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THE BENEFITS OF PRH PERSONAL EDUCATION ON PEOPLE’S PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH

WHO CAN GAIN FROM THIS APPROACH?

Ángel Moríñigo, psychiatrist, Estudio de Psiquiatría (www.e-psiquiatria.com) and Seville University PRH (Personality and Human Relations) Personal Development Training, from a psychiatric perspective

1. Introduction

2. The benefits of prh education on people’s psychological health

3. What is specific to the PRH method and what it contributes

4. Conclusions

1.      INTRODUCTION

I began my PRH education many years ago, attending the entry level workshop called Who Am I? I have always been highly motivated by training and my own personal development, but the workshop made a strong individual impact on me. It helped me greatly, especially in discovering an easy and educationally well-constructed method that could help many people. As we never separate totally from our professional role, particularly in areas that include these issues, I naturally thought about my patients, after seeing how useful it was for me.

I continued my personal development training for some time, attending workshops and practising the method for myself, and with help. Help from an accompanist and educator is essential, but in my opinion, PRH has a great virtue, which is that it allows you to also work on yourself autonomously.

From the start I was greatly interested in the educational clarity of the method and, of course, its humanist vision, illustrated by a total respect for the person and their freedom. 

As a psychiatrist I also often recommend to many patients the method of personal appraisals, and also the method how to make good decisions, and I apply them to myself in my private life when I need to.

2.      THE BENEFITS OF PRH EDUCATION ON PEOPLE’S PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH

Working with my patients, I have recommended PRH Education to many of them, and I have witnessed the benefits; in the way we work today in clinical psychiatry, we have to constantly evaluate the results of any therapy, whether biological or psychological, and employ those that are truly effective.

Many patients with personality disorders, either due to lack of maturity, through dependence or emotional instability, can gain from the benefits of the method and of the workshops.

I have also seen good results in patients with anxiety disorders, especially once the acute episode has passed, and especially if they suffer paroxysmal crises, which greatly limit the patient’s ability to function, even for psychological work. 

Many adaptive disorders, the consequences of stressful situations and/or conflicts, can benefit from the PRH method.

Patients with depression can also benefit from this method, especially patients with dysthymia (low, mild depression), where very often personality factors influence the persistence of symptoms and how chronic they become.

In my opinion, all that I have mentioned must be carried out in conjunction with psychiatric treatment, often pharmacological. Nowadays, psychotherapy is no longer against drugs. On the contrary, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are treatments which, when used together, offer the best results, which is what every therapist should be seeking for their patients. 

In my experience there is total compatibility between psychiatric treatment and the PRH method. 

However, there may be some restrictions. Patients with serious mental disorders, with psychosis, whether schizophrenic or affective, those with severe personality disorders (extreme or borderline), or those with severe anxiety disorders (e.g. obsessive-compulsive disorder), may have difficulties in practising this method, unless they have reached a very high degree of stability in their pathology, and of course during the acute stages of the illness, when the capacity for introspection that is required may be very limited. Severe depression, where there is an autolytic risk or where there are psychotic symptoms, or resistence to psychiatric treatment, must also be excluded. 

Another area which is of special relevance is that of the role of PRH EDUCATORS, since their skill in educating is crucial when teaching and conveying the method. PRH takes care, and must continue to take extreme care, in the selection and ongoing training of Educators. A sufficient psychopathological vision and training in this field, and the problems that they have to deal with, must not be of secondary importance.

3.      WHAT IS SPECIFIC TO THE PRH METHOD AND WHAT IT CONTRIBUTES

-     The psychological structure of the human being and the diagram of the person.

As I mentioned earlier, in my opinion PRH is part of the psychological approach of Humanist psychology, although it also includes some elements that come from psychoanalysis.

PRH is based on a very specific vision of the person, and on ways of functioning of the mechanisms of this personality structure and its development. This then allows for a differentiation between what is normal and what is not working properly.

-     The tool for analysis of internal sensations of a psychological nature.

What is important in PRH, independently from the situation that triggers it, is the “experience” - the psychological sensation which the individual experiences internally within that situation. Training in this form of analysis is fundamental for any one who wants to get to know themselves better, go into the method in more depth and progress in their psychological and personal development.

The analysis of Disproportionate and Recurring Reactions, which is related to what was described earlier, is one of the essential pillars of the PRH method and, for me, one of its great contributions. It is learnt methodically throughout all the workshops which PRH Training offers. 

-     Workshops

The way the following function: our body, our affective life, our personality, our experience in groups, as a couple, the way we manage our own growth, are some of the themes covered in workshops which allow us to connect with the method and to go progressively further  into it over several days. 

Tools for discernment and personal appraisals, already mentioned, form an important part of this method.

The workshops also offer a great opportunity to share in a group.

-       Personal Accompaniment

This is the specific method offered by PRH in order to go on progressing once you have followed workshops, or as you gradually follow them.

The client-accompanist relationship can reach levels of actual therapy, where the client always remains completely autonomous and in control of the situation. 

Here, the internal attitudes of the Educator/accompanist are ESSENTIAL. They have to be well trained specifically for this, and with a high moral integrity. Authenticity, respect for freedom, and good will are core values in PRH accompanists.

4.      CONCLUSIONS

-     PRH offers fundamental training towards helping personal development and growth with extremely good psychological tuning. Its method contains a genuine psycho pedagogy, which trains us to get to know our personality and to manage our behaviour better.

-     Nowadays, psychotherapists are no longer seen as the enemies of psychiatric treatment and both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological treatment should go hand in hand.

-     Many patients with psychiatric diagnoses such as uncomplicated depression, anxiety disorders, some personality disorders, adaptive disorders (reactive to stressful situations), and others, can benefit from the PRH method. In most cases this means working alongside adequate psychiatric treatment.

-     PRH Educators must be trained to differentiate more serious psychiatric pathology which can provoke severe alterations in awareness, introspection and discernment. These make it impossible to follow and benefit sufficiently from the method. In each case, this type of patient must be assessed individually and in collaboration with their psychiatrist.

-     Psychosis cases, especially those in acute episodes, and serious personality disorders cases (extreme/borderline) must be excluded, or attentively examined, in order to assess if the patient can, or cannot, benefit from the PRH method.

-     Patients with a high autolytic risk and/or with severe depression have to be excluded from coming on board.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

-     M. Lamarche. La Formation PRH Madrid, 1991

-     Persons and theirGrowth,  Collective work by PRH International. Canada. 1997.

-     Life Breaks ThroughCollective work by PRH International . Canada 2004 

BIOGRAPHY Dr. Ángel Moríñigo

Ángel Moríñigo graduated in medicine at the University of Salamanca (1979) and gained his Doctorate from the same University (1988). Following a period of specialisation through MIR (resident medical internship) at the University Hospital in Valladolid (1980-83), he became a Research Fellow at the Max-Planck School of Psychiatry (Munich, Germany), with later posts at the Central School of Mental Health (Mannheim, Germany) and in the Department of Psychiatry (Zucker-Hillside Hospital) at the North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center (New York, USA). He worked (1986-2006) as Faculty Specialist in the Psychiatry Service of the University Hospital of Valme, Seville. (taking voluntary extended leave). 

At present he practises psychiatry at a private clinic in Seville ( Estudio de Psiquiatria, www.e-psiquiatria.com) and is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Seville.

His specialist area is Geriatric Psychiatry: depression in older people, Dementia, Psychiatric Symptoms in Dementia and Psychopharmalogical Geriatrics. Member of the Executive Council of the International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology since 2001, and of the Board of Directors of ASEPP (Asociación Española de Psiquiatría Privada, Spanish Association of Private Psychiatry) and of the Spanish Society for Geriatric Psychiatry (SEPG), and has 155 national and international publications to his name