COUNSELING PROJECT: CASE SUMMARY AND PRESENTING PROBLEMS INSTRUCTIONS
You will develop a short, 4–6-page (not counting title page) Case Summary and Presenting Problems paper about a fictional character. Follow the rules listed below:
1. The client must not be a real person, but someone portrayed in television, a movie, literature, etc. No cartoon characters are acceptable. Real and presently living people WILL NOT be accepted for grading.
2. The client must be an adult (age 21 or older) since the theories you will write about are mainly directed towards adults.
3. In developing the issues that your client can present with, it is strongly suggested that you focus on problems such as the different varieties of depression and/or anxiety people experience and the addictions that they may develop as a result, since the majority of your future counseling cases will address these issues. The following problems are not allowed to be used due to the limitations of the theories as they are being taught in this course (future courses will go into greater detail on these topics):
• Suicidal and self-harming behaviors
• Bipolar, schizophrenia, and personality disorders
• Childhood sexual abuse
• Sexual trauma, such as rape
This paper must be written with the fictional character as the “client,” and you as the treating therapist (use the Case Summary of Helen from Module/Week 1 as an example). This summary will be the basis for your Conceptualization and Treatment Plans 1 and 2 that you will develop later in the course. This paper must have 3 sections: Introduction, Presenting Problems, and Treatment Goals (show these as level 1 headings—centered and bold).
Refer to your current APA manual for directions on formatting a title page. Include a running head, page number, paper title, your name, and the institution name (Liberty University). No abstract is required for this short paper.
Introduction (1–2 pages)
Introduce your client to the reader over several paragraphs: Where did you find the client (television, movie, book, etc.)? What made this client interesting to you? What does the client “say” about his/her life? How open do you believe the client will be to counseling? How would you build rapport with the client if he/she is hesitant about counseling?
Presenting Problems (1–2 pages)
This section addresses the following questions: What does the client say his/her problems are? What in the client’s life/background makes counseling a viable option for him/her? Use issues that you are aware of in your client’s life, but you can also fabricate some of the client history.
This section must be at least 3 paragraphs and emphasize at least 3 problem areas for the client. For example, a “typical” client will have issues in personal functioning (depression, anxiety, etc.), relationships (spouse, children, parents, significant other, etc.), occupational (trouble with boss, coworkers, unemployment, etc.), spiritual (extramarital affairs, open sin, etc.) as well as the resulting self medication involving alcohol and /or drug use.
NOTE: it is okay if 2 of the 3 paragraphs focus on personal issues (e.g., depression, then anxiety), and the other on something separate, or even all 3 paragraphs focus on 3 personal issues. Just be clear about what is going on with this client, and then write an additional paragraph as to how these personal issues could/will affect his/her relationships and occupations.
Separate each problem area (e.g., Personal, Relationships) into a paragraph, using level 2 headings (flush left and bold).
Treatment Goals (1–2 pages)
This section is developed from the issues you wrote about in the Presenting Problems section. While there is no specific rule with real clients, for this case you will conceptualize at least 3 total goals in 3 separate paragraphs. For each goal, explain what it is, why you believe it is important to work on, and what you want the outcome(s) to be.
Remember that the goals must be directly related to the presenting problems you wrote about in the earlier section, and must be achievable and specific. Examples of goals would be: “reduce the client’s feelings of anxiety when away from home”; “develop better communication between spouses/partners, or parents and children, when having a disagreement”; “learn appropriate coping strategies to deal with stress at work”; or “help strengthen and return client’s faith to his/her earlier belief.”
Do NOT write about what theories (e.g., Adlerian, Person-Centered, Cognitive-Behavioral, etc.) you will use here to achieve these goals; this section is about the goals themselves that serve to guide you through the upcoming theories.
Also, do NOT discuss the techniques/interventions you will use to achieve the goals in this paper (e.g., journaling, interpretation, automatic thought log, free association, Bible reading, transference analysis, RET imagery, etc.). Those will depend on the theories you choose for the second and third papers.
Clarity is critical here, and you will be graded strictly on that. Separate each goal (Goal 1, Goal 2, etc.) into a paragraph, using level 2 headings (flush left and bold).
Please use scholarly journal articles for references.
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