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It is estimated that more than 6% of the U.S. population will experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime (National Center for PTSD, 2010). This debilitating disorder often interferes with an individual’s ability to function in daily life. Common symptoms of anxiousness and depression frequently lead to substance abuse issues and even physical ailments. For this Discussion, as you examine the Thompson Family Case Study in this week’s Learning Resources, consider how you might assess and treat clients presenting with PTSD.
Post on or before Day 3 an explanation of your observations of the client William in Thompson Family Case Study, including behaviorsthat align to the PTSD criteria in DSM-5. Then, explain therapeutic approaches you might use with this client, including psychotropicmedications if appropriate. Finally, explain expected outcomes for the client based on these therapeutic approaches. Support your approach with evidence-based literature.
Expert Solution Preview
In the Thompson Family Case Study, William is presented as a client who exhibits symptoms that align with the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the DSM-5. As a medical professor responsible for designing assignments and evaluating student performance, I will provide an answer that addresses the observations of William’s behavior, therapeutic approaches, including the use of psychotropic medications if appropriate, and expected outcomes based on evidence-based literature.
Observations of William’s Behavior:
Upon examining the Thompson Family Case Study, it is evident that William demonstrates several behaviors that align with the criteria for PTSD in the DSM-5. He has recurrent distressing memories of the traumatic event, as indicated by his nightmares and intrusive thoughts related to his military experiences. William actively avoids reminders of the trauma, such as social situations and crowded places. Additionally, he experiences negative changes in mood and cognition, as manifested by his feelings of guilt, difficulty concentrating, and negative self-beliefs. William also displays heightened arousal and reactivity, depicted by his hypervigilance, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.
When approaching the treatment of PTSD, it is essential to adopt evidence-based therapeutic approaches to achieve optimal outcomes for the client. One effective therapeutic approach for William could be trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). TF-CBT involves assisting the client in processing and making sense of the traumatic event, while also developing effective coping strategies to manage symptoms. Through this approach, the therapist can help William confront and overcome his avoidance behaviors, challenge his negative beliefs about himself and the world, and gradually integrate the traumatic memories into his life narrative.
In certain cases, the addition of psychotropic medications may be appropriate for managing symptoms of PTSD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline or paroxetine, are often the first-line pharmacological treatment options. These medications can help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts associated with PTSD. However, the decision to prescribe psychotropic medications should be made in collaboration with a psychiatrist or healthcare provider experienced in treating PTSD.
With the implementation of trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy and, if appropriate, the use of psychotropic medications, it is expected that William will experience a reduction in his PTSD symptoms. He may exhibit a decrease in distressing memories, avoidance behaviors, negative thoughts, and heightened arousal. Further improvements may include enhanced coping skills and increased resilience in the face of future stressors. It is crucial to continuously evaluate and monitor William’s progress throughout therapy, making adjustments to the treatment plan as necessary.
Supporting Evidence-Based Literature:
To support the therapeutic approaches and expected outcomes for William, it is essential to consult evidence-based literature. Research studies investigating the effectiveness of trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychotropic medications in treating PTSD can provide valuable insights. Studies such as the ones conducted by Bradley, Greene, Russ, Dutra, and Westen (2005) on TF-CBT, and Davidson, Rothbaum, Tucker, Asnis, and Resick (2006) on the use of SSRIs in PTSD, among others, can offer empirical evidence to validate and guide the chosen interventions.
– Bradley, R., Greene, J., Russ, E., Dutra, L., & Westen, D. (2005). A multidimensional meta-analysis of psychotherapy for PTSD. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(2), 214-227.
– Davidson, J. R., Rothbaum, B. O., Tucker, P., Asnis, G. M., & Resick, P. (2006). Pivotal studies of sertraline and paroxetine in PTSD. Depression and Anxiety, 23(8), 496-507.
– National Center for PTSD. (2010). Epidemiology of PTSD. Retrieved from