Psychoeducation for Clients and Families: A Way In, Out, and Through in Working with People with Dual Disorders

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The “new” client population of people with dual (psychiatric/substance use) disorders requires the development of innovative approaches that can span both treatment systems. Psychoeducational group approaches are being explored for such dual-disorder clients. Family psychoeducation, originally developed as a response to schizophrenia, offers much promise for this purpose, having the advantages of both psychoeducation and family involvement for purposes of engagement, persuasion, treatment, and relapse prevention. Among these advantages are 1) the ability to address the “pre-abstinent” or pre-motivated client, and 2) the ability to draw in an essential portion of the person’s support network. Crucial to these aims are the non-pejorative, non-confrontational tone of psychoeducational approaches and the creation of a supportive mini-culture.

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