Psychology Essay on Helping the 13-Year Cope With Loss

Published: 2021-06-23 11:24:01
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An action plan defines the goals and objectives and the actions to be taken in ensuring the bereaved child gets a balanced treatment. When a childs pain is overwhelming like in this case, revisiting these goals helps the caregiver remember that there are no short-cuts to the process of grief. A child development can serve as a reliable ally in restoring a sense of possibility and hopefulness (Baltes and Schaie, 2013). This action plan will outline the primary goals, and the measures to be taken to achieve these objectives will also be laid out. The overall aim is to ensure the boy goes through all the stages of grief which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Kubler Ross, 1969; Buglas, 2010).

Action Plan- Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979)

The parents action was to find out the part of the system that influences the childs environment. Structural factors such as access to counseling services, social isolation, and stress coping mechanisms will be used to access the essential services that can help the boy to cope with the loss. Factors that require more attention will be laid out as the main objectives of the action plan so as to enhance the positive outcomes (Burns, 2010). The overall focus will be in ensuring that the intervention supports the childs relationship with the sister, family and strengthen connections to his school and community.

Objectives of the Action Plan Using Lewins Change Management

Lewins Change Model (Carter, 2008)

Change Model Objective

Unfreezing (preparing for change) To accept the reality of loss

Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving

Allowing the Child to Process the Loss

Change Integrating the granddad into the boys sense of self

Adjusting to the Changes after Death

Refreeze (internalization of the changes) Supporting the Boys Emotional Connections with the New Attachment Figure

Helping the Boys Parents Create a Stable, Safe and Supportive Environment that will Supporting the Boys Emotional Connections with the New Attachment Figure.

First Objective is to accept the reality of loss

There are a number of ways in which the 13-year boy can be guided in order to understand and accept the reality of loss. They include the following;

1. The practitioner should ensure that the boy fully understands that it was not their fault, the person who died is not coming back, and that they are not to blame for the loss.

2. The child needs reassurance that he will be cared for and loved and that they will be provided with a lot of affection. This will help to try and fill the gap left by the grand-dad since the two were very close.

3. The boy should be encouraged to talk about his emotions to the person they trust with their feelings. Other ways of expressing feelings like drawing a picture or writing a journal should be encouraged. This will help in case the child is not ready to open up about his feelings.

4. In case the boy is free to talk to his parents, they can also open up and share their grief with them. In this way, the boy will feel encouraged to share his emotions.

5. The child needs guidance through the stages of grief. The child will be able to understand that normal grief involves a whole range of emotions including frustrations, and guilt. It is also important to explain to the child that people react differently to death depending on their stage of human development.

6. The boy needs reassurance that it is normal for him to grieve over time. He also needs a reminder that he cannot always predict when the pain will recur.

7. The boy should also be encouraged to talk to an adult outside the family such as a clergy member or a teacher.

8. Caregivers and routines should be as consistent as possible, and limits on behaviour should also be laid out. Continued care and consistency will help the boy feel safe.

9. At this stage, the boy should be encouraged to spend time with friends and get involved in age-appropriate activities. Isolation during this period should be discouraged.

10. If the same behavior continues, the use of services of a child psychologist, mental health professionals, and counselors should be ideal.

Second Objective-Allowing the Child to Process the Loss

Children often respond intensely to reminders of loss and trauma (Palmer, 1994). The practitioner, in this case, should find out what these reminders are by talking to the boy. These reminders will help the boy have control of his feelings and fear so that they do not accelerate to the point of causing damage. At this stage, the caregiver can give meaning to the random behaviors the boy has by interpreting an expression of the boys preoccupation with the death of his grand-dad.

Objective three-Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving

The conflicts and problems the boy encounters are dependent on his developmental stage. Since the boy is a teenager, he is likely to face social dilemmas on how to respond to questions regarding the death of his grand-dad. The boy should be guided in practicing on how to deal with such social situations, and this will also give him the tools required for the internal work of mourning.

Objective 4- Adjusting to the Changes after Death

From the case study, the boy has to go through several changes in their daily routines because he will be required to do things he did with the grand-dad alone or with another adult. The change is likely to cause distress to the boy because it will remind him that things are not the same anymore since the grand-dad died. The practitioner should at this stage facilitate the boys adjustment to these changes by allowing him to express his feelings and with practical interventions. By expressing his feelings the boy will be able to encounter different obstacles during this period of mourning. According to Freud (1905) mourning and grieving are processes where the bereaved person adjusts to the reality of their loss allowing them to detach from the diseased and reinvesting in newer relationships (Grunbaum, 2013).

Objective 5- Integrating the granddad into the boys sense of self

This goal involves enabling the boy to recall specific situations and moments that involved the grand-dad which include encouraging the boy to talk to his parents and siblings about the grand-dad. It should allow them to express sadness about the grand dad to each other. According to Silverman (1999), they proposed that instead of letting go, the bereft should negotiate and renegotiate their loss from time to time.

Objective 6-Helping the Boys Parents Create a Stable, Safe and Supportive Environment

Helping the boys parents create a stable, safe and supportive environment involves identifying the possible substitutes and attachment figures and developing constants care-giving routines and provide reassuring reminders of the grand-dad. Memorials can be prepared, and if the boy is willing, he can be allowed to plan the granddads memorial services.

Objective 6- Supporting the Boys Emotional Connections with the New Attachment Figure.

Goal Steps to achieve goal Resources needed Timeframe Audit

To help a 13 old boy who has a problem coping with the loss of his granddad Identify someone close to the boy to help with the coping process contact al psychologist. Timetable, phone and the objectives to be achieved One month before to the first meeting date To check booking with the psychologist

Secure dates and the convenient place to deliver the session Talk to the parents and find out when the psychologist can meet the boy One month before the first meeting date Confirmation of the venue

Write down the important notes that will guide the action plan To accept the reality of loss

Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving

Allowing the Child to Process the Loss

Integrating the granddad into the boys sense of self

Adjusting to the Changes after Death

Supporting the Boys Emotional Connections with the New Attachment Figure

Helping the Boys Parents Create a Stable, Safe and Supportive Environment

Supporting the Boys Emotional Connections with the New Attachment Figure.

One month before the first meeting date Ensure that the boy can accept the loss of his granddad-strengthening relationships with family and peers.

In conclusion, there are several theories that care givers can use as a reference as they come up with coping strategies that will help the children deal with grief (Webb, 2011). For the boy in the case study, the above action plan is guaranteed to yield benefits if all the steps in action plan are followed. Mourning and grieving are all processes where a bereaved person adjusts to the reality of their loss thus allowing them to dethatch from the bereft. If the action plan is managed properly, the affected person will be able to move forward from the loss and even reinvest in newer relationships.

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