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Psychotherapy Case Study  
This is a THREE PART in-depth study of a person seeking psychotherapy. This is an
ACADEMIC PAPER. Make sure you write in the third person and refer to my notes on writing
academic papers. For this case study you may choose someone you know personally, someone
from the movies or TV, a completely imaginary character or the subject could be you.  
Part 1: Presenting Case Study
Part 2: Intervention through Psychoanalytic, Behavioristic and Humanistic therapies
Part 3: Living a productive life 

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IT WILL BE VERY HELPFUL TO PRINT THIS PAGE AND READ IT WHILE YOU WRITE YOUR ACADEMIC PAPERS

Begin by reading what is actually required in the assignment and the grading rubrics.

The Grading Rubrics is the outline for your paper. Use sub-titles for the various sections of the assignment. Pay attention to how many grade points for the section and write accordingly.

Use a creative title that reflects your paper (VERY IMPORTANT)

Write a good introduction and a good conclusion

Have a logical development of your arguments and statements. If possible back them up with scholarly sources

Cite your sources at the end of the paper. (Sources like Wikipedia are not academic sources)

Avoid using the first (I, We) and second person (You) as far as possible, abbreviations and incomplete sentences and sentences like, “According to the textbook/article…” Write what you want to say and then cite the textbook or article.

MICROSOFT WORD highlights spellings and grammar mistakes. Check these highlights before you submit your papers. Sometimes WORD is not always right, for example, it will suggest Victor for Viktor Frankl. Viktor is the correct spelling. Note some of the other common mistakes like, ones and one’s.

Please be careful about plagiarism.

Use the APA Style in your academic work. Here is a helpful link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pbUoNa5tyY

Make sure you have a cover page and do not write an abstract for your papers in this class.

Submit your paper as an attachment on CANVAS written ONLY in MICROSOFT WORD

Academic Paper 3

Based on your text book and class lectures write a 2500 words academic paper:

Psychotherapy Case Study

This is a THREE PART in-depth study of a person seeking psychotherapy. This is an ACADEMIC PAPER. Make sure you write in the third person and refer to my notes on writing academic papers. For this case study you may choose someone you know personally, someone from the movies or TV, a completely imaginary character or the subject could be you.

Part 1: Presenting Case Study

Part 2: Intervention through Psychoanalytic, Behavioristic and Humanistic therapies

Part 3: Living a productive life

Grading Rubrics

Make sure you follow my notes on Writing Academic Papers

Use this Grading Rubrics as the outline for your paper and use sub-headings for each section.

Part 1

Creative Title (5)

1. Background Information: (8)

Write out the relevant factors such as age, gender, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals and coping skills and weaknesses etc. etc. 

2. Presenting Problem (10)

Describe the problems or symptoms that called for a therapeutic intervention: for example, a. The client’s complaint of any physical, emotional or behavior problems. Thoughts, feelings and perceptions related to the symptoms. b. Describe the problems and symptoms of the client observed by family and friends.

3. Diagnosis (7)

State your diagnosis. Explain your conclusion based on the symptoms or criteria given in your text book or DSM 5. 

Part 2: Intervention

Describe the specific methods that each therapist would use with your client.

1. Psychoanalytical Approach (10)

2. Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT) Approach (10)

3. Humanistic Approach (10)

Part 3: Living a productive and successful life

(Continue to write this part in the third person)

1. Critique of the three types of intervention in this case: (15)

Describe how your client would respond to each therapist and the effectiveness of the treatment approach. Note the difficulties and successes encountered by your client with each therapist.

2. Best Treatment Plan (write in the third person): (20)

Develop the best treatment plan for your client. Describe the client’s reaction to the treatment and the end result of this approach. Explain why this treatment was successful.

3. Provide helps to prevent a relapse and tips for your client to live a healthy life. (5)

Running head: ONE FOR THE BOOKS 1

One for the Books: Exploring the Closed Off Mind of a Young Academic

Student’s Name

Lindenwood University

Dr. Paul Coutinho

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 2

One for the Books: Exploring the Closed Off Mind of a Young Academic

Part I

Background Information

Matthew Meadows is a 18-year-old senior in high school in Missouri. He is and always

has been a good student, earning all As. He is involved in multiple extracurricular activities,

including debate, Future Business Leaders of America, and academic team. He is very successful

in all of those clubs and spends lots of time preparing for them. He is proud of his success and

thinks highly of himself because of it. When he is not doing that or working on his homework, he

spends time at home, playing video games or spending time with his dogs. He lives with his

parents and twin brother. He is pretty close with them. His brother is a popular kid with many

friends. Matthew, however, is very charismatic but has never had many close friends. As a young

child other children would sometimes make fun of him for being nerdy. Participating in so many

activities and finding success in them is a way that Matthew copes with not being as popular as

his twin brother. His goal is to attend a large university, such as Duke.

Presenting the Problem

Matthew already spent almost no time with friends outside of school, but has recently

become especially avoidant. He has recently started making up ridiculous excuses for why he

cannot hang out with the few friends he does have, which has been offending them. When he

does hang out with them, they have noticed that he seems detached and never seems to enjoy any

of the activities. He spends a lot of time with his dogs and his mother has noticed that he checks

on them very frequently. He has also become heavily occupied with his schoolwork and

achievements. His calculus performance has not been up to his personal standards recently,

which has begun affecting his mental state negatively. He obsesses over it unhealthily and has

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 3

pushed the few friends he has away. He seemed indifferent to this, but after having some of these

issues brought to his attention by his mother, he decided to seek therapy.

Matthew does not like to share anything personal with others, so talking to a therapist is

difficult for him, but he is able to start opening up. He explains to the therapist that he does not

have much of a desire for friendship. It is one of his last priorities and he would often rather

spend time alone anyway as he never truly enjoys doing activities with others. He also tells of

how he feels like he has a difficult time understanding social cues and reacting appropriately in

social situations. When others are troubled or having problems, he often does not feel for them

all that much. Matthew enjoys doing his schoolwork because he is successful at it and it is

something that he is able to do on his own.

Diagnosis

Based on Matthew’s traits, he is diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD).

This is a personality disorder included in Cluster A, the odd and eccentric cluster. Common

features of this cluster are social awkwardness and social withdrawal (Hoermann, Zupanick, &

Dombeck). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists seven symptoms

associated with schizoid personality disorder:

1.) Neither wants nor likes close relationships

2.) Almost constantly picks solitary activities

3.) Has little interest in engaging in sexual experiences

4.) Seldom derives pleasure from any activities

5.) Has no close friends or confidants other than immediate relatives

6.) Appears indifferent to the praise or approval of others

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7.) Shows emotional coldness and detachment (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

These are the seven traits listed by the DSM-5, but other symptoms have often been

found in those with SPD as well. Some of these include being secretive and forming attachments

to animals (2018). Almost all of these are symptoms that Matthew displays.

He told the therapist that he does not like sharing personal information, which fits the

secretive trait, and his mother also noted how often he checked on the dogs, which seems to be

an attachment to animals. He is close with his immediate family, but has hardly any other close

friends or relationships, along with no interest in making any (1, 5). He admits to not

understanding social cues or reacting right in certain situations, which fits the social

awkwardness that describes Cluster A. His few friends told of how they noticed that he never

seemed to enjoy any of the activities they did and he admitted to feeling detached from others

and not caring very much for them (4, 7). Matthew also told the therapist about how he prefers to

do activities alone over anything else (2). Matthew exhibits almost all the symptoms of Schizoid

Personality Disorder and has had them since a young age, making that a solid diagnosis.

Part II

Psychoanalytical Approach

If Matthew were to visit a psychoanalytical therapist, this type of therapist would begin

by looking at the first six years of his life. The psychoanalytical school of therapy believes that

this period plays a critical role in the mental distress of each person and that many issues root

from experiences during this time. This will oftentimes involve Matthew talking freely to the

therapist in a safe environment about whatever comes to his mind without censoring the flow of

memories or ideas. This is a process called free association and the therapist will look for

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 5

patterns or events that may be significant as Matthew does this (Coutinho, 2018). To determine

these significant events, the therapist is looking for any change in tone or hesitation that Matthew

may have. A psychoanalytic therapist would then look at any defense mechanisms that Matthew

may have and try to figure out what conflict between the Id and Superego could have caused

them. After doing this, the therapist would look at the stages of development and fixations that

may have been created due to experiences during each stage. For example, in the first stage of

the psychosocial stages, if a child is not fed on time or sufficiently, the child will be mistrusting.

A psychoanalytic therapist may determine that Matthew is secretive and does not desire close

relationships with others because he was not fed on time in this stage and, therefore, does not

trust others. A psychoanalytical therapist may also ask Matthew to discuss his dreams, as they

provide insight into unresolved issues (Coutinho, 2018).

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) Approach

The belief of the school of cognitive behavior therapy is that thinking produces emotions

that trigger behavior. This means that they attempt to bring awareness to thoughts, so that they

can be changed, which will in turn change behavior. When a cognitive behavioral therapist is

working with Matthew, he or she would try to gain insight into his thoughts and what negative

thinking is causing his negative behavior. This may be done through the process of thought

tracking, which is breaking thoughts down until the core belief is reached. These core beliefs are

often one of the root irrational beliefs that the school of CBT has defined. One of these that

Matthew’s therapist may find he believes is “It is better to avoid certain difficulties and

responsibilities than to face them” (Coutinho, 2018). After speaking with Matthew and tracking

his thoughts, his therapist may realize that he avoids making friends because he believes it would

be difficult and would rather avoid it than face it. The therapist would then attempt to make

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 6

Matthew realize why this thinking is irrational. He or she would ask Matthew questions such as

if these thoughts are based on objective evidence or if it helps him reach his goals (Coutinho,

2018). If the therapist is able to assist Matthew in changing his irrational thoughts, it will help

change his behavior for the better.

Humanistic Approach

The humanistic school of psychotherapy is based upon six key factors that, if met, will

gravitate the person towards a constructive fulfillment of potential. The first of these factors

states that a relationship must exist between the therapist and client. The next one says that if

there is a discrepancy between the client’s self-image and actual experiences it leaves him or her

vulnerable to fears. The third factor states that the therapist should be self-aware and genuine.

The therapist accepting the client’s experiences without judgment is the fourth factor. The fifth is

that the therapist demonstrates empathetic understanding of those experiences. The last factor is

that the client perceives the therapist’s unconditional positive regard and empathy to some degree

(Coutinho, 2018). So if Matthew were to tell a humanistic therapist of his experiences, the

therapist would need to withhold any judgment and try to understand why Matthew feels that

way he does, such as why he does not desire any close relationships. A humanistic therapist has

multiple methods that he or she may utilize. One of these is a Socratic dialogue, which is

working through questions and answers. These questions help the client see the contradictions

and inadequacies in his or her opinion (Kern, 2011). Another method the therapist might use is

self-distancing, which requires the client to look objectively at his or her experiences and

emotions. This allows people to distance themselves from their situation and may help them to

handle it differently.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 7

Part III

Intervention

Psychoanalytic therapy would probably be slightly effective in Matthew’s case. Although

it may prove difficult to get him to open up at first, if the therapist is able to get through to him, it

will be a great opportunity for him to start sharing his personal life with others. That is

something he has not really done before, so it could prove very helpful. If the reason Matthew

has developed his personality disorder is because of something that happened to him as a child or

because of an unresolved conflict in his past, this type of therapy would prove successful in

identifying that and helping him work through it. However, if the cause of his disorder is not a

childhood experience, a psychoanalytical therapist would have a difficult time helping Matthew

change anything.

Cognitive behavior therapy would most likely be more effective than psychoanalytic

therapy. Because Matthew is a smart boy, CBT could help him release the irrationality behind

his thinking. The longer he stays in therapy, the stronger the bond with the therapist could

become, which would allow him to share more about his core beliefs and distorted thinking. As

he talks through these thoughts with the therapist, he or she could help him stop viewing

relationships with others as negative and start caring more about the feelings of others. If these

thoughts were changed, he would be able to begin creating more authentic relationships.

Personalities are essentially the way people think, so changing the way Matthew thinks would be

an effective way to help him work through his personality disorder.

Humanistic therapy also has the potential to be an effective type of therapy for Matthew,

although it would not be as effective as CBT. It would be successful because it focuses heavily

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 8

on forming a relationship between the therapist and client. One of the main symptoms of SPD is

that the person with it does not have many relationships with others, so if Matthew were able to

form one with his therapist it would already be a big step in the right direction. Like CBT,

Humanistic therapy would also help Matthew think in a different way, but it would not identify

his core beliefs as well and help change his thoughts as permanently.

Treatment Plan

Matthew consults his mother and decides that cognitive behavior therapy will be the best

option for him. He begins attending sessions and at first is unable to open up to his therapist

because he still has trouble sharing with others. She decides that it might be easier for him to

start by writing his feelings and thoughts down, which makes it more of a solitary activity and

reminds him of a school assignment, one of the few activities that he actually enjoys. After doing

this for a few sessions, he is able to start speaking about his thoughts more freely. As Matthew

starts sharing, his therapist begins tracking his thoughts and asking him questions. She starts with

ones that are not as personal, however, as she is aware of the space he needs.

After many sessions, Matthew and his therapist begin forming a friendship, which is

helpful for Matthew as it allows him to realize the benefits. His therapist is eventually able to

track his thoughts back to a few of the root irrational beliefs of CBT. These include the belief

that others must be fair and kind to him, otherwise they are worthless, and the belief that he must

be perfectly competent, adequate, and successful before he can think of himself as worthwhile.

She discovers that Matthew’s experiences as a child where others made fun of him caused him to

believe that because those other children were not fair and kind to him, they were worthless. She

also discovered that he does not desire relationships nor care about others because he is focusing

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 9

on himself and becoming successful and worthwhile before he can think of others. She works

with Matthew to help him realize why these thoughts are irrational and to stop them. She also

encourages him to try forming some friendships. As he does these things, he is successfully able

to start desiring relationships more, enjoying activities with others more, and caring about others

more. The treatment was successful because his therapist was able to form a relationship with

him and effectively identify the thoughts causing his SPD and stop them.

Tips

To prevent a relapse, Matthew should continue making an effort to strengthen his

relationships with others and think about their needs rather than just his own. If his family sees

him spending a lot of time doing solitary activities again, they should encourage him to spend

time doing activities with others and remind him how enjoyable they can be. Matthew does not

have to create a large number of friendships, but if he makes a few close friends and allows

himself to trust and care for them, he will be able to realize the value friendship can have. He can

still devote himself to his studies, but he will be able to reduce stress when he is slipping in his

academics by having friends to lean on.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 10

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders

(5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Coutinho, Paul (2018). Class notes.

Hoermann, S., Zupanick, C. E., & Dombeck, M., (n.d.). DSM-5: The Ten Personality Disorders:

Cluster A. Retrieved from https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/dsm-5-the-ten-

personality-disorders-cluster-a/

Kern, A. (2011). What is Socratic Dialogue? Retrieved from https://www.circeinstitute.org/2011

/03/what-is-socratic-dialogue

Schizoid Personality Disorder (2018). In Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.

psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/schizoid-personality-disorder

Grading Rubrics

Creative Title (5)

1. Background Information: (8)

Write out the relevant factors such as age, gender, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol

history, life difficulties, goals and coping skills and weaknesses etc. etc.

1. Presenting Problem (10)

Describe the problems or symptoms that the client talks about, for example, any physical, emotional or

behavior problems. Thoughts, feelings and perceptions related to the symptoms. b. Describe the problems

and symptoms of the client observed by family and friends.

1. Diagnosis (7)

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 11

State your diagnosis. Explain your conclusion based on the symptoms or criteria given in your text book

or DSM 5.

Part 2: Intervention

Describe the specific methods that each therapist would use with your client.

1. Psychodynamic Approach (10) 2. Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT) Approach (10) 3. Humanistic Approach (10)

Part 3: Living a productive and successful life

(Continue to write this part in the third person)

1. Critique of the three types of intervention in this case: (15)

Describe how your client would respond to each therapist and the effectiveness of the treatment approach.

Note the difficulties and successes encountered by your client with each therapist.

1. Best Treatment Plan (write in the third person): (20)

Develop the best treatment plan for your client. Describe the client’s reaction to the treatment and the end

result of this approach. Explain why this treatment was successful.

1. Provide helps to prevent a relapse and tips for your client to live a healthy life. (5)

.

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