Case Study: Psychological Assessment Tool and Evidence Intervention for Russell Todd in the Movie "Beaconsfield"

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1841 Words
Date:  2022-07-17

An Overview of the Selected Film and Segment of the Film Chosen

Beaconsfield is a movie that depicts the collapse of mine at Beaconsfield in Australia, based on a true story, where the collapse kills a Tasmanian miner and traps two of his colleagues. In 2006, on the Anzac Day, three miners Brant Webb, Todd Russell, and Larry Knight were stuck deep in a gold mine in Tasmania after the tunnel collapsed. The two miners, Brant and Todd, were enclosed almost 1000 meters underground, confined in a space so tiny that they could not lie down or sit up straight (Callaghan et al., (2012)). The world knows the story of the two miners trapped in a mine and their colleague getting killed, and nothing more than that. According to Callaghan et al., (2012), the movie Beaconsfield articulates the entire story vividly.

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The search mission dramatically changes to a rescue mission upon the discovery that the two miners were still alive. Their fellow miners worked diligently to get them out alive, in spite of the working situations that could set off another collapse at any moment. The event was broadcasted around the whole world as the people watched anxiously(Goc and Bainbridge, 2008). The rescuers continued with their frantic to rescue the miners despite the media attention. The movie covers the story of the two different men trying to survive until rescue underground, as their wives waited anxiously on the surface. It recounts the efforts of Mathew Gill, Pat Ball, together with their resourceful team that rescued Brant and Todd (Callaghan et al., (2012). It tells the story of ways two remarkable survivors, who shared nothing in common, worked together and kept their hope alive for 15 days and nights, and how they were rescued from their version of hell(Callaghan et al., (2012).

The segment of the movie where the two miners get trapped in the cave is the most traumatic due to various reasons. This paper will focus on Todd Russell to demonstrate the skills required in choosing appropriate psychological assessment tool and evidence-based interventions. The cave-in resulted from rock fall that was initiated by an earthquake. Callaghan et al., (2012), the two miners Todd and Brant were stuck almost 1000 meters below the ground. They were held in a tiny space that measures four and a half feet square. The miners could not stand up or sit, to be comfortable, they had to take turns to lie on their sides or back due to sharp rocks below them that would otherwise cut the two minersCallaghan et al., (2012)). There was little light, but it was hot and humid in their bunker. Their only food was a muesli bar, which Webb had with him when the mine collapsed, and they collected water dripping from the rock debris (Callaghan et al., (2012)). Todd and Brant sang songs and told stories to pass the time, whenever they wanted to lift their spirits. It was on the sixth day after the collapse of the mine that the world learnt that Russell Todd and Brant Webb were alive after the two responded to the calls of the rescuers (Callaghan et al., (2012)).

A Description of the Character Chosen

During the collapse of the mine, three people were trapped namely: Larry Knight, Todd Russell, and Brant Webb. According to Ritchhart and Perkins (2008), Larry Knight's body was found two days after the collapse of the mine. This discovery had made it easier to be assumed relatively that the other two were also dead. The rescuers did not give up and continued with the search. On the day of the operation, the residents of Beaconsfield knew that the two men were alive. The rescuers used the use of thermal imaging cameras and microphone to find Todd and Brant. The rescuers later drilled a hole big enough to pass food and water through to the two survivors.

Todd Russell went through the ordeal, and hence it would be convincing to discuss the psychological impacts of the collapse of the mine on the character. According to Pike (2006), the traumatic experience of staying in a confined space, with little ventilation for 15 days and the knowledge that he is being rescued also increases the traumatic stress. Todd was continually tormented by the thoughts that the cutting of the stones by the rescuers could trigger another rock fall and kill him. The drilling of the hole to give them ventilation, food and water also led to other problems that could mentally torture him(Callaghan et al., (2012). Taking in food means that something has to come out, presenting the likelihood of infections and in case of death of any, getting the body out is almost impossible increasing traumatic stress in Russell Todd. All these are indicators that Russell Todd could be a victim of PTSD and hence chosen to explain the psychological impacts of the collapse the mine on the character.

Potential Psychological Impacts of Victims

The two miners were trapped in the small dark section of the mine, with minimal light. This is one of the causes of trauma to Todd. In a dark place, people are unable to differentiate between the day and night. Todd would lose their circadian rhythm, which is vital to various biological functions in the body. Todd depended on the muesli bar, which his colleague, Webb, had before the collapse of the mine, while they obtained water from the dripping rocks(Callaghan et al., (2012). Having the insufficient amount of water or food can result in a medical concern due to the refeeding syndrome. This syndrome is known to be fatal and occurs when an individual starts to eat after a period of malnourishment (Nie et al., 2016). It is caused by the sudden shifts in the electrolytes that help metabolise food. The refeeding system could create a struggle for the victims in getting back to a healthy life.

When a disaster strikes, people involved usually go into an impact phase, where they realize there is something wrong, but they do not comprehend it. According to Nie et al., (2016), sometimes a person could continue with their normal behaviour, even if it did not apply to the situation. The survivors of mine collapse cases are known to exhibit the symptoms of PTSD, but recover and lead normal function lives with time.

According to Cherry et al., (2015), there are five generally recognized psychological phases of disaster, such as the one experienced by Todd and Brant. The first stage is the initial impact phase where the individuals realize that there is something wrong. The movie depicts Todd undergoing this stage of psychological disaster where he tries to ask for help and claw his way through the debris. Secondly, there is the heroic phase where the persons involved in the disaster try to help each other and perform heroic behaviours before the rescuers arrive. The third is the honeymoon phase where the individuals are thankful they are alive and grateful to the rescuers. Fourth, is the disillusionment phase where an individual starts to be frustrated and get angry at things because they feel helpless. The final stage is the reconstruction phase where individuals assume control of their own recovery and believe that they are responsible for solving problems in their lives.

Psychological Assessment Tool Appropriate for Todd Russell

Psychological assessment involves the process of testing that employs a blend of techniques that help probe individuals and their personality, behaviour, and capabilities. Psychological assessment consists of four components: norm-referenced tests, interviews, observation, and informal assessment (Bovin et al., 2015). A norm-referenced test is given under specific set, standard conditions designed to assess one's knowledge, personality, and skills. Interviews are open testing, that is less structured than formal testing, aimed to give the interviewee an opportunity to convey information in their own words. Observations are varied out in a natural setting, to provide additional valuable assessment information. Informal assessment is used to supplement the standardized norm-referenced tests.

The best psychological tool to use for Russell Todd is the behavioural observation. It will involve monitoring the actions of Todd by using either visual or electronic means and recording qualitative and quantitative information concerning the operations. The effects of the mine collapse on Todd are assessed both at work and at home in front of his family. According to Maruish, (2017), it will help understand the way Todd treats his wife, children, or even workmates. By analysing the functioning of the individual in various situations, it will help provide a better picture of the individuals and the conditions in which they function. Professionally carrying out the assessment will help formulate better treatment recommendations for Russell Todd.

Evidence-Based Interventions Appropriate to Todd Russell

Evidence-based practice involves the integration of both the best available and clinical expertise with regards to patient preferences, culture, and characteristics. The use of evidence-based interventions in practice required combining technical and relational skills while paying attention to the research and clinical source of evidence to identify treatment efficacy (Townsend and Morgan, 2017). The expert should employ empirical principles and systematic observation so that they can evaluate mental disorders accurately and prepare an analytical formulation, treatment strategy selection, and collectively determine goals of treatment while considering the client's unique behaviours and the availability of resources. The knowledge of interventions combined with the research backing its efficiency will determine the choice of treatment to the client.

The most effective evidence-based intervention for Todd Russell is the cognitive behavioural therapy. The approach is based on the premise that behaviours and feelings are affected by cognitions, and the arising emotions and actions can influence cognition. According to Dobson and Dobson (2018), in this therapy, the therapist is tasked with identifying unhelpful thoughts, behaviours, and emotions in Todd. It is focused on two aspects: cognitive and behaviour therapy. Behaviour therapy arises from the theory that behaviour is learned, and thus can be changed. Cognitive theory is based on faulty patterns of thinking results in maladaptive behaviours and distressing emotions. Todd underwent the mine collapse tragedy and will probably experience PSTD. Cognitive Behavioural Theory is the best evidence-based treatment of PSTD because of its basic premise that psychological problems are a result an individual's interpretation of situations, behaviours, feelings, and thoughts. Todd was trapped in the mine for 15 days, a situation that might cause PTSD, hence CBT when applied correctly, will help Todd Russell reintegrate into the society.

Cultural Considerations in CBT

The characteristic of the client regarding the cultural factors has a contribution in determining the impact of the treatment outcomes. When applying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Todd, there are various cultural factors to be considered for effective treatment from the PSTD. Individuals from different areas tend to think differently, applying different reasoning processes. It will have a direct impact on CBT, whose primary focus is on the thoughts of the client and the thought processes. The cultural norms that determine the appropriateness of behaviours in different situations will impact the treatment outcomes (Rathod et al., 2015). Cultural norm has an impact on the interpersonal interaction, hence affecting the therapeutic relationship which is central to psychological counselling. The difference is various aspects of the world between the...

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Case Study: Psychological Assessment Tool and Evidence Intervention for Russell Todd in the Movie "Beaconsfield". (2022, Jul 17). Retrieved from

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