Authors: Cathy Bentley and Linda Viney, NSW
Event: 2005 TheMHS Conference
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: It has been well documented in the carer literature that unpaid carers endure substantial distress and burden due to their experiences, caring for a person with a serious mental illness. Psycho educational programs dominate the caregiving literature, which, are based on providing carers with information about mental disorders and practical coping skills, targeted at carers and the person they care for. It is problematic that some of these interventions are based on outcome measures such as reducing consumer relapses rather than focusing on the needs of the carer (Hatfield, 1994). The aim of this paper is to introduce the audience to an 8-session workshop specifically designed for carers and based within Kelly’s (1955/1991) personal construct psychology. This is a randomized, controlled outcome study. Sessions will involve exercises based on eliciting, elaborating, reconstruing and validating meanings related to caregiving experiences. Some of the proposed outcomes include decreasing negative emotions and burden and increasing positive emotions, aiding carers in feeling they have control over life events and reducing anxiety.