Melinda is a 27-year-old Caucasian female who works full-time, and is enrolled in graduate school in the evenings. She began graduate school six months ago. Melinda’s friends describe her as “scatterbrained,” and at times, she seems to have difficulties managing her responsibilities at work, home, and school. Melinda readily agrees that she tends to be “scatterbrained,” but attributes this tendency to juggling multiple responsibilities. She often finds she double-books or overschedules herself secondary to her multiple interests and excitement related to different activities. She figures, “Who wouldn’t forget a few things if they were as busy as I am?”
Melinda’s one-bedroom apartment is messy, and every time she attempts to clean, she becomes distracted with a new recipe she found or an exciting workout routine she wants to try. Melinda does not have any pets or houseplants because she knows she would forget to water them or take them for walks, just as she did when she was younger. In the past six months, since starting graduate school, she has become increasingly anxious and seems to be forgetting important things like class assignments and paying her bills. She is forever thinking about trying a new organizational system or buying books she never reads on how to get organized and declutter one’s life. In class, Melinda’s mind wanders during lectures and she often makes minor, detail-related errors on exams. While Melinda struggles to stay on task during class, there are times when she is hyperfocused and able to complete complicated projects at work, finishing reports in one day that her coworkers usually finish in one week. When Melinda is in “go” mode, as she calls it, she is able to work for several hours at a time without taking a break. Melinda relishes her ability to focus and feel productive during these times. She feels as if, for the most part, she is very high functioning. However, she finds that during the times when she is in “go” mode, she does not answer her phone or check emails; her mind is totally focused on the task in front of her. This ability to work diligently on certain tasks has been beneficial for Melinda. She was able to graduate with a B average as an undergraduate, and she successfully completed her first semester in graduate school. However, there are times when Melinda will forget to mail a payment for a bill or complete a homework assignment that was due.
She feels a great deal of anxiety, as she frequently misplaces things such as her car keys and smartphone, and even her credit card. She has noticed that as she takes on more life responsibilities, she is even more prone to losing things, causing her to feel even more anxiety.
Melinda is single. Her last boyfriend ended their relationship because he felt she failed to listen or to pay attention to him during conversations or on dates. She would also forget to return texts until days after receiving a message from him. He would become frustrated with her because she could not sit still and watch television with him. Melinda argued that she did not understand why one would sit for hours in front of the television when they could be doing something more creative, active, engaging, or interesting.
Melinda has struggled with these behaviors as long as she can remember, certainly as early as first grade, but she assumed she was just forgetful or disorganized. She tried using planners, writing out a daily schedule, and setting alarms and reminders on her phone, but none of these things seemed to work for longer than one or two days. Over the years, she has compensated by working very hard to complete certain tasks, although she could never seem to get started until the night before a major deadline. Talking with other students, she finds that many of them struggle with procrastination, so she assumes this is a normal part of graduate school.
Melinda realized she needed to seek help when she returned home after class one night to find her apartment dark because she failed, for the second time this year, to pay her electric bill. After reflecting on her situation, she began to wonder if perhaps there were deeper issues at play, so she decided to see a counselor at her college.
ASSESSMENT CASE CONCEPTUALIZATION FORM
i. Please provide introduction information including demographic information (age, ethnicity, occupation, grade, relevant identifiers) about the client.
ii. Presenting problem that the client/family is discussing?
iii. Background/History of presenting problem. This includes: Recent Background (recent life changes, precipitating events, first symptoms, stressors, etc.) and Related Historical Background (family history, related issues, past abuse, trauma, previous counseling, medical/mental health history, etc.):
iv. Family history: past and present relationship with family, problems an strengths of family
v. Social history physical, social, emotional, spiritual; support systems
vi. Substance use by the client, if applicable
vii. Sexual/physical/emotional abuse, if applicable
viii. Physical/mental disorders
ix. Previous counseling experience of the client, if applicable
x. Strengths of the client
Assessment- Answers for each of the following should consist of 8-10 sentences/per question with two in-text citations from the book
xi. Your assessment of the client and what formal clinical assessment would you use? What is your rationale for utilizing this assessment? What are the pros and cons of utilizing this assessment? (Chapter 8)
xii. Your assessment of the client and what formal behavioral assessment would you use? What is your rationale for utilizing this assessment? What are the pros and cons of utilizing this assessment? (Chapter 13)
xiii. Your assessment of the client and what formal personality assessment would you use? What is your rationale for utilizing this assessment? What are the pros and cons of utilizing this assessment? (Chapter 12)
xiv. Are there any specific questions you would ask the client that are not covered by formal assessments?
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