Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are most often associated with engaging in promiscuous behavior or being unfaithful to one’s partner, which makes it challenging for clients to seek help and medical attention for their often treatable infections.

Treatment involves more than medical consultation because of the impact of the diagnosis on the couple/family. Counselors can work with the couple to deal with the emotional and relational concerns influenced by the positive diagnosis.

DSM IV diagnosis would fall under 293.83 Mood Disorder due to general medical condition.

Long Term Treatment GoalsStabilize medical condition (ensure client does this with medical doctor)
Treat acute symptoms
Acceptance that this is a chronic disease and will need continued medical care

Short Term Treatment GoalsEncourage client to establish treatment regimen.
Increase acceptance in disease and consequences.
Acknowledge high risk behaviors associated with the disease.
Identify the emotional effects of the disease
Help client establish a healthier lifestyle.
Identify sources of stress that could have a negative impact on health.
Identify and address fears related to medical condition.

Couple Treatment GoalsExplain the accurate understanding of transmission and treatment of STIs in order to reduce anxiety related to transmission and re-infection.
Discuss feelings related to diagnosis and impact on couple’s relationship.
Reestablish relationship boundaries, particularly in regard to fidelity in order to rebuild emotional safety within the couple.
Identify long term impact of STI and how couple will handle upcoming issues.
Develop better communication skills to increase trust and intimacy.
Build coping skills for both partners to create a sense of control in handling situations.

Interventions
Bibliotherapy on medical issues related to STI.
Instruct couples on how to use condoms in order to protect themselves from reoccurrence.
Teach couple other ways of having sexual intimacy, such as massages, without intercourse if intercourse needs to be on hold for safety reasons.
Brainstorm with couples on how they can recreate emotional closeness.