Divorce is a lengthy developmental process and, in the case of children and adolescents, one that can encompass most of their young lives. This chapter explores the experience of divorce from the perspective of the children, reviews the evidence base and empirical support for interventions. It provides examples of three evidence-based intervention programs, namely, Children in Between, Children of Divorce Intervention Program (CODIP), and New Beginnings, appropriate for use with children, adolescents, and their parents. Promoting protective factors and limiting risk factors during childhood and adolescence can prevent many mental, emotional, and behavioral problems and disorders during those years and into adulthood. The Children in Between program is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. The CODIP and the New Beginnings program are also listed on the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
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This chapter explores three ’classic’ studies of creativity and mental illness. The first is Jamison whose focus is on the connection between bipolar disorder and creativity. The second is Andreasen, who used structured interviews to analyze 30 creative writers, 30 matched controls, and first-degree relatives of each group. The writers had a higher rate of mental illness, with a particular tendency toward bipolar and other affective disorders. The third major work is Ludwig, who utilized the historiometric technique. All three studies have come under serious criticism. Many of the studies of Big-C creators are historiometric, akin to Ludwig’s work. Some such studies claim that eminent creators show higher rates of mental illness. A much more common approach is to look at everyday people and give them measures of creativity and mental health. Typically, researchers look at what are called subclinical disorders—in other words, they’re not clinically significant.Source:
Creative people are also often seen as being outsiders and eccentric. Sen and Sharma’s examination of creativity beliefs in India tested beliefs about the Four P’s and found that creativity was more likely to be described as a holistic essence of an individual, and less likely to be focused on the product or process. Romo and Alfonso studied Spanish painters and found that one of the implicit theories that the painters held about creativity involved the role of psychological disorders. Plucker and Dana found that past histories of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco usage were not correlated with creative achievements; familial drug and alcohol use also was not significantly associated with creative accomplishments or creative personality attributes. Humphrey, McKay, Primi, and Kaufman did find that illegal drug use predicted self-reported creative behaviors even when openness to experience was controlled.Source:
The medical model in psychiatry assumes medical intervention is the treatment of choice for the constellations of diagnosed symptoms that comprise various mental disorders. These treatments may include pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive treatment, brain stimulation, and psychosurgery. Therefore, psychopharmacology for older adults can be considered palliative rather than a cure for a brain disease causing psychopathology. Older adults experience many psychopathological problems, including anorexia tardive, anxiety disorders, delusional disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and co-occurring disorders with substance abuse/dependence disorders. Therefore, it is critical for the social worker to understand the various manifestations of psychological problems in older adults from the perspective of an older adult, rather than extrapolating information commonly taught in social work programs that neglect to focus on older adults and restrict teaching to psycho-pathological problems in younger and middle-aged adults.
The idea of the mad genius persisted all the way to modern times and was even promulgated in scientific circles. Not only was genius mad, but it was associated with criminality and genetic degeneration. The empirical research relevant to the mad-genius issue uses three major methods: the historiometric, the psychometric and the psychiatric. The historical record is replete with putative exemplars of mad genius. The mental illness adopts a more subtle but still pernicious guise-alcoholism. In fact, it sometimes appears that alcoholism is one of the necessities of literary genius. Psychopathology can be found in other forms of genius besides creative genius. Of the available pathologies, depression seems to be the most frequent, along with its correlates of suicide and alcoholism or drug abuse. Family lineages that have higher than average rates of psychopathology will also feature higher than average rates of genius.Source:
This chapter presents the most salient psychological theories of personality. Personality is a core determinant of individual differences in everyday behaviors. The chapter discusses the difference between what psychologists broadly refer to as normal and what they regard as abnormal or clinical/mental illness. If one looks for an Elvis among personality psychologists, Sigmund Freud would be the one. During the mid-20th century, behaviorism emerged as a dominant paradigm for understanding human behavior, including personality. Although the social cognitive theory of personality has its origins in the radical behaviorist tradition, it emerged in clear opposition to it. According to the lexical hypothesis, historically, the most important and socially relevant behaviors that people display will eventually become encoded into language. Indeed, personality disorders are defined as long-standing, pervasive, and inflexible patterns of behavior and inner experience that deviate from the expectations of a person’s culture.Source:
- Go to chapter: The Role of Neurobiology in Social Work Practice With Youth Transitioning From Foster Care
This chapter presents advances in the understanding of adolescent brain development that can inform and improve social work practice with youth leaving foster care. Foster care populations have a high rate of mental health disorders, and the association of types of child maltreatment with elevated risk for such disorders is well known; discussion of specific mental health problems and their treatment can be found elsewhere. Conventional mental health approaches have often targeted the innervated cortical or limbic neural systems, rather than the innervating source of the dysregulation. Psychotherapy, whether psychodynamic or cognitive, acts on and has measurable effects on the brain, its functions, and metabolism in specific brain areas. The ethical response is a sharing of the dilemma, and of information about the neurobiology of the client’s struggle, to enable the client to make as informed a decision as possible. In addition, neuroimaging techniques themselves lead to other ethical dilemmas.
- Go to chapter: Older Adults of Color With Developmental Disabilities and Serious Mental Illness: Experiences and Service Patterns
Older Adults of Color With Developmental Disabilities and Serious Mental Illness: Experiences and Service Patterns
This chapter focuses on the factors that intersect with race and ethnicity in shaping the experiences of families from racial and ethnic minority communities. It presents a conceptual framework using a Venn diagram that shows the intersection between aging and having a serious mental illness (SMI) or developmental disabilities (DD), limited services for these aging populations, and being a person of color with SMI or DD. People with DD and SMI are now experiencing increased life expectancy due to improved medical and technological advances. However, understanding the needs of aging adults with DD and SMI from diverse communities in the United States and their caregiving families is particularly challenging, because historically, there have been racial and ethnic disparities in the use of specialty health care services. Older adults with DD and SMI from racial minority groups are disadvantaged on multiple domains.Source:
Over the past 25 years there has been a growing recognition of the importance of working with families of persons with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and treatment-refractory depression. Family intervention can be provided by a wide range of professionals, including social workers, psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, and counselors. This chapter provides an overview of two empirically supported family intervention models for major mental illness: behavioral family therapy (BFT) and multifamily groups (MFGs), both of which employ a combination of education and cognitive behavior techniques such as problem solving training. Some families have excellent communication skills and need only a brief review, as provided in the psychoeductional stage in the handout “Keys to Good Communication”. One of the main goals of BFT is to teach families a systematic method of solving their own problems.
Dryden has argued that there are various sources of influence that impinge upon the therapist and client as they seek to determine in which therapeutic modality to work. The rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) model of disturbance emphasizes the role played by the individual’s Belief system in his or her psychological problems; this may influence its practitioners to work more frequently in the modality of individual therapy than in other modalities. Individual therapy is particularly indicated for clients who have profound difficulties sharing therapeutic time with other clients. Clients may move from modality to modality, and thus individual therapy, can be best viewed as part of a comprehensive treatment strategy. Some REBT therapists attempt to induct clients into REBT by involving them in pretherapy induction activities. Therapists can also impede client progress by failing to help clients to attain closure on a particular problem.