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Case study analysis: Personality disorder

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You are a counselor for a major metropolitan police force. Your job is to interview persons who are referred to you by superiors, who voluntarily come to you for counseling, or who, because of a specific incident, are mandated by departmental regulations to seek your counsel. On the last four callouts over the past 6 weeks, three of them have resulted in the offender being shot to death by your unit's sniper. You are scheduled to speak with him this week about his feelings concerning the shootings. You received a call from his wife the night before last. It seems that the sniper has taken to sleeping in the living room and not in his bedroom. His wife has been unable to convince him to sleep in bed with her for the past month. He claims that he has headaches and goes to sleep on the couch. After the last mission in which he had to shoot a suspect, the team went to a local bar that they patronize. The sniper reportedly got drunk and, while hugging another member of the team, he started crying about the three men that he had to shoot over the past six weeks. The next day, he acted like the crying incident did not happen. He either forgot it in the alcohol haze, or pretended not to remember it.

In a callout last night, the sniper and his partner took up a position at the rear of a house where home invaders were barricaded. At one point, an offender exited the back door with a gun in his hand. The sniper stood up in the open and walked right up to the offender, who was dazed at the sniper's behavior. The sniper struck the weapon from the offender's hand with the butt of his rifle, and then knocked him to the ground, where he placed him in handcuffs. Although it initially seemed to be a brave act, it violated all protocol to break cover, and it risked the sniper, his partner, and the officer's life.

I need help respond to the following using the scenario above:

Describe the mental state of the sniper since the three shootings have occurred in which he killed the offenders.
Articulate two of the possible personality disorders or afflictions that the sniper has that are interfering with his work.
Explain whether, if the sniper would get the treatment needed, he might be able to return to his duties as a sniper, or possibly back to regular uniformed duties.
Relate how treatment of the sniper would benefit him as an individual in terms of his interpersonal relationships and his own safety.
Include cited references for any sources used.

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Solution Summary

In this case study, we analyse the symptoms and treatment of disorders that are associated with stress and traumatic incidences. A case study of a sniper's changes in behavioural pattern that are indicative of a possible Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other personality disorders is discussed in greater detail. The discussion is an analysis of changes in behaviour and emotional responses of the client that affects several aspects of daily functioning.

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1. The Cluster B Personality Disorders often overlap in symptomology. Taking this into consideration, formulate a differential diagnosis for Ariana. What are your diagnostic considerations and why? Support your ideas by discussing what you see in the vignette utilizing all course readings thus far. What information would you need to look for to confirm your diagnostic impression and why?

2. Ariana's parents call for a family session. What issues arise given this request? Assuming you agree to treat Ariana in individual and family sessions, create a treatment plan integrating the etiological theories and recommended treatment modalities discussed in Comer (2007). Discuss the role of pharmacological interventions and if you believe it would be helpful for Ariana and why.

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