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Author: Derek Wood, RN, BC, MS

60 Second Crisis Counseling

The art of crisis counseling to prevent situation escalation. Crisis is defined by Webster as a “dangerous or worrying time: a situation or period in which things are very uncertain, difficult or painful, especially when action must be taken to avoid complete disaster or breakdown” and a “critical moment: a time when something very important for the future is decided.” Alternatively, in Chinese the concept of crisis is made of two characters; the first depicting a critical or dangerous situation, and the other and opportunity for change. With this in mind, exploring how to defuse a crisis as quickly...

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What is a Nervous Breakdown?

First of all let’s make this clear: “Nervous Breakdown” is a popular term, it is not a clinical term and is not used by mental health professionals. Nervous Breakdown (or Mental Breakdown) is a term used for a severe, time-limited psychiatric disorder that can cause a previously functional person to break down to the point that they are no longer functional day-to-day. These breakdowns are usually temporary in nature and are often tied to some form of psychological burnout due to overwork, sleep deprivation, increased stress, decreased health, or a combination of these things. The term can be used to describe any number of mental disorders that a person may experience. It is used for a number of reasons, including: to hide a diagnosis; to avoid the stigma of a diagnosis; not understanding the reasons for certain loss of function (such as not seeing a doctor, but having symptoms); and not accepting a diagnosis among others. There are many disorders that can fit within the criteria of “Nervous Breakdown”, but those that most commonly occur are those related to: Anxiety Disorders Generalized Anxiety Disorder Panic Disorder Panic Attacks Trauma Disorders Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Acute Stress Disorder Psychotic Disorders Schizophrenia depressive disorders Depression bipolar disorders Bipolar Disorder The Disorder that is mimics the most directly however is Major Depressive Disorder (Depression). On the historical note, the reason the term “Nervous...

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Through the Life Cycle: Clinical Paper

Human growth and development, with the requisite learning of skills and master of cognitive and psychosocial tasks, unfolds in endlessly fascinating, complex patterns. If the child is to develop a healthy personality, then he or she must learn how to test reality, regulate impulses, stabilize moods, integrate feelings and actions, focus attention, and plan. (Wright, 1999) Diagnostic Features Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often referred to erroneously as ADD, is presented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders-IV (DSM-IV) (American Psychological Association [APA], 1994, pp. 78-85) as a disorder usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence. The diagnostic...

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The Biological Basis of Affective Disorders and Their Treatments: Clinical Paper

The classic model of mental illness in the first half of the 20th century held that stress was the cause of psychiatric illness in an otherwise healthy person (Gershon, 1990, p. 369). In more recent years, we have found biological clues that point to the true root of these mental illnesses. Insofar as unipolar depression and bipolar disorder (affective disorders) are concerned, as Cicchetti and Toth (1995, p. 409) state, “There is growing consensus that there are multiple pathways to depression. Moreover, not all depressed or manic-depressive individual experience each potential biological or psychological dysfunction that is examined.” To...

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Group Therapy for Teens: Clinical Paper

Adolescents are social creatures, in the midst of learning their social skills, and are often more trusting of others their own age than of adults. This makes the group therapy for teens an ideal choice when counseling becomes necessary for this age group. They are excellent at being able to learn from one another while observing and teaching appropriate skills as they grow. However, adolescents cannot be treated as merely young adults in the group therapy setting. They come with their own dynamics which must be acknowledged and understood in order to work effectively with them. Group Development Group Appropriateness The group is a natural setting for adolescents. They are taught in groups, live in groups, and often play in groups. Group therapy for teens is an ideal choice, as social interaction is a key aspect of the developmental process, and as suggested by Bandura (1989) most social learning takes place by observing others and the results of their actions. Leader (1991) states that group therapy for teens provides the therapeutic environment where they can work through interpersonal problems and examine the four basic identity questions: Who am I? With whom do I identify? What do I believe in? and Where am I going? The activities in group therapy that adolescents can be exposed to that they don’t have the opportunity to in individual therapy include the chances to learn...

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