Clay Jensen is seeking help now as he is having a traumatic experience related to his friend committing suicide irrationally. Clay experiences intrusion symptoms, the effect of the incident on mood and thoughts, and changes in reaction. Uncontrollable recalling of the event of a friend’s death often causes the client to experience emotional distress and blame himself for not being able to prevent the situation. Since Clay has been experiencing these symptoms for several months, the presumptive diagnosis is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Pai et al., 2017). Together with the client’s introverted personality, the problem results in poor communication with both family and peers. Thus, Clay has difficulty in interpersonal communication, which makes him even more introverted. Additionally, the client is unable to concentrate on work and study, which significantly impairs his quality of life.
The client has no history of serious illness or injury as well as drug abuse. Clay’s family did not report having a family history of mental illness. Thus, no biological or genetic contributors have been identified. The client’s environmental resources appear to be good, as he lives in his parents’ house and has proper access to food and transportation. Clay and his family have a Caucasian background and live in a predominantly white neighborhood. However, the client or his father did not report incidents of ethnic discrimination. No significant environmental contributors were found affecting the current situation. Among the psychological factors influencing the situation, Clay’s introverted and antisocial personality was identified. Impaired communication with peers causes a lack of developed coping skills, low self-esteem, and little experience in communicating with people, which are social stress factors.
Precipitating factors include social and cognitive variables in the form of impaired communication and introverted personality. Clay’s impaired communication with peers could make the client feel alienated and lonely. These previous emotions can serve as the basis for the development of PTSD. This assumption is supported by the theory of emotional processing, according to which people with more rigid attitudes to life before traumatic events tend to experience more severe symptoms of the disorder before traumatic events (Kichic & D’Alessio, 2016). Such people often perceive the world as a danger and are emotionally vulnerable to feelings of loss and frustration when they perceive themselves to be incompetent (Pinheiro et al., 2018; Alpert et al., 2021). Peers have mistreated the client in the past, including accusing him of being gay, which may trigger the mental illness.
Perpetuating factors include behavioral patterns which worsen the client’s mental state. The client has difficulties in understanding and accepting the traumatic event. This factor causes him to experience obsession with ideas and uncontrollable memories. He also exhibits behavior that interferes with the acceptance process, as he often visits places where he used to be with his friend. Thus, Clay tries to escape or avoid the traumatic experience so as not to feel emotional discomfort. He also experiences a reduction in activity since the emotional state does not allow him to work, study and communicate fully.
Despite living in a single-parent family, Clay currently has good relationships with both parents. Moreover, they take an active part in caring for the mental state of their son. Additionally, the family turned to social work on time, which allows for starting therapy at the early stages of the development of the disorder.
Ecosystems (PIE, Goodness of fit)
Clay has disturbances in interaction with his environment, which have a significant impact on his condition. Peer relationships and lack of good attitude on their part concerning the client support the presented problem. Clay is in constant interaction with this part of the environment as she attends school. From a microsystems perspective, the client has difficulty addressing issues, generating solutions, and making the best, most effective choices possible. This assumption is expressed in his behavioral strategy concerning the traumatic event and coping with it. From the perspective of mezzo systems, the client experiences barriers in interaction with peers and prefers limited communication with them. However, he is close enough to his family and parents to provide him with significant support. Within the framework of the macro system, the client has access to necessary social work services despite not knowing about community supporters and adaptation opportunities.
The client’s family has a Caucasian background, which can influence the perception of mental illness. In addition to specific ethnic perceptions of the problem, people can also experience the negative effects of stigmatization and discrimination against mental illness in society (Wong et al., 2017). However, the client or family did not report cultural differences that might influence the treatment of the problem. What’s more, Clay’s family did not identify negative perceptions of the context or cause of the situation, nor did they provide support for their son. They asked for help promptly and pay increased attention to therapy, which indicates their conscious attitude to the problem. However, the client may be experiencing hidden ethnic discrimination by peers, which influenced his emotional self-coping. Currently, this factor can also have an impact, but family support plays an important role in mitigating it.
Alpert, E., Hayes, A. M., Yasinski, C., Webb, C., & Deblinger, E. (2021). Processes of change in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for youth: An emotional processing theory informed approach. Clinical Psychological Science, 9(2), 270-283. Web.
Kichic, R., & D’Alessio, N. (2016). Emotional processing theory and prolonged exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Vertex (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 27(126), 133-141.
Pai, A., Suris, A. M., & North, C. S. (2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder in the DSM-5: Controversy, change, and conceptual considerations. Behavioral Sciences, 7(1), 1-7. Web.
Pinheiro, P., Mendes, I., Silva, S., Gonçalves, M. M., & Salgado, J. (2018). Emotional processing and therapeutic change in depression: A case study. Psychotherapy, 55(3), 263-274. Web.
Wong, E. C., Collins, R. L., Cerully, J., Seelam, R., & Roth, B. (2017). Racial and ethnic differences in mental illness stigma and discrimination among Californians experiencing mental health challenges. Rand Health Quarterly, 6(2), 1-12.