Family education (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders)
Family education is the ongoing process of educating family members about a serious mental illness in order to improve their coping skills and their ability to help a relative affected by the illness.
When someone is diagnosed with a chronic illness, such as diabetes or heart disease, efforts are typically made by his/her doctor not only to educate the individual directly affected by the illness, but to educate and involve his/her family in treatment and care. Historically, this has not been the case with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder.
More often than not, mental health professionals did not educate families about what to expect or how to care for their loved one. In fact, for much of the twentieth century it was believed that mental illness was caused by overly strict or overly permissive parenting styles, and families were unfairly blamed for causing these disorders. Mothers were labeled "schizophrenogenic" and even well-meaning clinicians tried to keep them and other family members at a distance. Bateson's "double-bind" theory suggested that contradictory messages and communications by parents were the root...
(The entire section is 1176 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!