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Importance of the trialogue

Self-help

Author: R., an individual experienced with bipolar illnesses

The self-help concept is always concerned with the whole person and his/her history - all of that embedded in a network of social relationships. Each person needs tasks and each person would like to be appreciated for performing those tasks.

Self-help groups primarily deal with the following tasks and topics:

  • "Chemistry kits": A permanent topic for those who have fallen ill is the medication, including their frequently considerable side effects - perhaps against the expectations of the doctors. Persons with psychoses or with mania and depression observe themselves critically awaiting the effects of the medicine and behave more or less cooperatively ("compliantly"). The basic principle should be: Only change the administration of medications in cooperation with the therapists and never do so alone. However, they must, reciprocally, be ready to cooperate on an eye-to-eye level as well.
  • Relationships: It involves relationships to partners, to the family (extended, residual, adopted families and the family of origin) and also to friends, acquaintances and those who provide support. Social capabilities must again be seized, improved or re-established once again.
  • Make the consequences more moderate: Considering the whole person and his/her history, strategies for coping are sought, which are fitting for the individuals and for their social situation.
  • Integration of that which has been experienced: To understand and to work out one's own experiences, and to include them in an altered concept of life, is an important element of the "work in itself". In addition, this can also involve the processing of injuries and traumas. Here, there is a fluent passage between self-help and psychotherapy.
  • Further development: Here, it involves the intensity and maturation of the personal characteristics, about recovering one's identity and developing social capabilities further.
  • Perspectives: For persons suffering from mania and depression, new ground must be broken concerning one's work, the management of life, the question of a pension, etc.
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