Conceptualizing specialized psychosocial consulting for persons with epilepsy
The goal of the article is to describe and to reason conception of specialized psychosocial consulting, revealing definition of epilepsy as disease in classical sociological and existential theories and from rights of disabled person’s perspectives. Restriction of social life and possibilities for disabled, person’s with epilepsy and social worker’s interactions, which have importance for development of disabled people participation in social life, are analysed in the article. In order to achieve the goal various methods are used: scientific literature review, reflection of social worker who works with persons with epilepsy, interviews with the clients of Psychosocial consulting centre for persons with epilepsy in 2015, groups discussions (2013, 2016), analysis of conception of Psychosocial consulting centre for persons with epilepsy. Based on classical sociological theories, people with disease and society members attach such meanings to the illness, which support and enforce stigmatized attitude and behaviour toward person with disease, strengthens negative social aspects of epilepsy, which restricts present and new developed social interactions, full engagement into society.
Historical cultural context of epilepsy presupposes attitude that epileptic seizure is “an awful” event, encounter with death, which reminds finality of human, event which causes fear, panic, rejection of surrenders and which restrains social life of person with epilepsy, his or her selfperception.
Therefore people with epilepsy very often confine themselves in sick person role, isolate themselves from society, and become dependent on others. Positive interaction between social worker and person with epilepsy during epileptic seizure strengthens understanding of possibilities of person with epilepsy. Specialised psychosocial consulting services for people with epilepsy optimize their participation in society threw experience of safety and connectedness feelings, raised confidence in his or her possibilities, developed confidence in others.
The legal background of conception of Lithuanian Caritas Psychosocial consulting centre for persons with epilepsy is based on The Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratification of which means responsibility to ensure rights for persons with disabilities for full participation in society life, and 2013–2019 National program for integration of persons with disabilities, which states the necessity of specialised social rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities.
Key words: Epilepsy, Disease, Psychosocial Consulting, Rights of Disabled Persons.