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Assisting Clients: Middle Adulthood

Develop plans for assisting the clients in your scenarios. Pretend that you are working with the client that your classmate created.

1. Savannah Jordan is a 47 year old female who comes to me with problems relating to the care of her parents in her home. This has been a recent change that came about after her father had a heart attack that has left him paralyzed on the left side. Her mother has also come to live with her as a result of them having financial difficulties, and that they cannot live on their own any longer. Her mother is able to assist with the father but tires easily and has bad arthritis. Savannah is suffering from some depression and stress from the financial and physical burden this places on her and her family. She has two teenagers still living at home that are 17 and 18 and who are still in school. They play sports and have extra-curricular activities after school most nights, and Savannah's husband also works as a plumber with odd hours at times. The burden of trying to work and support her parents is too much for her to handle, and she has decided she may need to quit her job as a banker to care for them full time. This is the scenario. What can be done to help in Savannah's case?

2. Amy just turned 45 and is depressed she just recently got divorced and has two children still at home. Amy after 15 years of marriage is now single and has not had a job in those 15 years she was always able to stay home and raise her son and daughter but now she is faced with having to start work after all this time has passed and she is not sure that her skills will help her any she has a bachelor's degree in psychology and is not sure that is enough to land her a job. Her children are torn between the parents and Amy is at her wits end. How can Amy be helped?

Solution Preview

1. Savannah is suffering from depression related to the problems that she is encountering, primarily at home. Depression is a common and disease "with substantial morbidity and mortality". Based on a University of Michigan Guidelines report, approximately 55% if the population have major depression at one time or another. Women have a life-risk of 20 to 25%. The report utilizes criteria form the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR [APA], 2000) to describe mild depression that meets criteria for major depression (MDD). Mild depression consist of no vegetative symptoms, suicidal ideation, or significant functional impairment (Depression guidelines).

For example, a recent change has occurred in which Savannah's father has had a heart attack leaving him paralyzed. As a consequence, her parents are no longer able to live alone, and have moved in with her. Because of her mother's disability with arthritis, the care for her father is left mostly to Savannah. Consequently, Savannah is experiencing depression form the added physical and financial burden.

Savannah's problem belongs to the entire family, and thus a counselling intervention can be done from the perspective of the Family system. No husband is mentioned in the vignette, but Savannah has two teenage children. After initially interviewing with Savannah, the family will be invited to participate in the counselling sessions. Even though Savannah is the one depressed, the entire family will be brought to counselling, because based on the family system perspective—the family is viewed as a unit working for the good of all. During the therapeutic process the therapist emphasizes the point that family problems occur when the family structure can no longer accommodate itself in ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses middle adulthood and therapeutic interventions for two specific case studies.