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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Week of August 13, 2001

    Question: I am working with a young adult male with developmental disabilities and characteristics of fetal alcohol syndrome. He has lived in a adult foster care setting with shift staff and three other individuals for the past six years. Learning through trial and error, a structured program has been developed of monetary rewards and lost privileges as consequences. He lately has had more episodes of drinking behavior. I worry that the consequences have lost power to changes his behavior. I intend to go back to more structure and a tighter program because of these resent episodes. Do you recommend any treatment approaches that might be helpful in assisting a person with FAS not to abuse alcohol? Is this just going to be his pattern in life--tight structure, more choices and freedoms, drinking behavior and back to tight structure?    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: What are the long term effects of verbal and physical abuse on children? In adulthood would they have drug abuse problems, depression and violent behavior? I am also curious to know why some people remain victims their entire lives, while others with less favorable beginnings go on to solid, successful lives. Are there specific steps one can take to cope instead of becoming a victim?    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: I was being treated successfully by a doctor who has since closed his practice. I have been dissatisfied with the others I have tried, mainly because it is like taking a shot in the dark. How should I go about getting referrals, and also finding doctors who are willing to take on new patients?    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: Do you have information/literature on facilitating group therapy for low functioning mentally ill people?    Dr. Pies' Answer