Learning, Growing Healing: The Applications of Psychoeducation

February 11, 2017 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Columbia School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Ave., New York 10027

6.5 contact hours are available for NYS, NJ and CT Licensed Social Workers

$250 single; $200 each for 5 or more

Alumni will receive a $50 discount. Please email swope@columbia.edu for the promotional code. Your email should contain your name and the year you graduated.

*Open to the public



Psychoeducation is an approach to clinical practice that utilizes the intersection and synergy between therapy and education. The model focuses on strengths, ongoing assessment, empowerment and advocacy for the individual, and collaboration and parity between practitioner and person. It draws on advanced practice theories that encompass education as well as clinical, group, and community practice. Psychoeducation has been applied and can be adapted to multiple settings and populations ranging from severe mental illness and trauma to physical illness, family preservation and restorative justice. It can be implemented individually, with families or groups, or as an approach to staff development.

Workshop Description

Through lecture, small group work and discussions, and role play, the workshop will focus on strategies for using psychoeducation as a preventive and creative model for advocating for, collaborating with, and supporting individuals, families, and groups through applied clinical and group practice in health, mental health, and community based settings. Applications for supervision, programming and staff development will also be considered. Participants will develop an outline for psychoeducation curriculum for their programs, agencies or private practices.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn to:

  • Understand the meaning and significance of a range of culturally-based belief systems and coping mechanisms in planning and developing psychoeducational interventions.
  • Identify critical organizational and environmental factors that influence the implementation of psychoeducational practices.
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan a psychoeducational intervention for individuals, families, or groups.
  • Identify and describe empirically based strategies and tactics to address critical factors that influence the development of psychoeducational interventions for individuals, families, and communities.



Dr. Ellen Lukens- Ph.D., LCSW-R. Dr. Ellen Lukens has extensive experience in the development, application and evaluation of educational and psychoeducational interventions designed to improve quality of life and outcomes for adolescents, adults, and families faced with trauma, mental illness, or other significant life challenges. She has been involved in adapting these techniques both in the context of applied clinical and community practice and as a supervisor technique (i.e. for “training the trainers”). She is particularly interested in the use of group interventions, and how the combined professional and practical knowledge of leaders and participants can enhance both the educational and therapeutic aspects of treatment, strengthen resiliency and coping skills, and reduce stress. In addition she has extensive clinical and research expertise related to practice with families, adolescents and children, and with adult siblings of persons with chronic mental illness.

Currently she is involved in collaboration with colleagues at the New York State Psychiatric Institute to assess the impact of short-term wellness psychoeducational groups on persons hospitalized for schizophrenia and plans to further test this intervention in community-based settings. She is developing a study to assess the impact of obsessive compulsive disorder among youth on both individual family members and the family as a unit. Dr. Lukens has over twenty years of teaching experience and has taught courses in Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming, Evidence based Practice for Persons with Mental Health Conditions, Advanced Clinical Practice, Psychoeducation, Supervision, and Psychopathology/Pathways to Wellness.

Dr. Yamile Marti- Yamile M. Martí Haidar, Ph.D., LMSW, MA, has been teaching at CSSW since 2011. She has worked at the individual, community and policy levels and within mental health organizations, schools, community centers, and government agencies. Her clinical experience ranges from issues of substance abuse, the child welfare system, therapy and group work with families and children, in the public school system, with cancer patients, abused women and abused/neglected children, among others.

Dr. Martí has conducted research on the implementation and evaluation of a teacher training intervention for empowerment, as well as, a community empowerment intervention in Puerto Rico. She worked with Dr. Katherine Shear of CSSW in a five year randomized control trial funded by the National Institute of Mental Health designed to compare the effectiveness of Interpersonal therapy versus Complicated Grief treatment. Dr. Martí collaborated in a psychoeducation intervention for young women who are pregnant and in foster care with Dr. Ellen Lukens and Dr. Mary Sormanti of CSSW and conducted a qualitative study on the experiences of foster care mothers. Dr. Martí’s research areas include the development of resiliency and coping skills for children and women in crisis or facing adversity, the implementation and evaluation of interventions that promote positive mental health in children and women and the role of psychosocial and cultural factors on mental health.

Dr. Martí is interested in the globalization of social work education. She has conducted research on intimate partner violence, contraception and economic empowerment among Jordanian women and has worked as a social worker in Jordan and among communities in Puerto Rico. She also developed pilot courses at CSSW about both Chile and Cuba that involved with a travel component. She is currently a consultant with United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, to develop a conceptual framework for social work practice and a training program for social workers in Abkhazia, Georgia.