I had a wonderful “Ah ha” moment while writing a paper today! Let’s see if I can explain this in a way that makes sense….So for my Trauma and Violence class, we have to write a case formulation paper that looks at a specific case and walks through diagnosis, creating a working hypothesis of the problematic symptoms, goal construction, and eventually developing a treatment plan. In the middle of creating my outline for the paper, I realized I’m using knowledge from ALL of my classes and pulling them together in this paper! Just to give you a feel of some classes at UNC SSW and how they all are contributing to my knowledge for this paper, here’s my classes and how they relate to the paper:
Trauma and Violence (paper for this class) – The child in my case has PTSD and that’s a diagnosis we talk about a LOT in this class….diagnostic criteria, contributing factors, treatment plans, etc
Child Mental Health – Each week we practice diagnosing a child from a case study using the 5-axis DSM IV-TR criteria…all this practice made it pretty easy for me to figure out the child I’m writing about now has PTSD
Aggressive and Antisocial Behavior – Last week we talked about different common profiles of children who drop out of high school and protective factors of those who stay in school. The child in my case study came extremely close to dropping out of high school when she moved to a new foster home, and our class discussion gave me some good insight into what may have helped keep her in school.
Clinical Practice with Families – In looking at treatment, it would be very difficult to engage in therapy with her without any involvement with her family. This child is in foster care and about to be adopted, but a lot of her current struggles revolve around her difficult time attaching to her foster parents.
Child Welfare Policy and Perspectives – As I said above, the child has been involved with the child welfare system for about 3 years, so everything learned here applies!
AND, the best part of all….this case study I’m writing about is a real case of a girl I worked with last year in field! If I’d had all this knowledge last year, I think my interactions with her could have been a lot more effective! I wish I could post a picture of her here for you all to see, but that’s clearly far far far beyond the restraints of confidentiality! But, she’s an absolutely incredible girl and knowing that I’m gaining skills to better serve children like her in the future makes all these sleepless nights, stressful moments, and papers worth the price 🙂