Assignment 3: Case Study- Strengths Perspective and Creative Problem Solving “Girl Interrupted”
Girl, Interrupted Summary
The movie Girl Interrupted is a memoir about Susanna Kaysen's battle with mental illness. It is set in the sixties and seventies, in a medium security psychiatric ward. After Susanna attempts suicide, her parents bring her to speak with a psychotherapist who suggests and end up convincing her to commit herself to be institutionalized and eventually diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. During the course of the film, which seems to take place within well over a year, she undergoes treatment in the forms of therapy, analysis and pharmaceutical drugs. During her stay at the psych ward she meets and builds relationships with the other females who are undergoing treatment for other forms of mental illness. I believe that the individual that I would be intervening with would be Susanna in this case. Based on the fact that she has been institutionalized I would be interacting or intervening hopefully within the first few weeks of her stay in the hospital so as to start building a relationship with the client as soon as possible. Gathering information/Assessment
Susanna Kaysen is the service user in this film, she is an eighteen year old female who has willingly admitted herself to a mental institution after a suicide attempt. When approaching this individual in an appointment type setting I would keep an open posture and be very aware of my non verbal communication as someone at that age can be easily offended or put on the defense if they feel judged. Along with this I would also try to invite her to speak more than myself by asking non invasive open ended questions at first, and validating any strong emotions that were to come up to encourage her to speak more. Knowing, based on her body language that she does not want to be where she is, I would ask her what she feels would be positive goals that would bring her closer to being release. The unique aspects of this individual that I would highlight to the client would be her intelligence. Based on her verbal communication skills and her ability to hold a conversation in the film supports the fact that she is extremely intelligent. Also I would acknowledge her empathy towards other people and her willingness to try and make others around her feel better. You see in the movie when one of the girls get physically put into a locked room she goes and gets some instruments and starts singing to her. Describing Situations
In describing the situation I believe that Susanna is very emotionally unstable, and is dealing with deeper seeded issues that are based from her home life. Some of the present issues she is face are her depression, possible boarder-line personality disorder and her inability to properly regulate her emotions. I also believe that her being institutionalized is aggravating any kind of mental illness or distress she is going through. Some of the supporting reasons why she may have these problems would be the environment she grew up in. In the film her parents are portrayed as very uptight and proper and Susanna makes it apparent that appearances are more important to them than her health and or happiness. One other relationship in Susanna's life that plays a role, is one of her professors that she had an affair with. Although they do not show much of the interaction between the two of them it does cater to showcasing some of Susanna's emotional insecurity as well as possible underlying issues with her father. Define Direction
I believe that my purpose in working with this individual would be to aid her in seeing her strengths and showing her ways to overcome her weaknesses. In helping Susanna realize that she had strengths I would be able to show her how to build from that and use those strengths to become a more functional human being. If my attempt to do either of these things were to be...
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