Purpose The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of the planned pre-electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) family teaching on depression, anxiety and stress of caregivers of patients with mental disorders receiving ECT. Design/methodology/approach In this quasi-experimental study, 130 participants were randomized allocated into intervention or control groups. The planned family teaching program consisted of four 90 min sessions held during four weeks. Assessments occurred at pre-intervention (one week before the first session), and post-intervention (one months after the four session). Data were collected using demographic questionnaire and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Mean comparisons were performed using Student’s t-test while effect sizes were estimated by Cohen’s d coefficient. The significance level was considered less than 0.05. Findings The mean scores of the depression, anxiety and stress levels in the intervention group were significantly reduced compared to the control group (p=0.001). Originality/value The family pre-ECT teaching intervention and counseling decreased the depression, anxiety and stress level of family caregivers of patients with mental disorders receiving ECT and the maintenance of other favorable conditions at baseline. These results suggest that even a short-term educational intervention for family members of patients received ECT can improve emotional outcomes of treatment in the family.