Working With Clients With Physical Disabilities

Format: DVD [Closed Captioned]
Running Time: more than 100 minutes
Item #: 4310915
ISBN: 978-1-4338-1689-5
List Price: $99.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $69.95
Publication Date: November 2013
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories

APA Psychotherapy Training Videos are intended solely for educational purposes for mental health professionals. Viewers are expected to treat confidential material found herein according to strict professional guidelines. Unauthorized viewing is prohibited.
Description

In this video, Dr. Linda R. Mona demonstrates disability affirmative therapy (DAT), a framework for psychotherapy with people with physical disabilities.

DAT is a metatheoretical perspective that provides a disability-positive context where specific treatment interventions can be effectively applied. The DAT model focuses on empowerment and acknowledgement of social marginalization and environmental barriers, an appreciation of the dynamic nature of disability, consideration of the medical realities of persons with disabilities, and recognition of personal coping strategies.

Using established therapeutic practices (e.g., cognitive–behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques) within a disability-affirmative framework allows for a truly integrated approach that includes addressing the individual's presenting symptoms as well as facilitating awareness of social and political factors that may be affecting quality of life.

In this demonstration, Dr. Mona works with a woman with a physical disability who is having difficulty finding a job. Dr. Mona establishes a therapeutic environment that allows for affirmative goal-setting, an integrated view of the self, and attention to the values of flexibility and creativity that are prized in the disability community.

Approach

Linda R. Mona describes her clinical approach as integrative, using two main theoretical approaches that guide case conceptualization and treatment. The disability experience has been defined in a multitude of ways throughout history. However, Dr. Mona utilizes the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research's (NIDRR) New Paradigm of Disability to comprehensively define the disability experience.

This theory attempts to bridge both individual-level and environmental-level conceptualizations of disability (NIDDR, 1999) by framing disability as the product of impairment possessed by the individual interacting with the limitations of the environment. Given that the life experiences of people with disabilities can be best understood by exploring the interaction of condition within interpersonal, social, political, and environmental contexts, the NIDRR paradigm assists with exploring these issues.

By considering multiple levels, clinicians become more effective in identifying treatment foci, advocating for and empowering clients, and engaging the client's strengths in the treatment process.

Dr. Mona's clinical treatment approach is framed by Disability Affirmative Therapy (DAT; Olkin, 1999). DAT is a metatheoretical perspective that provides a disability-positive context wherein specific treatment interventions can be applied.

The DAT model encompasses several components:

  • empowerment and acknowledgement of social marginalization and environmental barriers
  • appreciation of the dynamic nature of disability
  • consideration of the medical realities of persons with disabilities and recognition of personal coping strategies
  • provision of a therapeutic environment that provides affirmative goal-setting, an integrated view of the self, and encapsulates the values of flexibility and creativity that are prized in the disability community

Embedding established therapeutic practices (e.g., cognitive–behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques) into a disability-affirmative framework will allow for a truly integrated approach that includes addressing the individual's presenting symptoms as well as the facilitating social and political factors that may be affecting quality of life.

After utilizing DAT to conceptualize presenting clinical issues, Dr. Mona will then decide to use one of many evidenced based practice clinical interventions to address any given presenting issue. Specifically, she typically uses cognitive–behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in practice. She especially focuses on mindfulness and values clarification techniques within ACT to assist with the facilitation of treatment goals.

References

  • National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. (1999). NIDRR long-range plan. Washington, DC: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
  • Olkin, R. (1999). What psychotherapists should know about disability. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
About the Therapist

Linda R. Mona, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked as a clinician, consultant, and researcher focusing on the psychological aspects of disability as a diverse life experience. For the past 11 years, she has worked at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System providing mental health services to veterans with disabilities. She currently serves as the director of psychology postdoctoral training.

Much of Dr. Mona's work focuses on providing education and psychotherapy services on sexual health for people with disabilities. Infusing notions about disability into diversity education and training has also been one of her career passions. She has worked on challenging traditional medical notions of disability and reframing this life experience from a multicultural lens to further understand the unique experience people with disabilities bring to any work and social context.

Dr. Mona has received national recognition by APA, the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professions and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality for her work focusing on persons with disabilities.

Dr. Mona's work has been brought to mainstream audiences not only through the internet but also through other media including Oprah radio, Canadian Discovery Health, PBS, NBC's Today show, and Cosmopolitan and Self magazines.

Suggested Readings
  • Cameron, R.P, Mona, L.R., Syme, M. L., Cordes, C. C., Fraley, S., Chen, S., Klein, L. S., Welsh, L., Smith, K., & Lemos, L. (2011). Sexuality among wounded veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND): Implications for rehabilitation psychologists. Rehabilitation Psychology, 2011, Vol. 56, No. 4, 289–301
  • Clemency Cordes, C., Mona, L. R., Syme, M. L., Cameron, R. P., & Smith, K. (2013). Sexuality and sexual health among women with physical disabilities. In D. Castaneda (Ed), An Essential Handbook of Women's Sexuality: Diversity, Health, and Violence Introduction (Vol. 2, pp. 71–92). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
  • Gill, C.J., (1995). A psychological view of disability culture. Disability Studies Quarterly 15(4), 16–19.
  • Hays, P. A. (2008). Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Therapy (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Mona, L. R., Cameron, R. P., & Fuentes, A. J. (2006). Broadening paradigms of disability research to clinical practice: Implications for conceptualization and application. In K. J. Hagglund & A. Heinemann (Eds), Handbook of Applied Disability and Rehabilitation Research, (pp. 75–102). New York, NY: Springer Publications.
  • Mona, L. R., Goldwaser, G., Syme, M. L., Cameron, R. P., Clemency, C., Miller, A. R., Lemos, L., and Ballan, M. S. (2010). Assessment and Conceptualization of Sexuality among Older Adults. In P. A. Lichtenberg's, Handbook of Assessment in Clinical Gerontology (pp 331–356). Elsevier Publishers.
  • Mona, L. R., Romesser, J.M., Cameron, R. P., & Cardenas, V. (2006). Cognitive behavior therapy with persons with disabilities. In P. A. Hays & G. Y. Iwamasa (Eds.). Culturally Responsive Cognitive–Behavior Therapy: Assessment, Practice, and Supervision, (pp. 199–222). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Mona, L. R., Syme, M. L., Cameron (in press). Sexuality and disability: A Disability-Affirmative Approach to Sex Therapy. In I. Binik (Ed), Principles and Practices of Sex Therapy, fifth edition. Montreal, Canada: McGill University.
  • Mona, L.R., Cameron, R.P., Goldwaser, G., Miller, A.R., Syme, M.L., & Fraley, S.S. (2009).  Prescription for pleasure: Exploring sex-positive approaches for women with spinal cord injury.  Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, 15 (1), 15–28.
  • Mona, L.R., Syme, M.L., Goldwaser, G., Cameron, R.P., Chen, S., Fraley, S., Clemency, C., Wirick, D., & Lemos, L. (2011). Sexual well-being in older adults: A cognitive behavioral approach to treatment. In K. Sorocco & S. Lauderdale (Eds.), Implementing CBT for Older Adults: Innovations Across Care Settings, pp. 263–287.
  • National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. (1999). NIDRR long-range plan. Washington, DC: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
  • Olkin, R. (1999). What Psychotherapists Should Know About Disability. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Syme, M.L., Mona, L.R., & Cameron, R.P. (2012). Sexual health and well-being after cancer: Applying the sexual health model. The Counseling Psychologist. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1177/0011000012459970

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