Theprimary role of a professional psychologist is to provide both mentaland behavioral health services. Emphasis is usually placed uponprevention, reduction of psychological distress, and promotion ofmental well-being in all people. The underserved population,especially the children and those with chronic illnesses need to beassisted more. This paper looks at the process and actions that willbe taken to improve the health of a young boy with a chronic illness.As such, the issues to be addressed, the approach, the preferredpsychological theory, consultation and follow-up plans will bediscussed herein.
Psychologicaltreatment of children with chronic diseases requires carefulconsideration, planning and the use of the most efficient therapy. Inthis case study, Juan is a 15-year-old minor with advanced cysticfibrosis. He also has other birth defects. Apparently, a lot ofissues and questions surround his family. The parents attend thesession mainly to understand how to treat and take care of theirchild. Juan on the other hand also has questions pertaining to hishealth which need to be answered. The family comes to the doctor tobe assisted.
Asa child with a severe disease, Juan experiences problems related todevelopment and behavior. The parents also experience denial andsadness. This is because such a condition is considered by many asevere blow due to its undesirable nature. The Child may alsoencounter physical, social and physiological stress. This burden hasto be borne by the family. Since the disease has a significantly highmorbidity and mortality rates, multiple emotional challenges mayarise such as depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Adopting to thetypical development demands is a hard task for both the patient andthe parents. Furthermore, issues related to cognitive aspects of Juanneed to be adequately addressed (Goldbeck et al., 2014). Ultimately,the client should be assisted with the process of psychologicaladjustment to improve and maintain healthy behaviors.
Consultations.In an ideal environment, consultation should take place with Juanalone. However, this could be a problem if the patient has beenreceiving treatment in the presence of the parents. This processinvolves introducing the client to the activities, followed by agentle explanation to him and the parents. Asking for permission toconverse with the teenager in private can help alleviate anxietyabout secrets and complicity. The concept of confidentiality must beemphasized, and it is a major component of developing independenceand responsibility for the client’s health. The necessary inquiriesregarding his condition are related to the home environment,education, depression, preferred activities, social relationships,drug use, sexual activity and suicide risk. In this case, assuringthat the questioning is a healthy process for all patients is likelyto boost the responses [ CITATION Ade12 l 1033 ].
MyApproach for Juan
Themethodology that is used in the case of Juan would involve hispresence and that of his parents. However, subsequent visits wouldhave a one-on-one conversation with Juan followed by the parents.Once in a while, the visits will involve both the parents and theclient. First of all, it is important to understand the challengesfaced by Juan and after that identify the priority area as well asthe most suitable treatment approach. Likewise, the parents will alsobe taken through the intervention to empower them with skills tosupport their son.
TreatmentApproaches.The primary method for Juan’s case can either be educational orbehavioral, targeted at specific concerns. As such, CognitiveBehavioral Therapy can be applied for Juan. This approach involvesthe use of talking therapy which assists individuals to manageproblems by changing how they think and behave. It is based on theprinciple of the interconnection between feelings, thoughts andphysical sensations on how they affect an individual’s actions.Unlike other interventions, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses onthe current issues rather than dwelling on the past. The outcome ofthe therapy is the improvement of the mental health through apractical means [ CITATION NHS16 l 1033 ].
Rationale.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the chosen methodology becauseresearch studies provide evidence that interventions founded onbehavioral platforms can significantly improve the emotional outcomesin individuals with cystic fibrosis as well as the people who takecare of them [ CITATION NHS16 l 1033 ].In this context Juan will acquire relevant skills to change histhinking, feeling and behavior in a way that will be beneficial forhis health, development, and social interaction.
Juan’sTreatment.The treatment will involve working together with the client beginningwith the identification of unhelpful and unwanted thoughts andbehaviors. Secondly, carefully developed exercises are implemented tohelp Juan evaluate and change his thinking and behavior. Forinstance, avoidance, withdrawal, unrealistic thinking and poor socialskills can be identified at this stage. Afterward, Juan will behelped to set realistic goals and solve challenges through socialactivities and being self-confident. Anxiety and stress managementare handled through relaxation techniques for instance deepbreathing, self-talk, and positive distractions. Another approach isthe identification, nurturing and engagement in fun activities,hobbies, social events and physical exercise [ CITATION Ade12 l 1033 ].
Continuationof the therapy is vital for maximum positive outcomes. The eventsduring follow-up include monitoring of feelings, thought, andbehavior. By doing this, progress or regress can be identified earlyand alternative methods considered. A 2-3 session per week is enough.However, the frequency can be increased up to four sessions orreduced to two, depending on the overall progress (Goldbeck et al.,2014). Home visits are also an important aspect of follow-up carewhen need be.
Providingpsychological services for teenagers with severe chronic diseases isa task that requires commitment, care, and patience. It is equallyimportant to ensure that the client and the caregivers receive theintervention. Choosing the best therapy is crucial in assistingindividuals, especially those with cystic fibrosis. Evaluation,treatment, and follow-up must be included in the plan until thepatient realizes full potential. By giving a listening ear andproviding relevant advice to clients, professional psychologists canwork together with patients and their guardians to improve theirmental, physical, social and emotional well-being.
Goldbeck, L., Fidika, A., Herle, M., & Quittner, A. L. (2014). Psychological interventions for individuals with cystic fibrosis and their families. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 31-48.
NHS Choices. (2016, July 15). Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Retrieved from NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cognitive-behavioural-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Withers, A. L. (2012). Management Issues for Adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis. Pulmonary Medicine, 10.