3 1 discussion intervention strategies 1

Using one of these mental health case studies, explain which intervention would be appropriate to utilize as a treatment intervention. Describe possible roadblocks that might hinder the effectiveness of treatment, and one or two methods to successfully address these roadblocks. Finally, discuss how the identified intervention would differ if used with a child or adolescent, versus an adult.

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Ismail, a 25-year-old male, whose social interactions with friends and academic accomplishments started to decline over the past year. His mother started having concerns when Ismail started locking himself in the room, talking to himself, starring into space whispering, and felt like he was possessed. Ismail believed that his parents and neighbors were plotting to kill him and believed that his mind was being taken over by the devil. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Treatment for schizophrenia varies, but medication and psychotherapy is recommended. One of the biggest challenges for patients with schizophrenia is that throughout their treatment he/she might stop taking the medication due to side effects, or they believe that the medication isn’t working. Medication is essential in the treatment plan of schizophrenia, so it’s imperative to find a medication that works well for the patient (Tartakovsky and Grohol, 2020). It’s also important that the patient/client participate in psychotherapy or talk therapy which has proven to be beneficial in clients with mental illnesses. It can help with learning social skills, maintaining daily activities, and being able to complete the basic day to day necessities (Tarkovsky and Grohol, 2020). It might also be beneficial for Ismail to participate in assertive community treatment- ACT. It’s more of a multidisciplinary approach which includes a team of case managers, social workers, psychiatrists, etc. The client is seen once a week as well as providing community outreach/resources. The goal is to reduce hospitalization and assist clients in adapting in the community (Tarkovsky and Grohol, 2020).

Some hindrances or roadblocks could be Ismail continuing to withdraw from treatment or not following steps within his treatment plan. He could be reluctant or in denial that he has a mental disorder. I think having him understand schizophrenia, treatment plan, and therapies needed could help with his reluctance. I think explaining that he can live somewhat of normal life can also help with his reluctance if he’s following the treatment plan. I think another hindrance could be parents/family members not being supportive of his treatment. Different cultural backgrounds are not receptive to outside help such as therapy.

Early-onset schizophrenia is rare, but it does occur in less than 1 percent before age 13. It’s estimated to occur in 1/10,000. I remember watching a documentary years ago about early-onset schizophrenia. I don’t remember the name of the documentary, but I am attaching a link to one of the kiddos that were in the first documentary. She is said to be the youngest to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. I think there’s some controversy around diagnosing kids with schizophrenia due to the overlapping of symptoms to other possibilities.


Tartakovsky, Margarita and Grohol, John. Schizophrenia Treatment. Retrieved February 5, 2020 from https://psychcentral.com/schizophrenia/schizophren…


Li is an 18 year old high school student that went from being an honest and hardworking kid, to staying out late, recklessly spending money, and failing grades. His mother was concerned and suggested that he see a counselor. Li was not fond of this idea and refused to see anyone. Eventually a health worker visited Li at home and was able to get him to open up and talk about his problems after building trust with him. It was determined that Li was acting out because he had found a new group of friends and had starting experimenting with drugs. Li became dependent on heroin and was taking extreme measures to obtain money to pay for his heroin.

A family-based intervention would be beneficial for Li. Li said he wanted to get help but didn’t know where to go or how to ask for it. The family-based intervention would give Li some confidence in his ability to overcome his addiction because he would have the support of his family beside him (Schmied & Tully, 2009). Family-based intervention has been proven effective with adolescents that struggle with substance abuse problems. The family can serve as a support system and accountability system for the individual involved. Li will not feel like he is singled out or being judged for his poor decision. He will feel like he has people that love and support him as they stand beside him every step of the way through recovery. His family will help with withdrawal symptoms and staying strong and be there after his recovery to prevent relapse into drugs in the future.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Relapse will be Li’s two biggest roadblocks on the way to recovery. These two steps are typically difficult for individuals to work through in any case. As Li stays away from heroin, his body will undergo crude and difficult symptoms as it craves the drug but does not have the satisfaction of receiving it. Individuals will typically get very sick and have symptoms ranging anywhere from cold chills and sweating to vomiting and feeling like they are going crazy. Through the family-based intervention, Li’s parents should be able to learn some strategies to work with Li as he overcomes these symptoms. This might include not letting him out of their sight to ensure he does not find the drug and take it to calm the withdrawal. Once Li has been free from heroin long enough that the drug has cleared his symptom and he is no longer experiencing the withdrawal symptoms, relapse will be the next roadblock he encounters. This roadblock could continue to be an issue for years and years down the road. Each individual has their own triggers. Li’s triggers might include stress. Thus any time he experiences a time in life that is particularly stressful, he may wish to revert back to heroin in order to escape the reality and “relax”. His family will play an integral part in this event by providing Li with positive and healthy coping mechanisms for stress, or whatever his trigger is. The family will continue to support him and stand by him while he fights the urge to relapse into heroin again.

This intervention appears to be most effective with children and adolescents because the family unit is typically a strong and important component of ones life during this stage of life. The individual is most likely living with their family and already has some sort of strong bond with them. This can make the family-based intervention very successful by playing to that familial bond already in place. A family-based intervention may not be as effective with an adult because the family unit looks much different at that point. As an adult, you most likely are not as close to your parents anymore as far as relying on them and looking to them for help. An adult also most likely has their own family depending on how old they are. I’ve heard of a large number of marriages ending in divorce due to substance abuse. Therefore, even if someone was trying to seek help, it might be too much on the marriage and if children are involved, the other spouse might act out of fear for the safety of the children and leave before expending too much energy on trying to help the spouse end their substance abuse. Family-based intervention with married couples could still be effective, but I don’t think it is as effective as with adolescents and their parents and other immediate family members.

Schmied, V., and Tully, L. (2009). Effective strategies and interventions for adolescents in a child protection context. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/139472410/Effective-Adolescent-Strategies

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