Assessment and Diagnosis of ODD

The chosen diagnosis process is oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Such a form of DSM5 supposes that even some children who show the best behaviors can become difficult and challenging to manage in some cases (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The undesirable tendencies may include persistent patterns of anger, too many disputes, and defiance toward parents or other people. In connection with this, ODD has been selected owing to different reasons. For example, the developmental treatment of cases of ODD involves an understanding of some skills that can help the affected individuals create positive family relations and manage their problematic behaviors. It also offers more avenues for the treatment of related health disorders.

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Selection of Diagnosis

As indicated in Kring, Davison, Neale, and Johnson (2007), other vital signs of ODD include argumentative and defiant behavior in the victims. Something these individuals exhibit includes frequent arguments with their adults as well as people in authority. Moreover, they show marks of defiance or refusal to comply with what they are told to do by their seniors and rulers. Some would annoy other people intentionally. Moreover, some show the symptoms by blaming other people for their tendencies or mistakes. Lastly, it can be evidenced in vindictiveness that shows itself for about six months on at least two occasions.

Indeed, ODD relates to what can be described as the mental case of Sofia, hence being the most important reason for its selection. Essentially, her defiant problem starts at a young age owing to the environment she finds herself in with her sisters. Before the age of fifteen, she has been transformed into a defiant character that fights constantly for survival (Spielberg, 1985). First, she wants to avoid being like their mother who has been subdued by her chauvinistic husband. Again, she battles her male relatives so that she protects herself from not only physical abuse but also sexual exploitation that is rampant in her society (Spielberg, 1985). Generally, the rebelliousness is necessitated by her desire to achieve emancipation from the clutches of machismo through constant fights, which manifests itself when she fights her husband and a white who hurls racial insults at her. In general, the client's conduct can be explained to give more insight into the problem as well as the relevance of the chosen intervention mechanism through some psychosomatic hypothetical hypotheses.

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Theoretical Approach

The psychological problem that the client is suffering from can be explained with some psychological theories. One of them is Erik Erikson's phases of psychosocial development. Inherently, this psychoanalytic concept can help in the understanding of Sofia’s problem during different stages. In the first stage, the theory talks about the creation of trust or mistrust. It asserts that this is the earliest stage in a child’s life when a minor needs good stability and consistency of care from his or her main caregivers (Kring et al., 2007). Thus, this entails being provided with love and other basic needs, thus leading to the infant growing up to trust not only the providers but also other people within or outside the home environment. However, the failure to get reliable care can lead to mistrust.

The explanation here can lend credence to a client’s case. It can be argued that Sofia did not get good love and care at a young age. As a result, she seems not to trust some people, such as her father, male relations, and husband, whom she fights. At the same time, her lack of trust is based on the fact that together with her sisters, she tries to avoid being subjugated by the man (Spielberg, 1985). Indeed, it can be affirmed in this context that the father never helped create an enabling environment for trust to develop in her. Subsequently, she shows rebelliousness in the highlighted battles with the men.

Apart from that, the third stage of Erikson’s principle can also help in the enhancement of the appreciation of the victim’s violent and insolent nature. Here, there is the view that children are developing into individuals with either a sense of initiative or guilt. Of more importance at this point is that during the initiative against the guilt stage, young people can assert themselves more often (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Thus, they can interact with their age mates, hence getting important opportunities for interpersonal skills development through initiating diverse activities. Therefore, if they are allowed to do this without restriction, they might end up being initiative and well-equipped with the necessary skills that make them interact with other people freely. On the other hand, if the trend is stopped or reduced through criticism or control, the affected children may develop a sense of guilt (Kring et al., 2007). Later, they can become individuals who are too guilty to interact with other people properly. In the same light, it may make them have difficulty interacting with others due to a deficiency in interpersonal skills in them.

Without a doubt, the above stage and explanations therein are important in elaborating on the client's issue. The nature of Sofia's father as a controlling individual may have led to her being unable to develop good social skills through interactions with other people freely. Tellingly, the fact that this man was overbearing in his relationship with the mother may have been extended to the daughter, hence making her unable to interact with her fellow mates. Once more, the manipulative nature of her male relatives who wanted to assault her both physically and sexually might have made her lack the skills that would have helped her develop at home. Sofia, therefore, develops into a woman riddled with guilt and defiance (Spielberg, 1985). The guilty conscience is shown in the way she tries to fight any attempt that makes her suffer the same fate of suppression that her mother suffers at the hands of her father. Predictably, the argument here is that she may be feeling the culpability of having to see her mother experience a terrible fate; thus, there is a need for her and her sisters to correct the state of affairs by defying the male oppressors. The lack of interpersonal skills in the woman is shown when she fights with other people, and it seems she does not know how to handle disagreements peacefully. As an illustration, this is best shown in her fight with the mayor's wife in an act of defiance.

The next stage of the theory that is relatable to the examination of the troubled mind of Sofia is the fifth one, which deals with the aspects of identity and role confusion. Erickson opined that this is the stage when there is the transition from childhood to adulthood, and it is marked by attainment of more independence by children (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). It is at this point that they start to think about the future within the frameworks of career developments, relationships, housing, and formation of families among others. People start to look for a sense of self and personal identity through a thorough exploration of individual values, beliefs and aims in life. Thus, if these individuals develop the right conditions to make this probe effective, they become people who have high levels of a sense of identity (Kring et al., 2007). Again, they would be able to know what they want to be in life and the kind of roles that they want to take up in their societies. Conversely, the absence of this required environment could make it hard for children to appreciate their individuality, therefore elapsing into a state of role confusion.

The relevance of the points related to this stage in the analysis of Sofia's case is clear. For example, it can be deduced that the conflicted background of her family, which is marked by her loving father, seems to have played a role in making her lose her sense of identity. Primarily, this can be understood by Sofia’s inability to take care of her child (Spielberg, 1985). Hence, this shows how her family's life played a role in creating an individual who cannot recognize her motherly roles, and it can be perceived as a rebellion against social norms. Although it can be said that she is right in fighting her male relatives due to their sexual and physical assaults, this could have been done in a more peaceful way that would have helped her find a lasting solution to the problem with all her family members. In this case, she seems to fail to identify her potential role as a peace finder as opposed to fueling physical fights. When she rudely confronts the mayor’s wife which leads her to detention, she is unable to reconcile herself with the fact that she is living in a normal human society that naturally requires tolerance. Subsequently, she fails to play the role of a peacemaker when she fuels conflict in fighting the woman.

Treatment Plan

Based on the discourse so far, the client can address the problem through an effective treatment plan. The first intervention would involve parental training. Sofia can be trained in various ways of developing parenting skills. In effect, this is important since she has shown a sign of poor parenting when she abandons her child. At the same time, this can help her appreciate the failure of her parents, particularly her father, to give the best care and love during her formative stages in life (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Then, this may help her reduce the mental torture that her family might have subjected her to, thus leading to her defiant tendencies.

Besides, it would be imperative to employ cognitive problem-solving training in the treatment of Sofia. Its inclusion would be vital for the technique, thus helping a victim of ODD identify and change some thinking patterns that may lead to the behavioral problem (Kring et al., 2007). The intervention may involve a collaborative problem-solving mechanism in which the client is taken through a process in which she helps create solutions to her problem. The last one is a teaching plan, and it takes the form of social skills training. In particular, this revolves around taking the victim through a therapy that would enhance her chances of transforming into someone good at social relationships through improved interpersonal skills.


To conclude, some lessons can be learned from this discourse. One of them is that certain defiance behavioral patterns might need the diagnosis by the use of ODD. Such behavior patterns can cause significant impairment in one's family and other people. However, some intervention procedures can be used in managing those conditions. From the perspective of challenges, the patient may find it hard to start a new relationship with her father since it has been strained for a long. Furthermore, she may find it hard to open some sensitive issues, such as her sexual molestation by her family members. Therefore, this may make it hard to effectively treat her within a short period. To further help her, especially in reconciling with her family and her past life, she may need additional help within the realms of family therapy. Finally, this technique would help realize some improvements in the relationship with her family by teaching all the members good communication and relationship skills together to deal with defiance behavior.

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