Social Work Psychosocial Assessment

Topics: Cancer, Want, Pratt Institute Pages: 7 (2145 words) Published: November 18, 2012


April was not a referral client; rather she did her own research after feeling unsupported by her previous therapist. She found this practice on the Pratt Institute listserv as she was looking for a psychologist close to school. According to April, she received a diagnosis of stage three Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma five weeks ago and had not told anyone close to her. She wanted to talk to someone “objective” to figure out what steps to take next.

Client Identification

Demographics: April is a 23 year-old woman who currently lives on campus at Pratt Institute studying architecture and urban planning. Her parents are married and she has a 21 year-old brother, Daniel, who has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Her father used to be in the army and now works for the US Department of Veterans Affairs, her mother cares for her brother.

Employment/Education: April is in her second year at Pratt and presents to overwhelmed with current workload, yet managing to get by. She seems focused and undeterred by her presenting issue to complete her education. It is unclear if April is employed, she did not mention it.

Income and Source: As stated above, it is unclear if April is currently working, receiving financial help from her parents, or receiving government loans and bursaries. Further information on her sources of income may need to be clarified to determine as this could have an impact on the care available to her in the near future. However, her interest in alternative medicine could mean she is not worried about finances.

Living Environment: The specifics of April’s living environment are unknown. She has not stated any concerns about her living situation.

Sources of Information

The information contained in this assessment was acquired in an in person appointment with April that she scheduled. No information was obtained from any other sources.

Problem Definition

April was diagnosed five weeks ago with stage three Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. April stated she feels “tired” and has been experiencing “night sweats” lately. Although, she states that she “knows” she has cancer, she seems to be in denial about the severity of her illness. April has a hard time talking about her diagnosis (she had to write it down), and seemed to be avoiding what she came to talk about although she expressed wanting to talk with someone objective who was not personally invested in her well-being.

April was previously seen by a Pratt therapist, which she stated did not go well though she found her old psychiatrist “nice enough”, she felt that she was only a good listener with “nothing to say”. She seemed to be annoyed with the previous therapists attempts to contact her after she decided to stop going, although she did not let her know she would not be returning.

April became very defensive when talking about her family, when this worker asked if she felt that her brother took up most of her mother’s time, she quickly shot the idea down. She presents as being exceedingly independent, yet extremely loyal to her family.

April communicated that she is falling behind on her schoolwork, she seems particularly concerned with maintaining her current life and does not appear to be taking her diagnosis seriously. April expressed wanting to explore her other options of acupuncture, herbal therapies, and meditation even though her oncologist suggested she begin chemotherapy immediately. April appears to be experiencing an internal conflict and seems to have a hard time trusting others or asking for help.


April stated that she had a cough that would not let up, as she grew tired of coughing in class she finally went to the health counter at Pratt. She was prescribed antibiotics, which did not help her cough. She had resigned herself to wait to speak to her dad, a retired army official now working for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. When she began...
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