Students will report on relevant aspects of the case history and will apply key concepts from course material, the course textbook, and the scholarly literature to the case in order to formulate a diagnosis, a working theory of causal factors, treatment recommendations, and a likely prognosis. Students will choose from among case studies provided.
Students will work on this assignment in three stages: In Week 1, the case will be selected and a topic area from the scholarly literature will be identified. In Week 3, an Annotated Bibliography of the scholarly articles will be submitted. In Week 7, the final paper is due.
In addition, as different aspects of the addiction process are covered in class readings and discussions each week, students should be thinking about how those aspects relate to the case they are analyzing. By using this step-wise approach, students will experience two benefits: course content will be more relevant as there will be a specific case against which to apply it and the writing of the analysis will be easier overall.
Students will write a thoughtful 10-12 page narrative report, following APA formatting guidelines, integrating the scholarly literature and addressing the main content areas described below.
RELEVANT HISTORY and PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: Are there any relevant aspects of the client’s history or the client’s characteristics, as reported in the Case Study, which might be relevant to understanding his or her current circumstances? How might you address those? If none are directly mentioned, what aspects would you want to inquire about or assess?
ASSESSMENT & DIAGNOSIS: Referring to DSM-5 criteria for the disorder(s) in question, discuss specific symptoms that would lead to a substance use diagnosis in this case. What type(s) of assessment would be most relevant? Are there symptoms that are NOT evident that would need to be confirmed? Do you suspect the presence of other mental health diagnoses?
CAUSAL FACTORS: What theory or theories might best explain the development of this disorder in this individual? What factors – Biological, Psychological, Sociocultural – likely played the most significant role in the development of the symptoms as they are presented in the case? Be as specific as possible
TREATMENT: Which treatment modalities offer the most likely help for this client? What specific techniques would be recommended?
PROGNOSIS: Based on your understanding of the case, what do you believe is the likely prognosis for this client? How would you define treatment “success” in this case? What factors might influence that success or failure?
The paper will end with a minimum of two substantive paragraphs summarizing points made and articulating a personal reflection (written in the first-person) of the case study analysis process.
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