Post-traumatic stress refers to the mental effects that characterize people who have at one point or the other experienced stress. Such stress is usually felt in the later interactions of the people concerned in their relationships. Drug abuse and truancy are some of the manifest highlights of post-traumatic stress. It is important to find ways in which PSTD can be diagnosed and further treated, and this forms the basis of the succeeding discussion.
Assessment of the Client
Upon conducting the required assessment, there are several dynamics that are present in the Thompson family. First of all, each family member expressed some type of issue ranging from LGBTQ concerns to marital infidelity. One of the interesting signs of the family was William Thompson, who is the veteran in the family. When looking at his video, he had difficulty looking at the interviewer’s camera and actively avoided questions about his own probable diagnosis, which are all symptoms in line with PTSD in the DSM-5 manual (Barratt, 2015). Additionally, one could see that William was extremely uncomfortable thinking there is something emotionally wrong with him, which falls in line with the general sense of shame veterans tend to experience when being evaluated and treated for PTSD (Barratt, 2015).
Another person in the family who is possibly suffering from a mild form of PTSD is the wife, Rosita. There is also the sense of shame, stress and other symptoms linking her behavior to a possible diagnosis. It is apparent from the mother in law’s interview that there is a great deal of tension in the home because of Henry’s infidelity as well as the children’s overall behavior, specifically Zora. As stated by Barratt (2015), a patient does not have to have served in the military to suffer from PTSD; a person can suffer from it due to other traumatic circumstances.
Treatment of PSTD
There are several ways that the client can be treated for PTSD. First, it is important to convince William that he does suffer from the affliction and he needs to receive treatment. He seems to have a great deal of denial about his disease and how negatively it has affected all aspects of his life. Some drugs might be appropriate, but according to Hoge et al (2014) simply medicating soldiers without appropriate behavioral therapy is one of the main reasons patients drop out of treatment. There are options available such as group and individual therapy, but there are new ways technology is being used to treat the symptoms of PTSD. According to Norrholm et al (2016), virtual reality therapy is being used in conjunction with medication and other more traditional forms of therapy to develop new treatment options for those who suffer from PTSD.
Furthermore, psychotropic medications could be used to treat the patients in this case. Such treatment is preferred as it offers the best solutions that solve the root cause of the issue. Rosen et al (2016) also suggest the use of telephone therapy in order to keep closer contact with patients at a moment’s notice. Telephone and web-based therapy has been in use with other methods of therapy with great success, according to the authors of the study and has the same rate of success with PTSD sufferers. These are also methods of therapy that could be used with Rosita if it is determined that she also suffers from a mild form of PTSD.
There are several ways that William can improve from the suggested therapeutic approaches. The obvious therapeutic approaches include safety, mindfulness, managing flashbacks, sleep hygiene and managing physiologic arousal. However, it must be confirmed that CBT and EMDR therapy are effective for PTSD. William has a comorbidity of alcoholism, and this should be the starting point for the therapeutic process to be effective. First of all, in his file, it is stated that he has just gotten married, and he can experience improved communication and problem solving skills. His work situation can also improve because his drinking would cease and the overall behavioral patterns that got him into trouble with his employer would cease.
Additionally, William getting treatment can allow him to be supportive of his brother’s children who have their own issues. He could become a positive role model for all of them and encourage them to work on their own problems. Finally, William could be a supportive figure for his brother Henry so that he can work on improving his relationship with his wife and children. William’s life would improve in all areas if he works with his therapist and keeps in contact with them using technology provided to him. Perhaps eventually he could have family therapy sessions to work on the other identified issues in the family case file.
- Barratt, J. (2015). An exploration of shame in PTSD treatment and psychosis (Doctoral dissertation, University of Warwick).
- Hoge, C. W., Grossman, S. H., Auchterlonie, J. L., Riviere, L. A., Milliken, C. S., & Wilk, J. E. (2014). PTSD treatment for soldiers after combat deployment: low utilization of mental health care and reasons for dropout. Psychiatric Services, 65(8), 997-1004.
- Norrholm, S. D., Jovanovic, T., Gerardi, M., Breazeale, K. G., Price, M., Davis, M., … & Tuerk, P. W. (2016). Baseline psychophysiological and cortisol reactivity as a predictor of PTSD treatment outcome in virtual reality exposure therapy. Behaviour research and therapy, 82, 28-37.