Disability-Affirmative Therapy: A Case Formulation Template for Clients with Disabilities

ISBN : 9780199337323

Rhoda Olkin
264 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Clinicians outside of rehabilitation psychology do not receive training on how to work with clients with disabilities. Nonetheless, given that people with disabilities comprise over 15% of the population, virtually all clinicians will have clients with disabilities in their practice. Without education or training in disability, clinicians are prone to make errors in estimating the role of disability in the presenting problems and the case formulation. Disability-Affirmative Therapy (D-AT) helps clinicians put the disability of a client into proper focus, without making one of the usual mistakes associated with cross-cultural therapy: overinflating the role of the disability, or underestimating its profound effects. D-AT provides a template for evaluation - nine areas to be discussed with the client - that allows understanding of the client's lifetime experiences with disability. The template is not a theory of therapy, but an overlay onto the therapist's own approach, thus having broad appeal and utility. D-AT is a positive and affirming approach to therapy with clients with disabilities, regardless of the theory of therapy used. The book contains many vignettes to illustrate key points and an extended case example to which the D-AT template is applied. Grounded in social and clinical psychology research, this book will be an important and unique guide to all clinicians working with clients with disabilities and their families.


1. Rationale for Disability-Affirmative Therapy and Definitions
2. What Do We Know about Outpatient Psychotherapy with Persons with Disabilities? (Qualitative and Quantitative Studies)
3. Sample Case: Sam
4. D-AT I: Current Disability Status - Disability sequelae and their management
5. D-AT II: Developmental History - disability, medical, educational, and advocacy experiences
6. D-AT III: Models of Disability
7. D-AT IV: Context and Intersectionality -- Interplay of Disability with Other Demographic Variables (gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status)
8. D-AT V: Disability Culture and Community
9. D-AT VI: Microaggressions -- Experiences and Effects
10. D-AT VII: Friendships and Social Interactions
11. D-AT VIII: Affective Prescriptions and Prohibitions Imposed on People with Disabilities
12. D-AT IX: Families and Intimate Relationships
13. D-AT Applied to the Case of Sam


Rhoda Olkin, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco. She specializes in disability and has published extensively on the topic. She teaches graduate courses on working with clients with chronic illness and disability, and provides therapy to individuals and families with disabilities. She is a polio survivor, a mom, and published author.