Clinical and Counselling Psychology Custom Essay
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BSc (Hons) Psychology Format for handing in: Please present your assignment using 12point font size in Arial font and 1 ½ or double line spacing. Assessment Details This is a Level 6 module. At this level of the course students are expected to be able to critically evaluate, analyse and synthesise information from a range of theoretical and applied areas of psychology. The assessment consists of a 2,500-word essay based on one of the three case studies below. In this assessment you are expected to demonstrate your ability to critically evaluate, analyse and synthesise information from a range of theoretical perspectives, assessment tools and therapeutic/treatment models in relation to various mental health problems. Case Study You are required to choose one of the following three case studies on which to base your response to the following essay title: Critically discuss the theoretical explanations for this individual’s symptoms and the possible ways in which these symptoms could be managed. Case Study 1: Tara (Extract taken from Nolen-Hoeksema, 2008, pp.U13-14) ‘Tara’s problems with depression began during childhood. In the fourth grade she hated her teachers and her family. Even at that age, she mostly kept to herself. She described herself as a loner: sad and angry, spending hours isolated in her room in her own fantasy world. In high school, her symptoms worsened. Her boyfriend died and Tara descended into a dark depression. For almost a year, she slept 20 hours a day, rarely ate, and had persistent thoughts of suicide. The depression persisted when she left for college. She was hospitalised for attempted suicide….She has attempted suicide on several more occasions, and has been hospitalised both voluntarily and involuntarily.’ ‘In spite of her depression, Tara is able to keep a job and perform her professional obligations as a drug abuse counsellor. She behaves reflexively – getting up, going to work, and doing her job – all without getting emotionally involved. After work, she sometimes goes shopping – buying things seems to help her mood – and then she goes home, watches television, and goes to bed. She has few other activities in her life, and has no interest in becoming involved in a romantic relationship. Tara remains in contact with her family, who try to be supportive. Tara insists, however, that they are not. She also regrets the shame that her disorder brings her family.’ Case Study 2: Nancy (Extract taken from Nolen-Hoeksema, 2008, pp.U26-27) ‘Nancy traces her obsession with eating back to her childhood. There was a lot of discord in her home and Nancy discovered that binge eating calmed her and was an effective means to cope with stress. When she began gaining weight, however, her mother teased her and warned that “no one will like you if you are fat”. This in turn attached even more emotional power to food, and eventually, thoughts of eating and her body image came to dominate her thinking. Then, when Nancy was a high school student, she read an Ann Landers article in which a young woman explained that she ate in binges and afterward caused herself to vomit. Although the columnist correctly explained that this behaviour is quite risky, Nancy became intrigued with the idea and decided to experiment with it herself. Within a short period of time, this experiment evolved into an ingrained habit. Within a year, she was vomiting at least once a day, and she has continued to do so for the past 17 years.’ ‘Nancy’s obsessive thoughts of food and her compulsive eating have become a ritualised part of her daily schedule. She organises her schedule to allow time for her binges. As the time approaches, she says that the food takes control over her. She feels compelled to eat quickly and voraciously, and she continues to eat until she feels bloated and physically unable to continue. Nancy estimates she regularly consumes 5000 calories in a single binge episode.’ ‘Nancy is quite concerned about her appearance, and she acts compulsively to avoid gaining weight. In addition to vomiting after each binge, Nancy exercises for several hours every day and often fasts for protracted periods.’ Case Study 3: Valerie (Extract adapted from Nolen-Hoeksema, 2008, p.U19) ‘Throughout her childhood, Valerie felt like a social outcast although she was close to her parents. Valerie graduated from college and married in her mid-twenties. Her symptoms first developed when she was 28 years old when she began experiencing delusions that people were plotting against her. Over time, these delusions grew more complex and disturbing, and ultimately, she became highly agitated. At this point she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and involuntarily detained in a psychiatric hospital. While in the hospital, Valerie felt that she was being imprisoned and that the doctors were performing experiments on her.’ ‘Valerie has experienced delusions of persecution (that people were plotting to hurt her and her family), delusions of reference (the television programs were secretly referring to her) and delusions of grandeur (that her actions could help to save the world).’ Assessment Criteria Your assignment will be assessed using the following criteria: • Evidence that you have analysed the requirements of the individual presented within the case study and related the content of your discussion to these (i.e., the degree to which you shape the material to address the case study). • Appropriate use of theory and/or research findings that pertains to the question (i.e., application of relevant literature). • Demonstrates an understanding of the assessment and diagnosis of the mental health problem(s) the individual is presenting with. • Demonstrates an ability to critically analyse the major theoretical approaches underlying the mental health problem(s) the individual is presenting with. • Demonstrates an ability to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the major schools of therapy which could be used in the alleviation of the individual’s mental health problem(s). • Demonstrates a critical understanding of the role of cultural, social and ethical factors as they might apply to the chosen case study. • Demonstrates an ability to synthesise the major theoretical approaches with the major schools of therapy. • Provides evidence of reading a range of sources. Supported your assertions by referring explicitly to relevant published literature. • Uses a balanced structure for your assignment with a clear introduction and conclusion. • Uses a fluent academic writing style (e.g., good discursive flow, logical narrative structure, correct grammar & spelling, appropriate and correct use of technical terms and academic referencing etc.). In short, good work will be that which demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the individual’s mental health problem(s) with respect to theoretical underpinnings, diagnosis/assessment and possible treatments/therapeutic interventions. It will demonstrate a high level of critical analysis and evidence of wider reading.
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