You will have a final case study paper (due at the end of the course when indicated) based on the character of Sophie from the Season 1 of In Treatment. This can either be downloaded directly from ITunes, or you can rent this as well. Throughout the course, we will be watching this series together, and we will be thinking about Sophie together. Your final project will be to write a paper diagnosing Sophie based on the following criteria. It is my recommendation that you work on this paper throughout the course as we cover various different disorders. That way, you won’t be writing one large paper in the last few days of the course, but rather you will have been building this paper throughout our time together.
Write a 12 page, double-spaced paper that includes the following dimensions (if you fail to include one of the following dimensions in your paper, your grade will be lowered, so make sure you answer each of the following questions thoroughly). You can roughly think of each of the following sections as comprising approximately 2 pages each, although the first section should be 4 pages long so that you can describe Sophie’s diagnositic picture fully.
1)What diagnoses would you assign to Sophie? (This section is worth 45 points)
Include here a full diagnostic picture. Include the diagnoses (often there are more than one!) you have decided upon, as well as include a severity rating (for this, just describe how severely the disorder is impacting her functioning. So, you might write something like: Sophie is overall functioning well. She has friends and is doing well in school. Her functioning is lower in terms of her emotional well-being, and this is making it difficult for her to get out of bed in the morning…) and any additional relevant diagnostic information (format on page 102 of your Comer text).
Diagnosis or diagnoses: Schizophrenia
Severity rating: Sophie is able to keep a job, but her schizophrenia interferes with her relationships and her mental well-being. She also sometimes displays suidicalbehavior.
Additional information: Include here any relevant medical information as well as any psychosocial, environmental stressors that may be impacting Sophie.
For each of the diagnoses you choose for Sophie, explain why you have chosen these diagnoses and the rationale behind your decision. Sophie may have only one diagnosis or she may have more than one. Go through the DSM-V for the disorder(s) you have chosen and provide a rationale for why you have chosen what you did. For example, you would write something like (Sophie DOES NOT have schizophrenia, but I am just making a point below):
“I believe Sophie has schizophrenia. She demonstrates the DSM-V symptoms appropriate to a schizophrenia diagnosis, and her symptoms have endured for a long enough time period to qualify for that diagnosis. These are the symptoms that Sophie demonstrates in the following ways:
1) Sophie has auditory hallucinations, as demonstrated by the fact that she sometime believes the food in her refrigerator is speaking to her.
Continue providing examples your writing, going through the DSM-V, describing a symptom and also proving that Sophie has endured that symptom for the time period required in the DSM-V.
Make sure you consider the Sophie’s culture and context, and feel free to include in this section any information that you feel you are lacking in order to make a proper diagnosis.
Note: It is more important to me how you think about the diagnosis that you give Sophie than whether or not you get a diagnosis right. So show me, in your writing, how you are thinking! Remember that diagnosing someone with a disorder is a guideline that we use to help us understand human behavior and inform treatment, but a diagnosis is not always absolute and black and white, so do not get bogged down in your paper trying to figure out the right or wrong diagnosis. Instead, use this exercise to show me what you know, what you have learned about diagnosis, and what you have learned in this course about how to formulate a hypothesis about someone’s psychological picture. Feel free to write about what diagnoses you considered, but did not, in the end, decide to use, as a way of letting me know about your thinking process and letting me know why you decided to use one disorder vs. another disorder.
2) What do you believe to be the etiology and maintenance of the disorder(s) you chose for Sophie? (this section is worth 35 points)
In this section, discuss the multiple factors that you believe caused Sophie’s disorder(s), and the multiple factors that you believe keep her disorder active in her life. Write this section directly to the diagnosis you chose in section 1 of this paper. For example, if you believe Sophie has schizophrenia, you would research in your textbook and in our course material about what causes schizophrenia. Then, you would integrate that material into Sophie’s life. So, you might develop the following idea: “Sophie’s schizophrenia likely has resulted from both a biological etiology as well as an etiology that has to do with the difficult relationship with her mother. Sophie’s schizophrenia was maintained because her mother positively reinforced her whenever she was sick, and this increased Sophie’s hallucinations”. When you are writing this section, DO NOT simply write, “Sophie has disorders because she has a difficult relationship to her mom”. Many, many people have difficult relationships with their mother, and they don’t get schizophrenia. Make sure you get really specific to the disorder you have chosen, and show me that you have learned something in this class about the disorder you have chosen. Refer to your text here— do your homework!!
3) If were Sophie’s therapist, how might you help her? (This section is worth 30 points)
Include in this section not only how you might practically engage in treatment (refer to the Comer text here) with Sophie, but ALSO, include a compassionate and thoughtful engagement with Sophie’s suffering. In other words, how might you, as therapist, help Sophie make meaning of her pain? Make sure you include your own thoughts here, while also integrating material from our course. Again, if you chose schizophrenia for Sophie, you would look in our Comer book about recommended treatments for schizophrenia, and you would discuss in this section how you would apply these treatments to Sophie as a unique person with unique needs. Make sure you apply your treatment of Sophie to the specific diagnosis you have chosen to assign to her.
4) How might a diagnosis be helpful for Sophie? How might having a diagnosis be harmful for her? (This section is worth 25 points)
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