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American TV Show “Shameless” And Psychology

COUN 510

Counseling Project: Case Summary and Presenting Problems Instructions

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You will develop a 4–6-page (notcounting title page) Case Summary and Presenting Problems paper about a fictional character. APA formatted must be followed throughout the paper, and only third person should be used. Please follow the rules listed below:

1. The client must not be a real person, but someone portrayed in television, a movie, literature, etc. No cartoon characters are acceptable. Real and presently living people WILL NOT be accepted for grading.

2. The client must be an adult (age 21 or older) since the theories you will write about are mainly directed towards adults.

3. The following problems/disorders are not allowed to be used due to the limitations of the theories as they are being taught in this course (future courses will go into greater detail on these topics):

· Suicidal and self-harming thoughts or behaviors

· Bipolar Disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders

· Sexual Abuse/Trauma

This paper must be written with the fictional character as the “client,” and you as the treating therapist (use the Case Summary of Helen from Module/Week 1 as an example). This summary will be the basis for your Conceptualization and Treatment Plans 1 and 2 that you will develop later in the course. This paper must have 3 sections: Client HistoryPresenting Problems, and Treatment Goals (show these as level 1 headings).

Title Page

Refer to your current APA manual for directions on formatting a title page. Include a running head, page number, paper title, your name, and the institution name (Liberty University). No abstract is required for this short paper.

Client History (1–2 pages)

Introduce your client to the reader over several paragraphs: Where can this client be found (television, movie, book, etc.)? What makes this client interesting? What does the client “say” about his/her life? How open do you believe the client will be to counseling? How can rapport be built with the client if he/she is hesitant about counseling?

Presenting Problems (1–2 pages)

This section addresses the following questions: What does the client say his/her problems are? What in the client’s life/background makes counseling a viable option for him/her? Use issues that you are aware of in your client’s life, but you can also fabricate some of the client history if there are not enough details provided in the fictional storyline.

This section must be at least 3 paragraphs and emphasize at least 3 problem areas for the client. For example, a client may have issues in personal functioning (depression, anxiety, etc.), relationships (spouse, children, parents, significant other, etc.), occupational functioning (trouble with boss, coworkers, unemployment, etc.) You may also address any problems the client may be experiencing with his or her spiritual health/faith.

NOTE: It is okay if 2 of the 3 paragraphs focus on personal issues (e.g., depression, then anxiety), and the other on something separate, or even if all 3 paragraphs focus on 3 personal issues. Just be clear about what is going on with this client.

Separate each problem area (e.g., Personal, Relationships) into a paragraph, using level 2 headings (flush left and bold).

Treatment Goals (1–2 pages)

This section is developed from the issues you wrote about in the Presenting Problems section. While there is no specific rule with real clients, for this case you will conceptualize at least 3 total goals in 3 separate paragraphs. For each goal, explain what it is, why you believe it is important to work on, and what the outcome(s) should be.

Remember that the goals must be directly related to the presenting problems you wrote about in the earlier section, and must be achievable and specific. Examples of goals would be: “client’s feelings of anxiety when away from home will reduce”; “client will develop better communication with spouse when having a disagreement”; “client will learn appropriate coping strategies to deal with stress at work”; or “client’s faith will strengthen.” Please ensure goals are client focused. In other words, what does the client want to accomplish through counseling? It is also helpful to write goals that are measureable (and this may be required at your clinical sites). For example, “Client’s feelings of anxiety when away from home will decrease from an average of 8/10 to 5/10.”

Do NOT write about what theories (e.g., Adlerian, Person-Centered, Cognitive-Behavioral, etc.) you will use here to achieve these goals as this section is about the goals themselves that serve to guide you through the upcoming theories.

Also, do NOT discuss the techniques/interventions you will use to achieve the goals in this paper (e.g., journaling, interpretation, automatic thought log, free association, transference analysis, guided imagery, etc.). Those will depend on the theories you choose for the second and third papers.

Clarity is critical here, and you will be graded strictly on that. Separate each goal (Goal 1, Goal 2, etc.) into a paragraph, using level 2 headings (flush left and bold).


If you use a fictional television, movie, or literature character, then you are allowed to use a website for this paper only. However, all citations and references must follow current APA format. NOTE: many students get the website citation format wrong, so make sure you look in the current APA manual to properly do these if you use them. It is your responsibility to have this manual and use it.

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