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Emotional anaesthesia: a cognitive-behavioural treatment of prolonged grief in a client with complex comorbidities-the importance of reintegrating attachment, memory, and self-identity

Citation

Vrklevski, LP and Joplin, S, Emotional anaesthesia: a cognitive-behavioural treatment of prolonged grief in a client with complex comorbidities-the importance of reintegrating attachment, memory, and self-identity, Bereavement Care, 36, (1) pp. 25-32. ISSN 0268-2621 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Cruse Bereavement Care

DOI: doi:10.1080/02682621.2017.1305048

Abstract

Objective: This case-report presents the formulation and treatment of a patient with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia, and significant complex comorbidities. It was hypothesised that much of the presentation was secondary to unresolved grief. This raises issues regarding treatment and diagnosis of unresolved grief in psychiatric inpatient units, as the DSM-5 does not currently recognise Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD). We argue that failing to recognise PGD as a distinct syndrome has implications for research into effective psychotherapeutic interventions for patients with unresolved, prolonged, or complicated grief. Method: A case-report of a patient diagnosed with schizophrenia and multiple comorbidities who received 31 sessions of psychotherapy (i.e. integrative cognitive behaviour therapy for prolonged grief disorder) as part of a rehabilitation programme. The following measures were administered pre- and post-treatment: (i) The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, to measure levels of depression, anxiety, and stress; (ii) The Beck Depression Inventory-II to assess more specifically levels of depression; and (iii) the Prolonged Grief Disorder (PG 13) to assess symptoms of prolonged grief disorder. Results: Upon completion of therapy, reductions were observed in PG-13 scores, stress on The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and depression on The Beck Depression Inventory-II. Conclusions: This case report demonstrates the utility of going beyond the DSM-5 when formulating complex patients. It also highlights the importance of identifying precursory and perpetuating factors driving complex presentations, and implementing a flexible and evidence-based treatment that sensitively addresses the presentation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:psychosis, inpatient, case-report, prolonged/complicated grief, cognitive behaviour therapy, bereavement
Research Division:Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Research Group:Psychology
Research Field:Psychology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Author:Vrklevski, LP (Ms Lila Vrklevski)
ID Code:116754
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Tasmanian School of Business and Economics
Deposited On:2017-05-18
Last Modified:2017-11-13
Downloads:0

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