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Walden University Addressing Stress Disorders in Service Users Discussion

Walden University Addressing Stress Disorders in Service Users Discussion


Learning Resources

Required Readings

James, R. K., & Gilliland, B.E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

  • Chapter 7, “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”
  • Chapter 16, “Human Services Workers in Crisis: Burnout, Vicarious Traumatization, and Compassion Fatigue”

Required Media

Kanel, K. (2015). The ABC model of crisis counseling: Working with loss and grief [Video File]. Microtraining Associates. Alexandria, VA

Maletis, J. (2018, June). The psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder [Video].…
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.

Discussion: Addressing Stress Disorders in Service Users

When Elaine was 7, she fell off her bike and cut her chin. Her dad rushed her to the emergency room where a doctor used four stitches to close the wound – the first time she ever received stitches. Elaine is 43 now, but she can still remember specific details of the accident that happened almost three and a half decades ago: the heat of the sun on that summer afternoon; when she first began to lose control of her bike; how her hands trembled when she sat up after the fall; how the red stain began to grow on her favorite shirt when she looked down and first realized she was bleeding.

As traumas go, Elaine’s episode is relatively benign. Almost everyone can recall a time when they were injured, even regular scrapes and paper cuts. Memories of such incidents have more clarity than the millions of ordinary moments that one lives through. People can recall the specific sensation of pain and other details when the incident occurred. This is part of the stress response in the body. One becomes hyperaware as a threat is made known. One’s attention becomes focused on whether to fight, flee, or freeze.

However, once the immediate threat subsides, the memory and the feelings associated with it remain. Service users who have survived, or are surviving, stressful situations can respond to that stress in different ways that can lead to a stress disorder that requires further services and treatment. For this Discussion, you will consider two or more differences between acute stress disorder and PTSD so that service users can be referred to a mental health professional accordingly.

Consider the following scenario:

You are working for the housing services department for your county. On Sunday there was a fire in a public housing apartment building. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, but on Monday you work with the Wilson family, a single-parent household with two children (ages 11 and 14) that lost their apartment and need temporary housing. On Tuesday, you work with the Gibbs family, another single-parent household with two children (ages 7 and 15). The Gibbs family is seeking housing to escape an abusive partner.

To Prepare

  • Review the Learning Resources and Course Announcements.
  • Consider how stress disorders can affect service users and HSPPs.
  • Consider how the crisis being experienced by each family is unique in terms of stress response.

By Day 4

Post the following:

  • Explain what differentiates the symptoms of acute stress disorder and the symptoms of PTSD.
  • Share 3 to 4 clues HSPPs may see in one of the service users in the scenario that might require referral to a mental health professional.

By Day 6

Respond to at least 2 colleagues’ posts in one or more the following ways:

  • Share an insight you gained from your colleague’s post.
  • Share a personal or professional experience that adds insight or supports a colleague’s discussion.

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