As a partner or family member you know your loved one better than anyone, including their doctor or psychologist but that doesn’t always mean you can read their mind and know what is causing them to feel the way they do, when they do.
ATTEND A TREATMENT SESSION
Attending a session with your loved one and their psychologist or psychiatrist can be helpful.
“Your loved one’s psychologist or psychiatrist can help explain to you what the symptoms of their mental health condition are, what treatment involves and what goals they are working towards as part of the treatment”
Associate Professor Sam Harvey, Chief Psychiatrist at the Black Dog Institute.
PARTICIPATE IN A PSYCHOEDUCATION SESSION
Psychoeducation sessions are all about helping you to understand what is going on with your loved one’s mental health condition, what to expect, how to assist and what to do when they become distressed or encounter a trigger.
While not a couples counselling session, they do provide you with an opportunity to find out what treatment involves, how you can help and pass on feedback on things like what is going on at home that may be related to the condition or medication your loved one is experiencing. You may have noticed side-effects for example that your loved one may not have picked up on such as irritability, loss of appetite, or changes in sexual functioning that the treater may not be aware of.
In some states there are provisions under the worker’s compensation act that allow partners to access psychoeducation sessions which means the session is fully funded. Your loved one will have to approve your participation in a session but given you play an important role in your loved one’s recovery, understanding what is involved in treatment and recovery and how long this may take can be helpful for you and your loved one.