empowering caregivers with formal knowledge and information about the problem. Information might be related to how the problem developed or what types of factors have kept the problem going. This can help the caregivers understand their roles in the therapeutic process. This technique is also known as Psychoeducation-Parent in the literature.
Warning: this should not be confused with efforts for supporting parents in engaging in formalized educational curriculum or school-related acitivites.
What should my therapist be doing?
- Discussing the structure and goals of treatment sessions
- Explaining the importance of your child’s confidentiality
- Teaching you about the nature of your child’s mental health condition
- Explaining how the proposed treatment plan will address your child’s mental health condition
- Encouraging you to become involved in your child’s treatment
- Providing you with realistic hope and optimism about getting better
- Normalizing your child’s concerns by pointing out how others have experienced similar difficulties and have improved over time
What should I be doing?
- Trying to learn about your child’s treatment plan
- Actively participating in treatment sessions when possible, while respecting your child’s right to privacy
- Asking questions of your therapist as needed (e.g., Will my child ever live without this condition?)
How will I know it is working?
- You are better able to connect with your child throughout the course of treatment because of your increased knowledge about their mental health condition
- You have hope and optimism about your child’s concerns improving
- You have reduced feelings of stigma
- Your child is more comfortable approaching you about his problems
To see an extended example, click here and look at page 42.