Explanatory Model Copy

An important first step in providing education is to listen to the explanatory model of the client and family (i.e., their own explanation about what has happened and why). For example, a client may believe that they had these experiences due to “smoking too much pot” and the family may believe their relative developed this mental health problem due to the level of stress in the home. Education and discussion should be sensitive to the client’s and family’s explanatory model regarding the disorder. It is very often possible to frame the education within the context of the client’s and family’s own idiosyncratic explanation through the use of the multi-factoral model of psychosis (covered in Module 1).

Education will be better received if the information is integrated into their own experiences. Like most people, individuals with psychosis will participate more actively in an education and treatment plan if they have played a part in designing it, and if they understand why each of its components is important. Clients will do better when they understand their own experiences in terms of the various features of the illness, and how their specific treatment plan will reduce their symptoms and help them achieve their goals. They need to know how the illness may complicate their problem-solving abilities, how to cope with stressors, and how psychosis affects their plans for the future. Assessment of client and family current knowledge of psychosis as well as the impact the psychosis has had on the family will be important to guide educational efforts. This is where the family questions in your care pathway and mentioned in the module on assessment will be helpful.

Download the family questions from the Care Pathway

For more information about David and the intial engagement phase, early education and explanatory model, read the one-page document by clicking here. You may find it useful to print this page out to refer to, particularly if you are basing any of your assignment work on this case.

Activity Two: Explanatory Model – Answer the following questions:

  • What do you know about David’s explanatory model so far?
  • What about his parents? What is known about how they explain the psychosis?
  • Given these explanatory models – how could you frame an educational session on:
    1. Psychosis and its treatments
    2. Drugs and alcohol
    3. Stress management
    4. Relapse prevention

Click HERE for a transcript of Dr. Tee’s introduction to David.

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