Providing Parenting Support For An Ancillary Function

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Presenting Problem(s) at Intake: AT was initially assigned to AT to provide parenting support in an ancillary function. Her son is the identified patient and is being seen by a licensed clinician bi-weekly. AT is a 34 year old, single, mother and Air Force veteran. The VA diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder (F43.10) and major depressive disorder, recurrent-moderate (F33-1), was the victim of domestic violence, and has a history of post-partem depression/psychosis, suicidal ideation and one suicide attempt. AT divorced her son’s father due to the verbal and physical domestic violence he perpetrated upon her during her pregnancy. AT’s son has never known or had contact with his father.
I was asked to see AT by her son’s clinician. The son was experiencing increased anxiety and had complained about AT’s depression and anxiety. The son’s clinician believed seeing them in family sessions would not be productive. I was hopeful that I could provide some effective parenting tools that would bring some relief to the family.
During our first session, AT discussed her depression and anxiety. She reported feeling highly stressed by being a single parent to a teenaged son with autism. She described that she was afraid of her son when he got upset. Her son was taller and larger than her, and often became physically aggressive when triggered. AT’s main emotional support is her mother, a psychotherapist in California. AT is chronically unemployed due to her physical and

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