PSYC 353 Applied Final Project
This assignment supports your expression of knowledge, targeting the basic concepts, theories, and techniques discussed in the course. Presented below is a case study. For this assignment, you will develop and present your analysis. Your analysis will include early thoughts on diagnosis, an accounting of the key symptoms presented, an acknowledgment of the client’s strengths and areas for growth, and potential treatment goals for the client. You will conclude the intake analysis by discussing areas to explore with the client at the next visit.
Carl is a 37-year-old male who, during his intake visit, communicates he is experiencing a variety of life stressors. As you take notes, the following list is recorded:
- change in weight, an increase of 25 pounds
- trouble sleeping–primarily interrupted sleep and occasional sleeplessness
- low energy
- varied eating – periods of not feeling hungry followed by increased eating
- irritability and moodiness
- decreased sexual desire
- self-esteem – decreasing
- feelings of guilty – economic challenges have resulted in significant income losses
- Carl has been married to his partner for eleven years. The marriage has experienced challenges but is relatively happy and intact. Carl’s partner is an entrepreneur with many irons in the fire, and whose drive contributes to the business’s success and a healthy income ($185,000). Like Carl, his partner must reinvest the majority of their income back into their business ventures. Recent economic shifts have put pressure on the couple’s shrinking savings and investments, and on the upper-middle-income lifestyle, the two have become accustomed to buying and engaging in desired activities without much worry.
Carl holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business. He pursued and obtained his MBA with the goal of establishing his own business. He has a receptionist who works remotely from home on an hourly basis and one full-time employee. Carl recently made the move from the home office, shared with his partner, to a new office space that has room for his employees. The office is well-sized and includes a conference space where clients can meet. His client list has expanded, but Carl is experiencing difficulties getting clients to pay within the 45-day billing period specified when invoiced for services rendered. As a result, Carl is often forced to pay his contracted account a service fee to prompt clients for payment.
Carl pays the accountant’s fee because he requires a steady cash flow to pay his employees, pay bills, and meet family responsibilities. The health insurance premium he pays for his family is high (over $1400 per month) due to a pre-existing health condition (his partner has a chronic condition). Additionally, he pays the health insurance premium for his full-time employee. Carl’s partner willingly, and lovingly paid the family healthcare premium on their plan for over two years at a monthly cost of $1,700.
Carl took over the healthcare premium four years ago, as he felt that his partner had carried that monthly burden alone while he built up his client base. His partner also covered expenses Carl was not able to pay while he attended graduate school and established his business. During the intake visit, Carl shares that he could not have pursued his business endeavors without his partner’s support (financial and otherwise). He believes that this has created tension in his relationship with his partner, particularly during the current economic downturn.
Carl and his partner have three children, ages 2, 5, and 8. All are healthy, intelligent, fun-loving, and wellmannered, per his reporting. At the time of his visit, Carl has no concerns regarding the little ones. His partner works doggedly to contribute to the finances and to attend to the children. While Carl works most days from 7 a.m. to all hours of the evening, his partner “does it all,” making $185,000 and being a stay-at-home parent.
Carl feels that his partner’s deteriorating physical well-being is the result of this effort to do it all – being there for him and the children. While his partner does not express dissatisfaction, Carl feels (in his words,
“understands”) that his partner must feel resentment toward him for the non-stop, around-the-clock, work he must dedicate to his business. As the funds in their savings have shrunk, Carl feels his personal state has deteriorated, physically, emotionally, professionally, and personally.
Carl concludes his intake visit expressing he needs help. He needs help regaining control in his life. He wants your help to develop a strategy for reversing this downward spiral.
Review Carl’s case and give a preliminary diagnosis using the knowledge gained in this course. Relevant diagnostic criteria can be found in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10 link), and the Study Guide to DSM-5. You may find useful, as a supplement, the sequential presentation of disorders found in Lumen Learning Abnormal Psychology, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/abnormalpsychology/ . (Caveat – the Lumen Learning resource uses DSM-IV-TR criteria with DSM-V revision summaries. Updates and changes within the DSM-V discussed in this course should be taken into consideration, should they apply. Reference peer-reviewed journal articles and other credible sources to support your treatment recommendations, etc.
Answering the following six items, provide evidence of your logic for each decision. Reinforce responses with scholarly resources and appropriate detailing. Discuss how and why you arrived at the conclusions drawn. See rubric for depth and detailed expectations.
Develop your analysis in an organized, well-developed 5 to 7-page paper.
Required Items to be Addressed (scored):
- Based upon this intake visit, what diagnosis do you think is most appropriate for Carl? Be mindful, this is your first session. Information is limited to the data collected in this first visit. (12.5 points)
- What are the principal symptoms contributing to the diagnosis proposed? Clearly explain, providing details. (12.5 points)
- Discuss Carl’s strengths. These will facilitate constructive work with him. (10 points)
- Delineate Carl’s opportunities for growth and/or improvement. (10 points)
- Looking to the next visit and beyond, what is your preliminary sketch of the treatment goals you have for Carl? Why do you identify these goals as appropriate for Carl? (10 points)
- What will you explore with Carl in future visits (e.g., interpersonal, aspirations)? Present rational. Why do you want this information? (10 points)
Communications (scored): Writing mechanics (i.e., spelling, grammar, organization) (5 points); APA Style (5 points). In-text and reference list citations need to be in APA style formatting.
Point Total: 75 points
Paper Writing Guidelines:
- The paper should be written applying APA style; this includes title page, heading, in-text citations, reference page, and paper formatting (1-inch margins, double-spaced, 12-point font, etc.). An abstract is not required.
- Apply sound writing mechanics: write with clarity, paying attention to spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Avoid using lists or bullet points. Describe diagnostic criteria and Carl’s symptoms.
- Submit the completed document by the assigned due date.
- Your final paper should be approximately 5 to 7-pages (excluding title page and reference page):
o Title page (do not count page towards paper length requirement) o Body of paper (5 to 7 pages) o Reference page (do not count page towards paper length requirement)
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