Why And How A Psychotherapist Can Help The Ones Suffering From Developmental Disabilities

There was a time when it was the common perception that the individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities never suffer from mental illness and they bear a different kind of feelings altogether from the rest of the lot. Surprisingly, the medical practitioners and the therapists carried the same perception that a change in temperament, mood or behavior in such individuals should only be taken as a mere change and not ever as a symptom of a mental illness. This particular practice was categorized under a term coined by Steven Reiss as ‘diagnostic overshadowing’ as the medical practitioners were so immensely overshadowed by their perception that the emotional distress and the mental sickness of a disabled individuals were never been treated seriously as a mental sickness by them.

If a person is working as one of the psychotherapists in New York and for the matter of fact at any of the US states then they must be well aware of the following facts,

  • About 85 percent of American population bears a mild to severe level of development impairments and can gain advantage from the talk therapy. It can also be said that about 2300 people bears cognitive disorders.
  • About 3 percent of the population bears developmental disabilities in New York and other US states.
  • Studies reveal that the ones who suffer from developmental disorders are three-four times more likely to develop mental illness of different forms. It is anyway very difficult to survive with developmental challenges and it give rise to various issues such as difficulty in coping up, limitation of verbal ability and difficulty in interacting socially.
  • If explored well it can be found out that there is no dearth of people who requires a therapy for mental illness and at the same time bears intellectual or developmental disorders.

Here are few tips to handle such patients with development impairments,

  • The general perception that still persists is that someone having intellectual or developmental disorder can’t have mental disabilities. The psychotherapists must possess essential therapeutic skills to counsel the sufferers of the disorders and make them feel at ease. They should actually possess the ability to understand the mental plight of the patient even if he or she possess a developmental disorder and should never ignore it being in the person that the disabled person can never get perturbed with any form of mental illness.
  • If the therapeutic module happens to be a once-in-a- week schedule then it would be difficult to relate to the patient as whenever the therapist will try to get the details of the last session the person might only remember what happen the last hour . Therefore, in any case it is advisable that the person should be accompanied with a close acquaintance to provide all the details and the issue can be addressed well.
  • People suffering from developmental disorders often face immense trust issues as they often fall prey to bullies, abuses, and disrespect, hence they cannot trust anyone very easily to open up. The therapist understands these feelings and should give adequate time to them in order to build up trust and know their internal feelings in a better way.
  • Patience is the key when it comes to interacting with the patient as there can be a requirement often that one needs to be repetitive to make the person understand certain concepts.
  • The selection of words should be very specific as the developmentally disordered persons are unable to understand metaphors or abstracts. Hence the words and expressions should be concrete and specific and at the same time childish and simple.
  • The therapy techniques related to psychotherapists and disabilities in New York must include objects, figures, role plays and so on as such expressions will be more receptive to the patients.
  • The interactions must go on in a slow pace as the person at the other end should get enough time to listen to the information, think about it properly and eventually share the response.
  • It is one of the traits of the disabled person to please everyone while getting along and that is why they might act in a way as if they have understood every bit being told when in reality they do not have a clue on what’s going on.

The people with development impairment often have limited word power but they like to express their feelings in a big way and therefore, tend to act vigorously to express it by stamping on the floor, yell and so on. In this case they must be made to understand that even if they put the expression with some modulations, they would be understood any way.

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