by Jim Ogle
A common issue faced by family members and caregivers of people living with a serious mental illness is noncompliance with the prescribed treatment. There are a number of reasons for this, including side effects such as weight gain or the loss of mental sharpness. It could also be just a lack of insight into the illness.
The best reference on this subject for a nonprofessional caregiver is I AM NOT SICK, I Don’t Need Help! written by well-known clinical
psychologist Xavier Amador. His knowledge, insight and method of dealing with this common issue come from a couple of decades of research in this field and trying to help his brother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Dr. Amador, whose work now has international recognition, developed a technique called LEAP (Listen, Empathize, Agree, Partner) for communicating with people who don’t agree with you—not just for dealing with a loved one with mental illness, although that is his focus. As a result of the successes he has experienced
with this technique, he has recently started the LEAP Institute (www.leapinstitute.org) dedicated to training others in this communication technique.
NAMI-ABQ recently purchased the video training for LEAP. The training consists of three sections with a total viewing time of about 4.5 hours. The videos show Dr. Amador teaching the technique to both professionals and lay people. Dr. Amador is an excellent speaker who is passionate about this subject, making the time pass quickly.
We will offer the training on Saturday, February 16 in lieu of our normal second Tuesday of the month educational meeting.