Integrating psychoeducation in a basic computer skills course for people suffering from social anxiety: participants' experiences
Hildegard D Löhr1,2, Jan H Rosenvinge1,3, Rolf Wynn2,4
1Division of General Psychiatry, University Hospital of North Norway, 2Telemedicine Research Group, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, 3Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, 4Division of Addiction and Specialized Psychiatry, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway
Abstract: We describe a psychoeducational program integrated in a basic computer skills course for participants suffering from social anxiety. The two main aims of the course were: that the participants learn basic computer skills, and that the participants learn to cope better with social anxiety. Computer skills were taught by a qualified teacher. Psychoeducation and cognitive therapy skills, including topics such as anxiety coping, self-accept, and self-regulation, were taught by a clinical psychologist. Thirteen of 16 participants completed the course, which lasted 11 weeks. A qualitative analysis was performed, drawing on observations during the course and on interviews with the participants. The participants were positive about the integration of psychoeducation sessions in the computer course, and described positive outcomes for both elements, including improved computer skills, improved self-esteem, and reduced social anxiety. Most participants were motivated to undertake further occupational rehabilitation after the course.
Keywords: cognitive therapy, information technology, occupational rehabilitation, psychoeducation, self-help, social anxiety
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