Assessment for And Challenges

Discussion: Assessment for and Challenges Related to Pervasive Mental Illness and Health Concerns

In the 1950s, a radical shift in counseling occurred. Numerous key figures in the fields of family counseling and therapy proposed the view that pervasive mental health problems were not individual problems, as was previously thought, but originated with and were perpetuated by family dynamics. The shift from working with individuals with pervasive or severe mental illness or health concern via individual psychotherapy to working with the identified “patient” and their families in the 1950s provided the context for the birth and growth of family counseling/therapy. Since that time, mental health professionals working with families with a member experiencing pervasive mental illness or a health concern have moved away from the controversial stance above, to acknowledge that both genes and biology influence behavior and that relationships can maintain or exacerbate symptomology, as well as assist in alleviating it via various coping mechanisms.

Tertiary intervention is the formal term for working with clients experiencing pervasive mental illness or health concerns, but it may also be referred to as remedial or rehabilitative counseling. When you encounter a couple or family for which tertiary intervention may be appropriate, your assessment focus should shift. First, you should be aware of any symptoms or cues that may substantiate your concerns, and assess whether couple and family therapy is indeed the best form of service to provide. It may be that one or more persons would benefit from individual services, whether simultaneously with or before any couple or family counseling.

For this Discussion, you will examine couple/family sessions requiring assessment and intervention, as well as exploring the challenges couple/family sessions might include.

By Day 4

Post a brief description of three symptoms/cues observed in a couple/family session that may require assessment and intervention beyond the scope of a couple/family session and explain why. Then, explain how you, as a helping professional, might take the next steps with the individual who requires additional assessment and intervention. Finally, explain any challenges of continuing working with the couple/family once an individual requires concurrent treatment.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 6

Respond to two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Colleague 1: A’Lexus

Post a brief description of three symptoms/cues observed in a couple/family session that may require assessment and intervention beyond the scope of a couple/family session and explain why.

Three symptoms or cues observed in a couple/family session that may require assessment and intervention beyond the scope of a couple/family session may include an abusive or aggressive spouse, a spouse/family member with severe mental health illness, or an individual that has a severe medical concern. Some ways a therapist may observe cues of violence or aggression in a couple/family session is openly asking couples about occurrences of violence or relying on open-ended questions concerning problems in the relationship and watching for nonverbal cues and body language (Gurman et, al. 2015). An individual who is experiencing the effects of a mental health illness may not be able to be as effective in couples or family therapy due to the barrier and severity of their issue that will cause interference in joint. Similar to an individual experiencing mental health illness, an individual experiencing a medical concern may cause interference in a person’s ability to participate effectively in couples/family therapy (Gurman et. Al 2015).

Then, explain how you, as a helping professional, might take the next steps with the individual who requires additional assessment and intervention.

As a helping professional I may take the next steps with the individual who requires additional assessment and intervention by first conducting a supplemental crisis management session focused on preventing any further violence or concern (Gurman et. Al 2015, pg.396). After conducting two crisis management sessions on the issue, I would then take the next steps by asking the individual to remain behind after the session is over to talk further about additional assessment and/or intervention or to discuss a referral based on the needs of the client.

Finally, explain any challenges of continuing working with the couple/family once an individual requires concurrent treatment.

Complex trauma punctuates the attachment system, causing a barrier in the couple/family dynamic as well as difficulties in continuing working with an individual that requires concurrent treatment (Aymer 2010). Another challenge associated with working with an individual that requires concurrent treatment is that there will be a barrier in effectively solving problems within the family structure due to them still working through issues individually that may cause interference in couples or family therapy.

Reference

Aymer, S. R. (2010). Intimate partner abuse: A case study involving a father and a son. Clinical Case Studies, 9(1), 3–17.

Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., Snyder, D. K. (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy. New York, NY: The Guilford Press

Colleague 2: Jessica Jones

Post a brief description of three symptoms/cues observed in a couple/family session that may require assessment and intervention beyond the scope of a couple/family session and explain why.

Upon meeting in family therapy there are red flags that present themselves that may require further assessment. The three symptoms that I have identified are Aggression, mental disorders, substance abuse. The social worker can recommend interventions like AA that will focus on the issue more directly, have the client fill out questionnaires to identify the severity of the issue, having the client make a list of their triggers.

Then, explain how you, as a helping professional, might take the next steps with the individual who requires additional assessment and intervention.

The steps that I would take as a helping professional include meet with the client in individual counseling to problem solve and focus on the concerning issue and review the other options and interventions available to the client. I would explain how beneficial the assessments are and empower the client by focusing on their strengths (Gurman et al., 2015)

Finally, explain any challenges of continuing working with the couple/family once an individual requires concurrent treatment.

Challenges

It may be difficult to manage sessions with clients who react easily or get upset. The clients may feel like you are taking sides with their spouse.

References

Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., Snyder, D. K. (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.


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