August 19, 2012
Mr. and Mrs. Lawson brought their 4-year-old adopted daughter, Clara, to see Dr. Mason, a psychiatrist. Clara was polite in greeting Dr. Mason, but did not smile and kept her gaze down as she took a seat. Mr. and Mrs. Lawson sat next to Clara and began explaining their concerns. They described Clara as a quiet child who has recently begun throwing temper tantrums, during which she is inconsolable. Her sleep and eating patterns have changed, and she no longer wants to go to preschool.
What other information would you like to learn during the interview with the family? What questions would you ask? In addition to the clinical interview, what other clinical assessment tools should you consider? Why? Although you need more information to begin treatment, what factors might you take into consideration in designing an effective intervention for this family? If you were preparing to diagnose Clara, you would refer to the DSM-IV classification system to evaluate her condition on five separate axes. What type of information would go into each axis? You are not asked to enter a diagnosis, only describe the kind of information that would be entered in each axis. Do you think that diagnosing Clara would be beneficial or harmful? Explain why. *
* Since the child in question is a minor I believe talking to her parents first would give me a chance to get a better understanding of the child’s background and history. This information is needed in order to build a relationship with Clara so I do not cause her to get defensive when I begin my interview with her. *
1. Has Clara witnessed any major changes within the family prior to starting school? 2. What was Clara’s age at the time of adoption?
3. Has Clara met her biological parents or had any contact with them recently? 4. How and when did Clara’s sleeping and eating habits change? 5. Has...
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