Academic journal article College Student Journal

Psychoeducation: From Classroom to Treatment Group

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Psychoeducation: From Classroom to Treatment Group

Article excerpt

Research contrasting two formats for psychoeducational treatment, student-led class seminar groups and class paper assignments, showed participant level of intrapersonal and interpersonal interaction to be a significant independent variable for treatment change. A multivariate analysis of student self-appraisals for Passive Modes of Frustration showed a significant increase in pretest posttest mean scores for students attending a Low-Interactive Seminar Group as compared to students attending a High-Interactive Seminar Group, and compared to students who wrote a class paper. That is, after treatment the Low-Interactive Seminar Group that exchanged confidential information, insights and personal concerns with one another less than 40% of the time showed a significant increased need for order, structure and control.

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Educators and counselors alike have often employed various forms of instructional/experiential work with college students in order to broaden their view of the world, develop their empathic posture toward others, enhance their self-awareness, and encourage their self-acceptance (Furr, 2000). Traditionally, instructional/experiential work, often described as psychoeducational, has taken the form of group seminar work, paper assignments and "consciousness-raising" groups; all have required participants to learn specified theory and apply it their own lives or to the lives of others in their self-system. Whether through a small group seminar, a paper assignment or a participant centered "consciousness-raising group," change has been facilitated among the participants by first making them "aware" of their conditions and subsequently supporting adaptive behaviors through intrapersonal and interpersonal exercises, exercises designed to acknowledge and support resolution to an individual's feelings, needs and unresolved circumstances (Furr, 2000 Howe, 1990; Perkins & Lynch, 1992). Consequently, various forms of psychoeducation have continued to be structured with the belief that change among the participants has occurred when treatment has included an instructional "information- base" combined with intrapersonal experiential exercises (Gladding, 1999).

The literature reports significant research that shows change among the participants engaging in psychoeducational experiences. For example, Perkins and Lynch (1992) showed a significant increase in measured assertiveness among college women who attended a structured student-led didactic/experiential treatment group as compared to those women attending an unstructured support group. In addition, Howe (1990) cited student self-statements that reported attitude change after they completed an assigned class paper to interview their mother. Although the literature is encouraging, formal research that contrasts student change after attending psychoeducational-based seminar groups with students writing a psychoeducationally-based paper assignment is needed.

In addition to a research need that investigates the format for psychoeducational work, personality theory has suggested a need to study the level and quality of membership interaction with a psychoeducational, format. For example, relational theorists Jean Baker Miller and Judith Jordan (Miller, Jordan, Kaplan, Stiver & Surrey, 1997) have proposed that human connections with one another must include personal sharing and mutual acceptance before positive behavior change can occur among the participants. Furthermore, these same relational theorists view mal-adaptive behavior as the consequence to personal disconnections with others, a disconnection that excludes personal sharing and avoids mutual acceptance (Stiver, 1997). Moreover, the literature has also reported that group leadership and group structure, shaped to encourage open trusting interaction within the group membership, has been an important variable affecting treatment group change, (Yalon, 1995). …

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