Thursday, February 24th, 2005

just a psych paper

Thursday, February 24th, 2005 08:41 pm
This is just a psych paper, not an actual update. I'll update tomorrow after classes, I promise.
Love and huggles,
Lin :D

Heather Wahlberg
Psych 203
MWF 12-1
Class Activity #6

Treating Mental Disorders

As stated in class activity 5, the client, Severus Snape, has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a somewhat mild case of Clinical Depression. To treat these disorders, there are seven different approaches under consideration. While some of these methods may seem entirely inappropriate for his condition and others perfectly suited, we must still consider all possibilities.
The psychodynamic approach is one of the oldest methods used in psychiatric treatment. By having the client look back over his/her childhood, the therapist would look for relationships or traumatic events that would have created a reason for Severus to succumb to PTSD and Depression, as well as delving into his subconscious for unconscious reasons he would be reacting as he does to his situation. Perhaps the therapist would encourage him to transfer/displace his true ‘enemy’ with the therapist, allowing him to work through some of his feelings in this way.
Through Psychoanalysis, the therapist would simply have Severus talk things out, as it were. In regards to his PTSD, the therapist might have him talk about his dreams, analyzing their meaning with him and how to deal with them. In the case of his Depression, they would likely discuss situations in which Severus has found himself depressed and the circumstances surrounding them, looking for a common thread.
Behavioral Techniques could be effective for Severus, though in the case of his PTSD, it could prove dangerous. Through desensitization, exposure, behavioral records and skills training, Behavioral techniques encourage the idea of ‘facing your fears’. For his PTSD, Severus would likely be put through a form of exposure of desensitization, forcing him to face those things that trigger his flashbacks or dreams and gradually become accustomed to them in a non-threatened way. As for his depression, any of these techniques seems viable. Gradually exposing him to depressing things/ situations while introducing uplifting stimuli. Training him in skills that would allow him to face depressing situations confidently. This method would be especially effective when combined with Cognitive techniques.
With Cognitive techniques, the therapist may ask Severus to identify his reasons for joining the war in the manner he did, and subsequently, for leaving it, probably pointing out to Severus that he could not have stopped the war on his own, or done much in the way of helping most of the victims he likely feels guilty over. As for his depression, Severus woud probably be asked to write out his thoughts and then look at them from an objective viewpoint in order to form rational responses to the feelings they express, showing him that his feelings may be over generalized, or even simply unfounded.
In Client-Centered Therapy, the therapist would employ a more psychoanalytical approach, encouraging Severus to talk about his feelings, the only difference being that the therapist would express unconditional positive regard for his feelings, an empathy for his situation. The therapist would also periodically restate what he was being told, not only to show empathy, but also to show an understanding of the situation, and hopefully bring Severus to an understanding of his own feelings in a subtle manner.
Existential Therapy, while not my first choice of therapies in Severus’ case, still holds some merit. An approach that emphasizes the acceptance of personal responsibility while looking for the silver lining in the situation, this method would help him to find value in his experiences and to learn and grow from them.
Finally, Family and Couples Therapy. As there seems to be no evidence, at this point in the series, that Severus has any family, and he shows no inclination to form friendships, this therapy is the last method that I would recommend in treating him. There is no family for his behavior to effect, and so no family to treat. The only technique that might be useful in his case, would perhaps be constructing a family tree in order to look for a pattern of depression that might explain his own.
As the text points out, many therapists employ a mixture of techniques and psychiatric treatment methods in helping their clients, and many of the approaches in this chapter show some promising ideas for Severus. For example, the combination of ’talking it out’ used in Psychoanalysis, the desensitization of Behavioral techniques as well as the critical thinking of Cognitive techniques and the therapists empathy used in Client-centered therapy seems like a good mixture for Severus. Still, every case is different, and everyone must find what works for them, so it is a good thing that there are some choices out there for those that need them.

June 2008

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