About PEP

(Psychoeducational Psychotherapy)

**Multi-Family Psychoeducational Psychotherapy (MF-PEP) is now included in SAMSHA’s Naional Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices**

PEP is a treatment program that can be provided to individual families (IF-PEP) or multi-family groups (MF-PEP) to address common issues of children with mood disorders. While designed and tested specifically for children aged 8 to 12, the basic framework of PEP can be used with younger children and adolescents. PEP combines psychoeducational components (e.g., information about childhood mood disorders, how they are diagnosed, how they are treated) with psychotherapy (e.g., providing support, teaching coping, problem solving, communication and emotion regulation skills) to improve functioning at home, at school, and with peers. The psychotherapy portion pulls from cognitive-behavioral, family systems, and interpersonal perspectives in psychology. Workbooks (link to Products Page) for parents and children provide visual aids, present in-session content, and explain between-session projects. Many of the parent and child sessions have similar content, but differ developmentally in how the material is presented.  Some topics are parent-only or child-only.

Topics addressed include:

  • Mood symptoms and associated challenges
  • Biopsychosocial treatment
    • building treatment teams
    • medications, including mood-medication logs and side-effect management
    • school-based services
  • Differentiating the child from his/her symptoms
  • Symptom management skills
    • the connection between Thinking-Feeling-Doing and how to make good choices
    • the importance of diet, exercise, and sleep hygiene
    • building a Tool Kit of coping strategies
    • turning around negative family cycles
    • problem solving
    • verbal and nonverbal communication skills
    • relaxation strategies, including deep breathing/imagery
  • Helping siblings understand and cope with their sibling’s mood disorder

Therapists interested in learning more about PEP, please visit the Training and Products pages.

Families interested in learning more about mood disorders and their treatments, please visit the Parent Resources page.  Those wishing to learn more about PEP, please visit the Products page.

To learn more about the research supporting PEP, please visit the Grants, Publications, and Evidence of Efficacy pages.

For a more in-depth description of MF-PEP and IF-PEP, please visit their respective pages.

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