SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Article 1:

Sperry, L. (2005). Case conceptualizations: The missing link between theory and practice. The Family Journal, 13(1), 71-76.

A good case conceptualization should effectively link a client’s presenting problem to a treatment plan as well as provide the basis for tailoring treatment to client need and expectations. Case conceptualization can also provide a tangible marker of a trainee’s capacity to link or integrate theory and practice. Unfortunately, family therapy has been notably silent about case conceptualizations and either of these links, despite the fact that case conceptualization is probably indispensable when health issues impact couples or family dynamics. This article discusses these considerations. It then describes pattern analysis, a clinically useful strategy for case conceptualization and sequencing treatment for individuals, couples, and families and applies it to the impact of health issues on family dynamics. A case example illustrates the linking functions of a case conceptualization and the application of pattern analysis to the planning and sequencing of treatment involving adolescent diabetes in a family context.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is case conceptualization? Has it been central and valued  in your  graduate training program? 
  2. What are the three dimensions of case conceptualization as briefly described in this article?
  3. What are the roles of deductive and inductive reasoning in the case conceptualization-treatment planning process as discussed in this article?
  4. What is pattern analysis and how can it be a useful strategy for conceptualizing cases and planning and sequencing treatment?
  5. The article provides a sample case study of a family medical issue. Write your own brief case study describing a familiar case type in your placement setting.  Try using the guidelines presented in this article to work through your case study.

Article 2:

González-Prendes, A. A., Hindo, C., & Pardo, Y. (2011). Cultural values integration in cognitive-behavioral therapy for a Latino with depression. Clinical Case Studies, 10(5), 376-394.

This case study describes the integration of cultural values into the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) of a Latino with depression to illustrate culture-based modifications in the use of CBT treatment with this client. Cultural values of familismo, personalismo, respeto, and machismo are defined and weaved into the case conceptualization and treatment process, to build a culturally competent treatment approach. The article describes challenges in the treatment of the individual and provides culture-specific strategies to modify the traditional CBT approach and increase the prospects of successful treatment outcomes. It acknowledges the heterogeneity of the Latino population and cautions against broad generalizations. Treatment implications; limitations relative to gender, education, and socioeconomic status; and recommendations for practice and research are also included. The article further provides a discussion on the status of intervention research with racial and ethnic minority groups and Latinos in particular. 

Questions to Consider:

  1. The article describes challenges in the treatment of the individual and provides culture-specific strategies to modify the traditional CBT approach and increase the prospects of successful treatment outcomes. How can you learn from what the authors present here without falling into a knee-jerk pattern of stereotyping clients based on culture?
  2. What culture(s) do you need to learn more about to serve the communities represented at your placement site? Are there aspects of difference or exceptionality beyond culture that you to reflect upon in your placement?
  3. How can greater knowledge of a client’s background assist you in working from a strength based perspective?
  4. What self reflection exercises might help you avoid complicating factors based on your unique worldview and cultural factors that influence your conceptualizations?

Article 3:

Solberg, V. S., Phelps, L. A., Haakenson, K. A., Durham, J. F., & Timmons, J. (2012). The nature and use of individualized learning plans as a promising career intervention strategy. Journal of Career Development, 39(6), 500-514.

Individualized learning plans (ILPs) are being implemented in high schools throughout the United States as strategic planning tools that help students align course plans with career aspirations and often include the development of postsecondary plans. Initial indications are that ILPs may be an important method for helping students achieve both college and career readiness. Parents, teachers, and students indicate that ILPs result in students selecting more rigorous courses, better teacher–student relationships, and positive parent–school relations. This article describes the emergence and nature of ILPs, promising practice strategies as well as challenges associated with gaining whole school buy-in, and the potential for career and vocational research.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Your text advocates using SMART goals for your clients…and for yourself. Using this article as inspiration, what other aspects of you field placement might be aided by taking the time to create SMART goals?
  2. What strategies might you employ to facilitate buy-in to SMART goals for reluctant clients, supervisors and systems?
  3. What aspects of this school based system might you implement in other settings when working with clients with career concerns?