Family Psychoeducation (FPE) is an EVP and recovery-oriented intervention approach that maximizes disease understanding, support, and problem solving with consumers and families. FPE practitioners develop a working alliance with consumers and families.
The term psychoeducation can be confusing. FPE is not family therapy. Instead, it is nearly the opposite. In family therapy, the family itself is the object of treatment. But in the FPE approach, the illness is the object of treatment, not the family. The goal is that practitioners, consumers, and families work together to support recovery.
Initially developed for people diagnosed with Schizophrenia, this approach has been successfully extended to anyone diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness. A main goal is actually to educate supporters with all of the details regarding a loved one's mental illness. Other elements of the intervention support problem solving and mutual aid. The combination helps recipients and their support people to respond more effectively when symptomatic behaviors emerge.
Benefits of FPE:
It has been found that FPE reduces relapses and hospitalizations, increases knowledge & self-management of disease, decreases family burden, decreases use of higher cost services, and increases active consumer involvement in recovery.
Drawbacks of FPE:
FPE has limitations and drawbacks, just like any other intervention. FPE is designed for consumers who still have support systems, is an expensive program with areas of rigidity, is expensive to train staff and ensure proper supervision, and credentialing is individual so staff turn-over can create problems in providing these interventions.
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