Case of Roger
I decided to analyze the case of Roger, a 40-year-old man, who had tried to commit suicide and has problems with self-esteem and relations with women. The main tasks are to analyze Rogers background, to find out the prerequisites and reasons of his current psychological problems, and to elaborate the plan of his treatment.
In order to change the manner of Rogers thinking and to make him believe in himself I will use the methods of empathetic conversation, story-writing, journaling, and positive treatment. The picture drawing method will help me to assess the progress of the patients treatment.
To my mind, the main goal of the therapy is to increase Rogers self-esteem and self-confidence. When the man is sure in himself, he will not have problems in personal life and in relations with women. As soon as Roger starts loving himself and stops thinking that the world is against him, all his thoughts about suicide will fade and he will start living a happy life.
When working with clients with serious psychological problems, one must be quite cautious in order not to traumatize the client. The psychologist has to create comfortable conditions for the patient to open his/her mind and to build open, trustful relations, so that the client could be quite honest when answering questions and describing the situation.
First of all, I have to find out as much information as possible about Rogers childhood, his relations with parents and peers as well as about the relations between his father and mother. The reason is that the majority of psychological problems is usually formed during persons early years of life. Having understood the reason of the issue or complex, I will know how to work with it and which psychological method to use.
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During the first session I want to learn about Rogers relations in the family. Im interested in the way his mother and father treated him, if they loved him and took care of him, if there was no childhood psychological trauma that created the complexes and suicidal thoughts in future. According to, suicide is an aggression that is aimed at the person itself. The intention to commit suicide is created by the non-acceptance of oneself, deep depression and negative attitude to the world. I have to find out what was the reason of Rogers depression and help him to build positive thinking. The lack of mother or fathers love, the lack of friends, or problems with socializing might become the cause of low self-esteem and intentions to commit suicide. The case of suicide in the family might also stay in the subconscious and become a motive to the suicide by Roger.
I also have to find out why my patient has problems in relations with women, what fears and complexes he has. According to the Maslows hierarchy of needs, the person can become happy only when his or her basic needs are satisfied. The person becomes self-actualized when all the needs, presented in the Maslows Pyramid, are realized. As for Roger, all levels of his needs are not satisfied to the full extent. As soon as he creates his own family, begins to live in harmony, increases self-esteem and find his vocation, he will become a happy person and thoughts about suicide and homosexuality will never return.
There might be problems working with this client because people usually do not want to raise sensitive questions and speak openly about them. A person may be too reserved and suspicious that he/she will not want to answer the questions honestly. Usually, suicidal person thinks that the whole world is against him/her and Roger may also think that the psychologist has no intention to help him and, on the contrary, wants to do him bad. There will be a challenge in encouraging Roger, winning his trust, and changing the way he thinks from negative to positive.
The main goals that I would set in work with this client are:
- To find out the reasons of suicidal behavior, obesity, thoughts about homosexuality, and problems in relations with women in the early childhood;
- To build Rogers self-esteem;
- To change negative thinking into positive thinking;
- To change Rogers way of life by helping to find new friends, hobbies, interests, healthy diet, and sport.
If I had to choose only one goal to achieve, it would be to build self-esteem, as the person will be able to cope with all the problems in the life as well as to think positive only if he/she has inner harmony and self-confidence. A person with a high level of self-belief will be able to gain all the personal goals, including creation of happy family.
I believe that the most important tool for treating Roger will be a one-to-one empathetic conversation with minimum of speaking from my side and letting Roger speak as much as he wants. I have to create all the conditions for him to speak up and to let me know about all his fears, feelings, and thoughts. My task will be to support him, express my empathy and assure him that there are many people that love and need him and there are lots of great things to do in this world, so he has to value his life and enjoy it. My task is to eliminate the feeling of despair and hopelessness and to focus Roger on his achievements and success.
One of the methods of increasing the feeling of self-esteem is to ask Roger to provide 20 examples of things and actions done by him that he is proud of. If the patient has difficulties with this task and recalls only negative things, I will have to help him find positive even in the negative cases.
Another technique that I am going to use will be a kind of journaling, which will consist in writing the list of thanks for different things, actions, and events on a daily basis. This list will help Roger become more positive and will teach him to admire and appreciate even minor things.
I would also like to use the method of positive story-writing. Roger will have to recall the cases of his life failures, write them down, then he will have to invent a positive ending for each story, and afterwards he will rewrite all those stories in a comic exaggerated way. This method helps to overcome fears, phobias, and complexes. This method can be also used while working with problems in relations with women.
All in all, the course of therapy will take about 3 months, and I plan to schedule two sessions of therapy per week. In addition to our weekly meetings I would recommend Roger to get subscribed to the gym. Going in for sport will not only help my patient to get fit, but also will help to find new friends and become more serf-confident.
I am going to measure Rogers success by the quantity of things that he will be grateful for every day. If this quantity grows, it means that the patient has started to think positively. Another tool of measuring success will be picture drawing. I will ask Roger to draw a non-existing animal and I will judge his personality changes basing on this picture.
I am sure that all the methods described above will help Roger to overcome his life problems, will increase his self-esteem, and will help him build a happy family life. One of the obstacles that may arise while working with the client could be his unwillingness to speak up and to be frank with me as well as new thoughts about suicide. The biggest challenge will be to prevent new possible attempts to commit suicide and to change Rogers way of thinking to positivism.