and quality of life.3
Substance Use Disorder
Substance use disorder is a chronic relapsing disorder that can be progressive and lead to disability or premature death. Psychoeducation therapy helps patients with substance use disorders manage cravings by developing healthy coping mechanisms. One study found psychoeducational therapy to be an effective treatment method to improve motivation in patients with substance use disorder. The results showed more significant progress in levels of change, self-efficacy, and decision-making compared to TAU.4
Depression is a severe medical illness that affects how people feel, think, and behave. Psychoeducation therapy helps provide each individual with information to open up more, feel better and manage moods efficiently.
Passive psychoeducation is very popular in patients with anxiety disorders, where the therapist does not interact actively with the patient while imparting education about the illness. Group psychoeducation helps spur feelings of calmness and can help alleviate anxiety.
What Happens in Psychoeducational Therapy Sessions?
One of the first steps to remember when starting psychoeducational therapy is to enter with an open mind. A typical psychoeducational therapy session involves a trained instructor and group members with similar conditions and diagnoses. The instructor leads the group through questioning, problem-solving, educating, and communicating.
The activities performed in a group therapy session depend on the condition the particular group is targeting. Also, the health concern being addressed plays a key role in the information passed along.
Why Choose Boardwalk Recovery Center
At Boardwalk Recovery Center, our goal is to improve the lives of all those recovering by providing professional help and promoting healthy lifestyles. In each session, we help provide an opportunity for meaningful change by instilling positive core values. Our highly qualified mental health professionals curate psychoeducational group sessions that enhance patients' health while offering the premium benefits of group therapy by being in a safe, caring environment.
For more information on our psychoeducational groups and treatment programs, contact us today at Boardwalk Recovery.