Socw-6060 & 6443-wk4-responses | Psychology homework help



Respond to at least two colleagues who selected different professionals from the ones you selected. Explain whether or not you think their approaches will help to empower Paula and explain why.

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Colleague 1: Whitney


Paula is a 43-year-old woman who is from Colombia but lives in New York. Paula is HIV positive and currently lives alone. Paula is divorced but has one child named Miguel who is 20 years-old. Paula ran away from home when she was 17-years-old and became involved with drugs. During this time, she also married her husband. Paula receives social security and Medicaid for her bi-polar disorder. She was also diagnosed with a brain infection leaving her partially paralyzed on one side of her body and Hepatitis C (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014).

Paula’s social worker and psychiatrist were both empowering and encouraging her to take her medications and to better self through her illness. The social worker was supportive to her and filled the gap for her not having a support system at home. The social worker provided her with appropriate resources and never judged her situation. National Association of Social Workers (2008) states “social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity”.

Paula’s situation and the professionals involved affect her personal empowerment by allowing her to gain self-worth and get treatment. In the beginning, Paula did seem reluctant and angry however, she always spoke about what she wanted and they listened (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014).

Paula strengths consisted of self-advocacy. She knew what she wanted as it pertained to her medication and treatment. She make sure that everyone understood what she wanted as well. I would use that same strength to empower her and know that she can make the right decisions and have a brighter future.  



National Association of Social Workers. (2008). Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from


Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories: Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader


Colleague 2: Sha’Tia



Paula is a 43-year-old female, who resides in Queens, NY. She is Latina descent and has one child, Miguel who is 20 years old.  Paula is HIV positive and was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Several years later she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and she also had a brain infection which left the right side of body paralyzed.  Paula reported using drugs heavily when she was younger with her husband, David. David and Paula are now divorced, and David is re-married.  Paula is currently receiving services at an outpatient comprehensive care clinic. 

Two Professionals and their approach

Paula’s social worker, doctor, and psychiatrist worked on a multi-disciplinary team to meet the needs of Paula and her unborn child.  Paula has little to no support and relies on community and social services to meet her needs. 

The social worker linked Paula with the services needed to her achieve her goal of caring for her child. Also, the social worker followed the NASW code of ethics, by protecting Paula and her unborn child. The social worker identified that Paula might be a harm to herself and unborn child. The social worker took the proper steps to ensure both were safe. The doctor worked on a disciplinary team as well. The doctor did not deviate from his tasks of providing medical care. The doctor adhered to providing quality care to ensure both Paula and her unborn child was safe. 

Paula’s Empowerment

“Empowerment refers to the process by which individuals and groups gain the power to access resources and to control”(Robbins,, 2012, pg. 87). Paula’s team of professionals worked to ensure Paula’s goal of caring for her child with little support was met. Paula demonstrated self-determination to raise her child. With the assistance of her team and provided services, this empowered Paula to continue on her journey of raising her child.


As a social worker, I would continue to empower Paula. She will need encouragement and guidance, due to her lack of compliance with medications and ailments of being HIV positive and bi-polar. I would also use the skill of engagement. I would discuss with Paula about attending support groups of HIV positive to help assist Paula in building social skills. 


Robbins, S.P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E.R. (2012). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Allyn & Bacon.

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S. & Brocksen, S.M. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Retrieved from 

Part 2, “The Cortez Family.”










Respond to at least one of your colleagues with your professional opinion on the psychopharmacological intervention recommendation offered for your case study.



Colleague 1: Kendra


Case Description:


Ruby is a 24 year old African American female who resides with her mother and stepfather.  When Ruby was 8 years of age her mother began to notice that Ruby would have very bad behavioral outburst that were out of character for her followed by extreme sadness.  As she got older Ruby started to have trouble in school and difficulty socializing with her peers. One day Ruby’s mother overheard her expressing her eagerness to harm her sister in her sleep one day after the two go into a verbal altercation.  Ruby was beginning to hear voices, have hallucinations, and she started to lack concern about her personal hygiene. Slowly Ruby’s behaviors began to cause tension in her mother’s marriage. Ruby has no other medical symptoms or diagnoses and has no criminal record. She is currently unemployed and is dating a 27 year old male who also has the same symptoms has her. In the pass Ruby has tried to stab her boyfriend out of anger. She has also tried to fight him multiple times. Ruby describes her relationship as complicated. Ruby’s mother could no longer care for her and decided to seek professional help.  



For the case scenario of Ruby I would diagnose her with Schizoaffective Disorder. Ruby has been displaying dangerous behavioral outburst, depression/mood swings, poor personal hygiene, difficulty in school, and poor social skills.  According to the DSM-5 (2013), “Schizoaffective disorder can be broken down into two principle subgroups: bipolar type and depressive type. Bipolar type is typified by depressive and manic episodes, whereas manic episodes are not found in depressive type schizoaffective disorder.”  For Ruby I would combine medication treatment along with antidepressant medicines and mood stabilizers. Ruby could benefit from talk therapy that can help with creating plans, solving problems, and maintaining relationships. Also group therapy can help with social isolation. A mood stabilizer drug that I would prescribe for Ruby would be Lithobid.  This medication is used to treat manic-depressive disorder. It works to stabilize the mood and reduce extremes in behavior by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.  I would make sure that Ruby and her mother both participate in educational classes about her mental condition and I would encourage the family to attend therapy as a whole. It’s important that Ruby takes her medicine as prescribed. I would create a chart for Ruby to use to help her with med management and have her mother learn about the chart as well to assist Ruby. 



American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th Ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. “Bipolar and Related Disorders” (pp. 123–154).







Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings. Respond in one or more of the following ways:

·       Ask a probing question.

·       Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.

·       Offer and support an opinion.

·       Make a suggestion.

·       Expand on your colleague’s posting.




Colleague 1: Dawn


Psychopharmacological Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorders

 It may be difficult to see and understand the adverse effects associated with psychopharmacological interventions and the medications given for the diagnoses that come along with it. Although mental health professionals try to approach these disorders with other approaches when treating clients with bipolar disorder the medication seems to be an effective wait to treat it.

Lithium is a common medication used for treating bipolar disorder. Currently, 80% of patients will have a good response to taking Lithium for their Bipolar disorder (Lichtblau, 2011). Current research suggests Lithium is able to decrease monoamine activity and it changes the signaling to the cells in the hippocampus which has shown to be effective (Lichtblau, 2011). There are also potential side effects of the medication Lithium such as tremor of hands, fatigue, and slurred speech (Lichtblau, 2011). It may be difficult for the doctor to find the right dosage for this medication because the narrow range to prescribe and get the right therapeutic effect can be difficult (Lichtblau, 2011).

It is very important for the mental health professionals to monitor each client for adverse effects associated with the medication lithium. It is important to watch for certain side effects to ensure they do not get increasingly worse and monitor their blood counts to make sure there are even amounts of medication (Lithium, 2012). A mental health professional might advocate for a client to consult with his or her psychiatrist if they form a rare kidney problem or if they begin to urinate frequently and become extremely thirsty it may be a sign of diabetes insipidus (Lithium, 2012).


Lichtblau, L. (2011). Psychopharmacology demystified. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.Chapter 3, “Pharmacotherapy of Bipolar Disorder” (pp. 37–47)

Lithium. (2012). Retrieved from

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