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Psychodynamic approach to Counseling

Name: Abby R. Gender: Female Age: 57

Ethnicity: African-American Religion: Baptist, not practicing

Relationship Status: Married

Description of Presenting Issue:

Abby seeks counseling after her husband has been diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer. She tells you that she has never been able to cope well and is falling apart in response to her husband's diagnosis two months ago. She spends most of her time in bed crying, has been sleeping and eating little, even though she is exhausted and losing weight rapidly, and is certain that her husband will die of the disease. She feels very guilty that she is not able to accompany her husband to medical appointments and give him support, but she says that would "send me over the edge." She also blames herself for her husband's illness. She thinks that if she had cooked healthier meals and been a happier person, her husband would not have developed cancer. Although Abby is currently feeling worse than she has ever felt, she tells you that she was never a happy person. Life, at least since she became an adult, has just been putting one foot after another and doing what she was supposed to do. She always had little energy, feelings of low self-esteem, and hopelessness. She cannot remember any lengthy times when she felt differently. She believes that everyone around her is having a more rewarding life than she is, and this makes her feel even worse because her life has been a comfortable one and, as Abby sees it, she has no reason to feel so blue.

Occupation History: Abby is a free-lance editor, working on technical manuals and textbooks. She works part time, taking fewer jobs since her husbandâ??s medical diagnosis.

Education History: Abby received her bachelorâ??s degree in literature. She considered getting her masterâ??s degree, but did not pursue this once she decided to get married. She has taken several continuing education courses at the local college.

Medical History: Abby suffers from migraine headaches, which started in her late twenties and have become worse in the last decade. Currently, she reports headaches 2â?"3 times per month. She has tried a variety of prescription and non-prescription medication, none of which is particularly effective.

Family History: Abby is the third of six children. She has three brothers and two sisters. Her father (deceased) was a contractor, and her mother was a homemaker. She reports a very close relationship with her mother, but describes her relationship with her late father as strained. She sees her siblings once in a while, none of whom live within a close distance.

Alcohol / Substance Use: Abby drinks 2â?"3 times per week, 1â?"2 drinks per occasion. She does not smoke, nor use any illegal substances.

1). critically evaluate the CASE OF ABBY using either a Jungian or Adlerian approach. Make sure you address:

(a)The strengths and limitations to using this approach with this client (b)The specific cultural/gender/age issues that need to be attended to with this client (c)The ethical or legal issues that need to be attended to with this client (e)The overall therapeutic goal with this client

2). How you would proceed with this client:
How would you begin?
What would be the goals of therapy?
What specific strategies and/or techniques might you use?

Solution Preview

(1). Critically evaluate the case of Abby using either a Jungian or Adlerian approach,

The basic premise underlying the Adlerian approach is that the personality is to be understood from a holistic perspective. Thus, based on this view the person is to be understood as he or she relates to social and environmental influences. One of the key concepts of the Adlerian approach is the emphasis placed on the person's lifestyle. According to Corey (2005), Alder's understanding of lifestyle is "the connecting theme that unifies all actions and a person's lifestyle consists of all their values and perceptions regarding self and others. In other words, one's lifestyle is integrally linked with his or her goals, purposes and/or meaning in life. Thus, an important focus of the therapy is to assist the client in understanding where he or she fits within the family and/or social community.

Based on these concepts, an evaluation for Abby is that she does not have a sense of belonging, and does not feel socially connected. Thus in therapy the therapist will explore with Abby what Adler refers to as private logic, which are concepts regarding self, others and life under the philosophy from which her lifestyle is based. For instance, her lifestyle assessment includes:

? She has never been able to cope well.
? She has never been a happy person
? She is critical of ...

Solution Summary

This solution evaluates tehe psychodynamic approach to counseling focused on a specific case study.