This chapter examines the cultural and relational contexts of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a debilitating, multidimensional mental health problem that affects 10"-15” of new mothers and has serious consequences for women, children, families, and marriages. Although women’s experience of postpartum depression has been the subject of considerable recent study, nearly all of this work has been interpreted within a medical or psychological frame. The chapter looks at a social constructionist lens to this body of research through a meta-data-analysis of recent qualitative studies of PPD. Though hormonal changes as a result of childbirth are related to depressive symptoms after childbirth, biological explanations alone cannot explain postpartum depression. A social constructionist approach to postpartum depression focuses on how the condition arises in the context of ongoing interpersonal and societal interaction. Climbing out of postpartum depression is an interpersonal experience that requires reconnection with others.
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This chapter offers a brief and focused review of human development, with specific emphasis on cognition and emotion. It is essential that the reader distinguishes between cognitive development, cognitive psychology, and cognitive therapy. Both short-term and long-term memory improve, partly as a result of other cognitive developments such as learning strategies. Adolescents have the cognitive ability to develop hypotheses, or guesses, about how to solve problems. The pattern of cognitive decline varies widely and the differences can be related to environmental factors, lifestyle factors, and heredity. Wisdom is a hypothesized cognitive characteristic of older adults that includes accumulated knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to practical problems of living. Cognitive style and format make the mysterious understandable for the individual. Equally, an understanding of an individual’s cognitive style and content help the clinician better understand the client and structure therapeutic experiences that have the greatest likelihood of success.
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.
This chapter gives an overview of the conditions and child vulnerabilities that can disrupt relationship building. In the context of parenting and/or adult-to-child caregiving, theoretical understanding of the importance of human relationships, connections, and alliances has been guided by major models, including evolutionary psychology, attachment theory, social learning, social cognition theory, social development theory, and social control theory, bioecological systems theory and human behavioral genetics theory. Relationship formation is critical in positioning caregivers to serve in a “curative” role in assisting children to make gains and recover from the experiences of not having normal parental experiences. Kinship caregivers are in a unique position to help children develop relational competence. Relational competence is a person’s ability to appropriately interact with others and to develop meaningful relationships and connections. The caregiver can help the child reconnect or restore broken relationships.
Anxiety is often a normal reaction to stress, and there will always be situations that create stress and discomfort. In social work practice, recognition of the primary types of anxiety-related mental health disorders and the medications used to treat these disorders is an essential first step for comprehensive treatment. When medication alone is not enough, psychosocial interventions can assist the client in controlling anxious feelings. This chapter emphasizes the importance of being familiar with the medications and supplemental psychosocial interventions that can be effective in treating these disorders. Social work professionals often provide key services, including assessment and diagnostic and treatment services, to those who suffer from anxiety conditions. In terms of direct intervention efforts, many of the techniques described in the chapter can be used to help clients suffering from depression because the symptoms of anxiety and depression frequently overlap.
Any discussion of medications in today's practice environment should include an introduction to complementary and alternative or integrative medicine (CAM) and other herbal treatments and remedies, with an emphasis on using this information to complement traditional treatment strategy. CAM can include the therapeutic use of animals and animal parts, but most often is defined as involving plants. Social workers are in a unique position to aid clients in their use of complementary and alternative medicine. Homeopathic medicine involves the whole person; it considers the emotional, mental, and physical symptoms and matches them to the needs of a particular client. Social workers can assist comprehensive care by providing stress management strategies, relaxation techniques, and psychosocial interventions that can be incorporated into alternative therapies. Keeping abreast of all forms of treatment is important to provide the best possible care.
Childhood bereavement support is provided by a variety of professionals including chaplains, social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, child life specialists, nurses, school counselors, thanatologists, and educators. This chapter discusses the issue of professional accountability and ethical considerations when working with bereaved children and their families in order to offer a framework for standards for this important type of support. It is not enough to solely provide orientation training to volunteers, it is also important to offer continued training for both new and existing volunteers. Organizations that provide support to bereaved children should establish written, agreed upon standards of practice to which program staff and volunteers are held accountable. The parent or legal guardian of children attending individual support, peer support groups, or grief camps should be provided a clear description of services being provided. Services provided should fit within the mission, vision, and values of the organization.
This book is a comprehensive assessment of the school-to-prison pipeline and is intended for stakeholders, advocates, researchers, policy makers, educators, and students. It explains the serious problems that strict school discipline and tough-on-crime juvenile court policies have wrought on many students, disproportionately impacting some of our most vulnerable children and adolescents. The criminalization of education and school settings, along with fewer rehabilitative alternatives within the juvenile courts, has created the pipeline and also made the problems significantly worse. The book is unique in both its breadth of coverage and incorporation of empirical knowledge from the fields of education, juvenile justice/criminology, sociology/social work, and psychology to synthesize the impact and possible solutions to the entrenched school-to-prison pipeline. It explains that although there was a crossover impact between these two child- and adolescent caring systems, the punitive movements were both independent and interdependent. The increased use of zero-tolerance policies and police in the schools has exponentially increased arrests and referrals to the juvenile courts. Similarly, in the juvenile justice system, a movement toward harsher penalties and a tough-on-crime approach more than doubled the number of adolescents adjudicated delinquent and brought under court supervision. The book presents the common risk factors that make it more likely for students to be involved in punitive school and juvenile court systems. It explores who is disproportionately involved and why this may be occurring for the following child and adolescent groups: impoverished families; those of color; trauma and maltreatment victims; those with special education disabilities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).
The legal system relies heavily on jargon. This chapter discusses the terms and phrases most commonly used in family law. Few of the terms and phrases includes appeal, applicant, best interest of the child, case manager, case management directions, child’s representative, complainant and court order. The chapter also discusses the roles of counselors in family court and provides step-by-step guidelines on how to expand one’s counseling practice to include family forensic services. Depending on the state, a custody evaluator generally is a licensed physician who has board certification in psychiatry, a licensed psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker or licensed social worker in private practice, a licensed clinical professional counselor, or a licensed marriage and family therapist. Regardless of terminology, the custody evaluator is licensed at the highest tier of his or her profession. Mandatory mediation and joint custody were issues regularly considered in courts in many states.
This chapter explores the utility of applying the unified theory of crime with theory of developmental trajectories of childhood aggression to predict possible neuroscience-informed policy and practice strategies for improved outcomes in the management of violence and aggression in schools. Contributions of neurobiological factors to violence and aggression have received less attention in the social work literature than psychosocial factors, as is true of many behaviors that are a focus of social work practice. Specific research into violence in the schools has focused less on neurological contributors to youth aggression in the school setting, and more on hypothesized trigger behaviors or events such as bullying, and social rejection. When examining neurological underpinnings to violence in schools, the role of health disparities and related educational status disproportionalities emerge in the policy context. Enacting schoolwide screening policies for behavioral risk factors has shown promise as a violence prevention step for some time.