Psychoeducation is a common part of many psychological and pedagogical interventions and therapies, aiming to engage, inform and educate individuals. The use of psychoeducation implies the necessity of educating people in scientific terms about their own (problematic) situation and their own experience. This raises questions about the relationship between the layperson, who seems to lack certain knowledge about themselves, and the expert, who seems to be able to help the layperson understand themselves and their own behavior – based on knowledge established by scientific inquiry.
In this sense, psychoeducation can be used to study the inherent dynamics of scientific knowledge, clinical practice and the clients themselves. Assuming such dynamics, instead of passive knowledge transfer, allows for questions about the way in which scientific theories (e.g. about mental health) and their practical applications change and shape their object of study itself. Such recursive mechanisms raise further questions about the ethical aspects surrounding the practice of psychoeducation, such as power and responsibility, and the role of values and norms within scientific knowledge (transfer).
The main question of the research project is how we can best understand the function and meaning of psychoeducation within the normative layer of behavioral science, its importance for clinical practice and its impact on society and individuals.