clinical psychology

26Jan 2022 by

Parts of the Assignment (these “parts” will be labeled as subject headings throughout your
paper, you can change the name of them if you’d like, but they’ll fall in these general
1) Case Scenario (about 200 words): I could present a fictional scenario for you – but that’s
no fun ☺ And I’d be reading the same paper over and over again! So, for the first part of
the assignment, in about 200 words, I want you to present a fictional clinical case. Those
of you who have taken Abnormal Psychology already might be able to present a case
that meets specific criteria for a specific disorder (and that would be fine to do) but you
do not have to do this. You can just present a case of a person who is struggling with
some particular life issue, a mental struggle, set of mental health symptoms, or who has
experienced some major life event and is having trouble coping. Clinical psychologists
experience both kinds of presenting issues – those that fall into clear diagnostic
categories and those that don’t, necessarily – but we can still help. That, and we won’t
be diagnosing this fictional person in this assignment (nor will we in Written Assignment
#2, but that comes later), we will just be walking through all the processes together.
Give the fictional client a name, some demographic information, a bit of backstory and
end with their psychological issues and current struggles – those for which they are
considering seeking psychological help. Below is an example, but please don’t use this,
create your own! This is just to give you an idea:
Anna is a 28-year old woman who just gave birth to her first child. She is happily
married and works as a physical therapist in a busy rehab hospital, but she is
taking some time off of work to raise the baby until he is school aged. Lately, she
has struggled with decreased energy, sudden tearfulness, anxiety, and sadness.
She experiences many genuine moments of joy when interacting with her baby,
but the fatigue, sleepless nights, and worry over the baby’s health and
development are getting to her. Because most of her friends were at work, she
hasn’t been able to see them much and misses that connection. She worries if
leaving work was the right decision.
She and her husband saw a pre-marital counselor the months preceding their
wedding and Anna remembers this as a good experience. It was helpful to talk to
someone and consider new perspectives on things and wonders if something
similar might not be able to help her feel better – happier – and a bit more like
her “old self.” She’d like to have more of those moments of joy and fewer
moments of self-doubt, worry, and, exhaustion. She wonders if it might be time
to pursue mental health services of some kind.
This story will be important, as we will continue to follow your “Anna” (or the name you
choose) in Written Assignment #2 as well. You don’t have to give a full history here or
anything – there will be opportunities to flesh out the story as we go along. Just give a
good 2-ish paragraph overview, as demonstrated above.
2) Seeking help (about 250 words): The person in your fictional case has decided to seek
help, and because this is a clinical psychology course, he/she is going to decide to seek
the services of a clinical psychologist (although seeing a social worker, pastoral
counselor, counseling psychologist, etc. would likely be great options too, we’ll stick
with the theme of our class ☺). But your person has some research to do first. In third
person omniscient style (just meaning you are taking the perspective of a narrator of
this person’s story, like you were reading a novel, you can read here for more info, but
don’t get hung up on this. Just write as a storyteller) walk us through your fictional
person’s thought process by answering the following questions (again, in story form, not
question-and-answer) – you will be using information from Chapter 1 to guide you here.
a. Why has your person chosen to see a clinical psychologist? (be specific to the
client, not general)
b. He/she begins to Google names of clinical psychologists in town and, in
reviewing their websites, is looking for specific things. What are those “things”
(or qualities, perspectives, training, degree, experiences, etc.) and why will they
be important to your fictional person in particular?
c. End this section with a decision – what is the name of the clinical psychologist
your person has chosen to see (give a fictional name) and a little bit about that
professional that lead to that decision. How is your client feeling after making
that decision?
3) The Interview (about 450-500 words). The day of the first appointment is here! Your
client arrives at your chosen clinical psychologist’s office. Where are we? Describe the
scene a bit…are we in a hospital setting? Outpatient office? The therapist walks in, what
does he/she do/say first? You can give some dialogue here – remember, you are the
third person story teller.
You won’t be giving a dialogue of this whole interview (I mean, unless you want to!), but
you as story teller will address the following things in this part of the story, which may
include some example dialogue. You will be using information from Chapter 4 (and
maybe a little from 3) to guide you here.
a. What type of interview is this? What kinds of questions is your psychologist
asking your client? How is your client responding? Why has the clinician taken
this approach?
b. Have you-as-storyteller walk us through the three stages of the interview (using
pages 117-123 to help. Remember, don’t be general here – this is an interview
that is happening between your chosen psychologist and your fictional client).
Make sure and bring in specific concepts from your reading, like nondirective
techniques, channels of nonverbal communication, directive techniques, etc.).
c. If you think that an observational approach would benefit your client, you can
talk about this process as well, although your situation might not call for it. You
can decide this. You can choose one or the other (it would be a lot to cover
both), but make sure your decision makes sense in the context of your client’s
presenting issue.
d. What cultural issues are at play here? How is the therapist demonstrating
cultural competence?
e. How does the psychologist close the interview? What was your client’s
perspective of it (did it seem valid, in other words?). How is your client feeling as
they leave the clinicians’ office?
4) Psychological testing/assessment (about 450-500 words). Aaaand we’re back! Time for
your psychologist to get to know your client a bit better through the process of
psychological testing. Here, we are firmly in Chapter 5 territory!
a. The first thing your clinician does is explain to your client the purpose of the
assessment. Have you-as-storyteller walk us through this explanation.
b. Your client has some questions about the process – what are those questions
and how does the clinician answer them (here, bring in concepts like the kinds of
testing, what standardization is, what are the tests going to measure? How do
we know a test is good or not? Why is it helpful to complete a super long
personality inventory? How will this information be used?)
c. The clinician is ethical in his/her approach; how can we tell? Have you-asstoryteller give us some insights along these lines.
d. Testing begins and you-as-storyteller give us examples of at least 3 tests the
clinician has chosen and examples/explanations of what those are like and why
they will be helpful. These selections must be relevant and directly tied to your
client’s case (not just discussed in generalities).
e. How does your client feel after testing?
5) Conclusion (about 100-150 words). You as storyteller will end with how your client is
feeling/what he/she is thinking now that this first part of the process is complete. Segue
here into the next assignment by describing your client’s hopes for treatment…which we
will get it in Written Assignment #2 – A Client Seeks Help: Therapy Edition ☺
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me. In the vast majority of instances, students
do very well on these assignments if they meet overall objective of the assignment within the
length requirement specified. The name of the game here is applying these concepts to your
fictional case. You will be giving definitions, explaining things for sure, but all with an eye
toward application. You are not reporting what you have read in this assignment, you are
showing how you can apply it to a situation. Not as a clinician necessarily (you’ll get to that in
grad school!), but as someone who has now read and discussed a lot about this process and
knows a thing or two about what it looks like.
You’ll do great ☺
• Length requirement: 1500 words
• No references or citations are required. I’ll assume most info is coming from your book
and our discussions, although if you use an outside resource, you should probably list it
in a reference section.
• Layout: 1 inch margins, double spaced, with subject headings. No extra spaces between
subject headings are needed. Just double spaced throughout.
Expectation Maximum Points
Student presents an original, brief clinical
case scenario that hits around the 200
word mark
Students writes a thorough, 250(ish) word
“seeking help” section that addresses
points a-c, bringing in specific concepts
from the reading.
Students writes a thorough, 450-500 word
“interview” section that addresses points
a-e, bringing in specific concepts from the
Students writes a thorough, 450-500 word
“psychological assessment/testing” section
that addresses points a-e, bringing in
specific concepts from the reading.
Students writes a summative “conclusion”
section in about 100-150 words 2
Work is on time, meets the overall 1500-
word requirement, is proof-read, and
suggests good time and effort went into
the writing process.
TOTAL 15 points