This chapter presents a case study of a 4-and-a-half-year-old Caucasian male, who lived with his mother and his 3-year-old sister. The patient’s mother requested counseling services due to growing concerns surrounding his medical condition, cerebral palsy (CP). The patient had not been educated regarding his disability, which began to cause social and emotional difficulties for him. The school diagnosed him via early intervention services with only a mild impairment of cognitive functioning. The patient struggled with issues related to weak muscle tone and poor muscle control and coordination, and struggled to understand the changes taking place in his body. The author chose the intervention and theoretical orientation, child-centered play therapy (CCPT), because it provided an inherently creative approach to working with children. Providing the patient with information on CP allowed him to better understand what came to light about his body and why he experienced difficulty.
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This chapter presents a case study of a patient who received counseling for behavior-related concerns. The patient’s mother seemed ashamed to admit that her children’s father decided to be absent in their lives. This feeling appeared to be consistent with the patient’s feelings, as observed through her nonverbal behaviors of avoidance and silence during discussions about her relationship with her father. The mother appeared to feel guilty about the father’s lack of participation and tended to overcompensate by being involved in her children’s lives, especially in their medical and mental health treatment. The patient experienced difficulties with identity and relationships. The author chooses a cognitive behavioral approach, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). This approach focuses on the role of thinking and beliefs as the root cause of personal problems. The author felt good about the referral and the new opportunities for the patient to develop her self-expression skills.
This chapter presents a case study of a school student who is the oldest child in a family of five. The patient attended school regularly, and always made good grades in pre-advanced placement (Pre-AP) courses. Prior to his father going to prison, the patient had not experienced significant loss. The grief associated with his father’s sudden absence from everyday life left him feeling frustrated and disconnected. Unattended emotions surrounding his father’s incarceration impeded his academic success and damaged his relationships. As his professional school counselor, the author wanted to help him see the connection. Being able to identify emotions and understand that internal conflict carries external implications is a valuable life-lesson. The author helped an entire family by coordinating the services of a therapist in the community and the patient reported that he was doing well academically.
This chapter presents a case study which details a patient’s treatment and the sequence of her engagement in the counseling sessions. The patient functioned in the concrete operational stage of development. Children with concrete operational skills tend to demonstrate more abstract and inductive thinking. The patient’s entire family resided in a low socioeconomic community except for an extended family member who cut ties with the parents due to their involvement in drugs. The patient experienced a childhood riddled with abuse, loss, and addiction. The first strategy for promoting healthier emotional coping revealed sensory details that the patient could recognize and identify when she felt happy, mad, sad, scared, or disgusted. The chapter explores characteristics of healthy relationships using Miller’s “Five Good Things”: sense of zest; clarity about self, other, and the relationship; sense of self-worth; enhanced creativity and productivity; and desire for further connection with others.
This chapter presents a case study of a 15-year old White female. It outlines the process of finding healing through charting memories utilizing an evidence-based treatment. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment used to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced by children ages 3 to 18. As the name indicates, the theoretical base lies in the cognitive behavioral school of thought. The overall focus of TF-CBT is to build physical, emotional, and cognitive coping skills; bolster the parent-child relationship; gradually expose and desensitize; and create new meaning surrounding the trauma. Most importantly, it is used to help the child to not be defined by the trauma. Rather than proceeding chronologically or focusing on a specific traumatic event, exposure during the trauma narrative (TN) is focused on themes and difficult thoughts and feelings that arise out of the client’s trauma experiences.
Child and Adolescent Counseling Case Studies:Developmental, Relational, Multicultural, and Systemic Perspectives
This book aids counselor educators, supervisors, and counselors-in-training in assisting children, adolescents, and their families to foster coping methods and strategies while navigating contemporary issues. It promotes the essence of counselor growth, and deals with conceptualization of the client’s presenting problems along with personal and client goals, step-by-step accounts of the happenings in counseling sessions, and counseling outcome. Case studies were written in contexts that reflect the fact that children and adolescents are part of larger systems family, school, peer, and community. Systemic context, developmental and relational considerations, multicultural perspectives, and creative interventions were infused in the cases. Time-efficient methods, such as brief counseling, were used in some of the cases. The case studies selected highlight contemporary issues and relevant themes that are prevalent in the lives of youths (i.e., abuse, anxiety, giftedness, disability, social media and pop culture, social deficits and relationships, trauma, bullying, changing families, body image, substance abuse, incarcerated family members, race and ethnicity, and sexual identity and orientation). These themes capture both the child and adolescent perspectives and are designed to provide breadth and depth during classroom discussions and debriefing.
Family and fathers play a critical role in many African American communities and life; however, social-historical factors, such as racism, contribute to the multiple challenges they face as witnessed in the case of a patient’s family system, as described in the chapter. The need to protect the patient’s family, possibly from the violence he witnessed in his community, became a larger burden for him. He was willing share the reasons for his criminal behavior. While his physical health was generally good, his psychiatric evaluations revealed diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder. Being imprisoned physically did not concern him because it provided him some protection from the turmoil in his family and community. However, his psychological imprisonment seemed to impede his adolescent identity development. Overall, the patient worked toward physical liberation, but more so toward liberation of his multiple incarcerated identities.
The author presents a case study of a 15-year-old African American male, who attended a midsize suburban high school where, he successfully navigated his freshman year of high school. The patient described his school as attended by both Black and White students, along with some Hispanic students and was having difficulty being around his friends. His parents described him as an active child and teen who enjoyed playing baseball and hanging out with friends. The parents described him as an average student who did well in both academic and extracurricular activities. Treatment goals involved both individual and family counseling sessions to address and improve communication while decreasing family conflict. After counseling, the patient’s grades improved, he spent time with his friends more regularly, and he received no other suspensions or incidents of fighting.
This chapter presents a case study of a woman who finds a counselor for her 11-year-old son. The son’s family possessed many qualities characteristic of “growth-fostering relationships” defined in relational-cultural theory (RCT). The woman portrayed the son as a healthy young boy with few developmental problems or health concerns. The priorities for his counseling goals included: to assess the risk that he might harm himself and put in place interventions for safety; to determine what significant life events contributed to his anxiety and depression; to increase his feelings of connection to others; to reduce the occurrence of his nightmares; to support him in developing a stronger voice in order to ask for help when he needed it and to express his needs. Adlerian play therapy and mutual storytelling proved to be a good fit for him, and helped the author understand his view of self and his world.
This chapter presents the case study of a 17-year-old Hispanic male, highlighting the interplay of systemic, developmental, relational, and multicultural influences, and the many risk factors that ultimately contributed to his delinquency. His history of legal troubles included referrals for several public intoxications, theft, and violations of probation, resulting in referrals for expulsion, child in need of supervision (CINS) assessment, and contempt of court. The patient possessed great potential for growth, but his skill sets, social and emotional developmental levels, and systemic influences showed potential to hinder interventions and progress. The concepts, Patient-centered Acute Care Training (PACT) and “To Booth or Not to Booth”, challenged his faulty thinking and beliefs. He began to find his personal strengths, minimize his lack of trust and disconnections with others, and became engaged in the process of fostering his own social, emotional, and cognitive growth.