Psychoeducation is among the most effective of the evidence-based practices that have emerged in both clinical trials and community settings. Because of the flexibility of the model, which incorporates both illness-specific information and tools for managing related circumstances, psychoeducation has broad potential for many forms of illnesses and varied life challenges (Lukens & McFarlane, 2004).
Psychoeducation is a professionally delivered treatment modality that integrates and synergizes psychotherapeutic and educational interventions. Many forms of psychosocial intervention are based on traditional medical models designed to treat pathology, illness, liability, and dysfunction. In contrast, psychoeducation reflects a paradigm shift to a more holistic and competence-based approach, stressing health, collaboration, coping, and empowerment (Dixon, 1999; Marsh, 1992). It is based on strengths and focused on the present. The patient/client and/or family are considered partners with the provider in treatment, on the premise that the more knowledgeable the care recipients and informal caregivers are, the more positive health-related outcomes will be for all. To prepare participants for this partnership, psychoeducational techniques are used to help remove barriers to comprehending and digesting complex and emotionally loaded information and to develop strategies to use the information in a proactive fashion. The assumption is that when people confront major life challenges or illnesses, their functioning and focus is naturally disrupted (Mechanic, 1995).