UTILIZING COLLABORATIVE EMPIRICISM IN THERAPY WITH COMBINED DEGENERATIVE SPINAL CORD DISEASE: A CASE STUDY
The present case study aims to highlight effective role of Collaborative Empiricism from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in psychological adjustment of patients with chronic medical condition. It gathered evidence from ten longitudinal therapeutic sessions carried by the author, a postgraduate clinical psychologist in placement at the time, with a 35 year old female client medically diagnosed with Combined Degenerative Spinal Cord disease for the past eight years referred first times for Psychological services. She received diagnosis with Major Depressive Disorder. The overall approach of therapy in this case, set in collaboration with the client, was to bring insight and acceptance of her medical and psychological diagnosis and finally to facilitate her in regaining psychological independence by restoring her existing potentials. Therapeutic sessions, conducted once a week, were structured around achieving specific goals set with her and gaind focus in resolving client’s concern of limited independent functioning, eventually re-defining independence in her present life. All therapy sessions were supervised and carried out at the inpatient facility of a government institute of rehabilitation and medicine, over approximately two months. The study gives insight into significance of placing psychological therapeutic services in a multidisciplinary rehabilitation process. The client was treated as an expert bringing evidence from her life and making personal decisions. This empowering approach met with considerable improvement in multiple domains of the client’s life over the longitudinal course of therapy.