Case Study: Patricia and Her Family

The case of 55-year-old Patricia is rather captivating for the field of Psychology: lots of internal and external factors considerably influence the general situation and attract the attention of lots of Psychologists. Usually, psychologists prefer to use several principles and theories in order to analyze a person, his/her behaviour, and comprehend him/her from several perspectives.

Past problems, connected with alcoholism, obligations before her family, and contempt from Patricia’s son and sister’s side – all this have bad impact to a woman and create more and more internal problems, which are hard to solve.

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“Psychologists can draw upon a range of alternative approaches, each of which views the person and the study of the person in very different ways.” (Jarvis 2000) In this paper, the case of Patricia and her family will be analyzed by means a behavioural approach, psychodynamic approach, and rational emotive theory. Each of these approaches and theories should help Patricia re-evaluate the situation and come to the conclusion what to do further.

Human behaviour is one of the most interesting issues to learn day by day. It is possible to predict weather, it is not that easy to find out the sex of the baby, however, it turns out to be rather difficult to comprehend why or why not a person treats him/herself like this. The behavioural approach is all about some measurable aspects of the behaviour, inherent to people. With the help of observation, psychologists analyze the behaviour of their patients and clear up how exactly this environment causes the patient behaves the way he/she behaves.

Psychodynamic approach is one of those approaches, which are based on the role of certain internal processes and some past experiences, which influence the creation of personalities. The most famous psychologist, who made a considerable impact on the sphere of Psychology and the psychodynamic approach in particular, was Sigmund Freud. He admitted that the vast majority of human feelings cannot but be affected by different unconscious motives, and that personal problems, which are inherent to adults have their roots in their childhood. Rational emotive theory is one more aspect that has to be mentioned in this case to present a really worth psychological picture of the patient.

“Rational-emotive theory states that much emotional disturbance stems from the faulty inferences and irrational evaluations that patients make in endeavouring to make sense of themselves, other people and the world.” (Dryden 1995) By means of this very theory, it turned to be a bit easier to comprehend human’s perception of this world and his/her abilities to develop own social and even spiritual abilities. It is crucially important to realize that any person is not only a certain being, who has to be responsible and controlled by own internal factors. Social factors and emotional responsibilities have to cooperate and provide a person with choices.

These three psychological theories are chosen for one particular reason – all of them allow to analyze the case of Patricia and help her to overcome her problems and find out a proper way to communicate with her relatives. Any psychologist should also remember that ethical issues have to be considered in any mental-health professions and should be regulated by certain professional codes. (Corey et al. 1997) This is why any of the above-mentioned theories should be used carefully without any damage to the psychological condition of the patient.

The behavioural approach will help to analyze the situation, demonstrate to Patricia that her behaviour is not that wrong, and prove that she has to reward herself in order to enjoy this life. To achieve good results, it is better for her to join some group of people with the same interests and talk about the themes, which are really interesting to Patricia.

She has already comprehend that alcohol is not the best solving of all problems, and now, her relatives have to comprehend the same things and start respective Patricia. This is why Patricia should choose some group of people, who have no relation to alcohol and drugs. It may be some cinema fans or women, who like manicuring, etc.

The psychodynamic theory will be useful in order to clear up how Patricia’s past, present, and future can be connected to each other. It is necessary to help Patricia to comprehend that her life is not endless, and it is better to start enjoying it. For example, it is not too late to create a web page on some love site in order to find a person or even several people to share secrets. Online talks are useful indeed, this is why if Patricia still does not have a computer, she has to go to the nearest shop and choose the nicest computer and start investigating the Internet and analyze its advantages.

When Patricia talks more to people, she can find some support from unknown people and start thinking about one more way to explain her relatives, that she has to have a piece of her personal life. Communication is the best medicine for lots of women. Just let us remember the movie Requiem about the Dream, where the mother goes crazy because of being alone. This is why if Patricia wants to change her life, the Internet is one of the most available ways to start these changes.

Rational emotive theory is used to demonstrate that it is necessary to defeat personal desires and interests. It is better to concentrate on patient’s beliefs and her skills in order to make her dreams come true. It is possible to advise Patricia to visit swimming pool, do fitness, or just change her haircut. Small changes stimulate women a lot: they find more powers to go outside, be pretty, and be desired.

The expected outcomes of procedure are rather clear: Patricia should find some other reasons to enjoy this life and explain her relatives that her dreams and desires have some value as well. Maybe, it is high time to help Patricia to demonstrate that her past mistakes should be forgiven, and relatives are one of the first people, who have to give this forgiveness.

She has enough powers to start everything from the very beginning. She has to believe in herself, and change in appearance is a good start for her. The major aim of any psychologist is to give a hint, to show the way, but to give orders. In such case, Patricia should realize that her present is not less important than the present of her relatives, and past should not be remembered for a long period of time in order not to omit the future.

In order to analyze the case of Patricia and her family, it is better to use several theoretical approaches simultaneously: behavioural, psychodynamic, and rational emotive theories. Such diversity helps to find out the essence of the problem from different perspectives and give reliable pieces of advice. This psychological assistance cannot provide serious support to the patient, but just to show that some changes should happen in this life.

List of References

Corey, G, Corey, MC, Callanan, P 1997 Issues and Ethics in Helping Professions. International Thomson Publishing Services Ltd.

Dryden, W 1995 Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy: A Reader. SAGE.

Jarvis, M 2000 Theoretical Approaches in Psychology. Routledge, London.

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