Psychology: Depression Essay, Research Paper
For the past two months I have been working closely with a young lady that is between the age of 16 and 17 years old. She is currently showing many signs of depression and is also having nightmares at night. The reason why she is currently experiencing these types of stresses in her life is due to the fact of being first exposed to domestic violence in her house, as well as being physically, sexually and emotionally abused by her stepfather. This young girl named Tina has not only watched her mother being beaten by her stepfather, but has also been a victim of this type of abuse.
It is plainly obvious that this man has a serious problem with displacing his sexual and emotional feelings onto someone else, as oppose to just seeking outside help to solve these problems in his life. As a result of this continuous abuse Tina’s life has drastically changed for the worst. Tina is also showing signs of displacement in terms of how she reacts and feels about situations that she is currently placed in.
I see her searching for love and acceptance from all the wrong people, because she tends to place herself in
situations that force her to closely interact with people that are not only older than her, but does not have her best interest at heart.
At the conclusion of many of our heart to heart talks I find that she is at ease with her life, at that moment. As time continues to progress her feelings of being at ease is slowly altered by people in her life that have an invested interest to cause her some form of emotional and physical pain. Looking back on Tina’s childhood history it suggests that her overall parental guidance was strained, as a result of her mother having her at such a very young age.
Tina’s mother was a child herself when Tina was born, so a lot of the direct raising of Tina was done by her grandparents which as a result could have placed Tina and her mother’s relationship on an entirely different level. Tina’s grandparents usually got the last say in the house when it came to making any life changing decisions, which placed Tina and her mother on a level of being sisters as oppose to being mother and daughter. Through out Tina’s life she had many people trying to raise her, but what they
failed to realize is that they forgot to raise their own daughter in the process. Instead of teaching Tina’s mom how to properly raise Tina, they just pushed her away as if her thoughts and feelings did not matter. Tina’s grandparents would not even allow Tina’s biological dad the opportunity to see his own daughter, which basically shows signs of a need for power and control by the grandparents.
Since Tina’s mom never really had to perform any parenting skills on Tina, as a result of this fact it placed their overall mother and daughter relationship at jeopardy, because Tina did not feel comfortable going to her when she sought out any form of protection or advice. Tina’s mom tried to do every thing that she could to get away from this controlling environment. In efforts to get away from her parents Tina’s mom left Tina with them in hopes of finally securing a sense of control over her own life, but what she failed to realize was that no matter where she went the problems in her life still followed her. Tina’s mom did not have a close relationship with her own father, so she looked for men that would take on this father figure role in her life. The only problem with
trying to fulfill this type of need is that Tina’s mom is possibly indirectly subjecting herself and the people around her to potential lose of control and independence. The man she ended up marrying brought some unforeseen baggage to their marriage. It is quite evident that this man took this father figure role to a different level, because the domestic abuse with Tina’s mother began a month or two after they were married. The first reason why he was beating Tina’s mom was due to financial complications in the family, but as time progressed the reasons began to change into being just something for him to do to let out his frustrations. Tina’s mom always went back to him in hopes that things would get better.
Tina’s mom never thought that the reason why the domestic abuse occurred so irregularly was because he was sexually abusing Tina every night. Tina out of fear that he would either leave her mother or beat her again never felt comfortable talking to her mom about the things he did to her. It was not until she moved away from home that he began to physically abuse her mother again on a more regular basis. Tina’s mom called her for support in dealing
with this problem, which slowly open up the wounds Tina had been holding inside for many years.
Tina’s first attempt to handle these problems in her life was by seeking out an older male companion that would help fill this empty father figure role in her life. What Tina failed to realize was that her immediate actions for solving these problems in her life were similar to how her mom tried to solve the problems in her life. What Tina was basically doing was continuing the cycle of displaced feelings and actions, but it is not her fault that she picked this particular path for dealing with the problems in her life.
All Tina was doing is practicing the same behavior she was taught as a child. The behavior she was taught as a child was to allow others to control her feelings, thoughts and actions, because she was not capable of doing it all alone. Tina was taught how to basically rely on others to help solve her problems, as oppose to dealing with these problems on her own terms.
As a result of all the things that were affecting Tina’s life on a regular basis I felt that personally one theoretical approach was not sufficient enough to accomplish the ultimate goal of helping her develop the necessary skills to solve this problem in her life. I was forced to not only use one theory to help her solve her problem, but to use many different approaches when providing her with some solutions on how to actually deal with these reoccurring problems in her life.
The reason why I use many different approaches to work
with Tina is because there is not just one way to actually analyze her current problems. I find that many of the solutions that I shared with her only work for a short period of time, because she is having a hard time disassociating herself from the people that are causing these problems in her life.
The problem of domestic violence and sexual abuse is no longer in the picture, as a result of my two suggestions to her to first, think about pressing charges against her stepfather. The second suggestion was for her to talk with her mom about what her stepfather did to her over the past
ten years, as well as explain to her how she was feeling and thinking about the different things that was going on in her life. Taking into account the two suggestions that I gave Tina I also informed her of all the possibilities that may result upon discussing the problems she was currently experiencing in her life with her mother. It was a blessing that her mom was very supportive when she came to her with this problem that she has been holding hiding for over ten years. She and her mom decided to press charges against her stepfather, which ultimately showed signs that her mom was ready to separate herself from this abuse as well.
The approaches that I took to help Tina develop different methods that would aide her in dealing with the emotional problems she was experiencing, as a result of her past emotional and physical abuse. The theories that I decided to reference in handling Tina’s problem were the reality theory, adlerian theory and the existential theory. I personally feel that each of these three theories that I chose would be the most helpful in terms of helping me come up with enough possible avenues for Tina to try.
The Adlerian approach would be helpful with assisting Tina in terms of helping her to understand how she as a whole has shaped the entire structure of her family, especially since she is the oldest child in the family. Since she was the first born it was basically unavoidable for her mom not to have made a lot of mistakes in raising her, just as her mom’s parents made mistakes in the actual raising of her mother. Adler allows the counselor the opportunity to teach their client how to employ various techniques that will assist them in better understanding who they actually are. Adler also allows us to draw on the clients past and present experiences to help assess how they can actually grow from all these experiences. The homework that would be given to this client is to keep a daily journal on her feelings, as well as on the different interactions she experiences in relation to her past.
I would also inform my client that she has the potential to regain control over her life, but she first needs to take the necessary steps toward achieving this goal. This client feels at times that the only way for her to solve this problem is to fight fire with fire. I feel
that the existential approach would give me enough resources to pull from in order to convince my client that her choice of action to any situation can directly affect her in the long run, and may not actually solve the current problem. Basically what I want to get across to my client is that she needs to hold herself more accountable for her choice of action and thoughts. The existential approach will help me to keep her focused on her a not so much on the actual problems in her life. This approach encourages the client to put themselves first for once in their life, as oppose to worrying about what other people may think and feel. I ultimately want her to reflect on her life, so that she can actually see that there are some good things that has occurred in her life that she might have overlooked.
The reality theory approach is basically straightforward in terms of making the client deal with the situation head on, as oppose to hiding from the situation. This approach does not hold the client accountable for the things in their life that they were forced to experience, but what it does do is let the client know that they do
have the power to change how they choose to react to the problem. This theory does not allow much room for a client to feel sorry for themselves, but places fire underneath them to quickly make changes in their life. These changes are positive and useful techniques that will aid the client in reaching their goal. I feel that this theory is the most effective in terms of forcing the client to realize what the actual problem is, as well as teach these clients how to accurately formulate and carry out successful plans to change their current behavior in all situations placed before them.
I feel that this client can truly benefit from professional counseling at least once every two weeks for an hour. I expect to see this client after two months show signs of progress in terms of her overall emotional state. I would ask her to complete many homework assignments that would encourage her to analyze herself and the people around her, especially in terms of how they affect who she was and hopes to be in the future. The more this client is able to voice how she feels on a regular basis, the better
off she will be in the long run, especially in terms of how she deals with others.
Tina needs to feel as if she has the power to make good choices in her life that will lead to future success. The only way that we can achieve this goal is by placing this client in various mock situations that teaches her how to make good decisions that would affect her life. The other option is to encourage her to enroll in young women’s open forum so that she will have another avenue for her to voice her feelings with other victims of the same type of abuse.
After a year of counseling I would suggest that she volunteers at a teen hotline program for abused and raped women, in hopes that she would be able to aide other victims in dealing with similar problems in their life. After a year of counseling I would suggest that she continues to come and see me once every four months, just to touch basis on how she is progressing in her life, basically establish an open door policy with this client.