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Counseling Low Self-Esteem and Decision Making Case Study


Case Summary of John

John Cater is a 28-year-old African American who sought counseling services due to his inability to drive happiness from his work, low-self esteem, challenges in making decisions, and poor appetite. He believed that he was suffering from persistent depressive disorder (PDD). John dropped out of university during his second year. He is not married because he believes that he cannot keep a relationship. He is extremely hasty and irritable. Also, no one can understand John because he is never consistent in his talk. He has racing thoughts, a problem that does not allow him to speak out his mind openly. These challenges have made John look for counseling services to see if he can change his opinion about life.

John was born in a family of four. He was the second born in the family. It happened that John’s aunt could not get children. Therefore, she asked John’s father to give her one child since she needed a companion. Being the second eldest in the family, the parents decided to give away John. The aunt lived in Boston, while John’s parents were in Chicago.

Consequently, the parents did not have a chance to monitor how John was growing up. The aunt loved John so much, and she was ready to do anything just to make him happy. As a result, she did not reprimand him whenever he was wrong because she feared to lose him. John was allowed to go out and meet with his friends, and the aunt was less concerned about the kind of company that he kept. John’s parents believed that their son was in good hands, and, therefore, they did not have to care so much about him. They could enquire about his progress from time to time, but with time, they stopped when they realized that he was doing well.

When John was in high school, he would go out for two to three days without coming back home. Whenever the aunt asked him about it, he would claim that he was in his friend’s home. The aunt did not want to make him angry, and so, she would not prolong the discussion. She could only ask him to be notifying her whenever he is not coming back.

I first saw John on a television program that helps individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. He had attended the program after trying to commit suicide twice due to what he termed as feeling hopeless. According to John, he did not see anything good in life since his life was full of tribulations. The reason I became interested in John is his determination to seek assistance. I wanted to follow his story, try to reason with him, and understand why a person may go to the extent of an attempt to commit suicide. I have never thought that life can be so challenging to a level that one wishes to die. Doctors allege that persons suffering from persistent depressive disorders do not seek help since they embrace the challenge as part of their life. Whenever an individual advises them to seek counseling, they claim that they do not see the need for counseling since they have always been that way. For John, his case was different, and this is why I got interested. Rather than keeping the problem, John opted to seek help one month after realizing that all was not okay.

John claims that his past one month was unbearable. He felt hopeless to the extent that he thought about ending his life. According to him, everything seemed to be against him. John felt that he could not bear it anymore, and that is the reason he came to assistance. Based on the challenges that he went through, John is ready to be open to counseling if that is all it will cost to be assisted. To guarantee that John receives the necessary help, I will build a rapport with him through sympathy. Also, I will make an effort to be harmonious. I will not be brutal or rude to John, no matter his reactions. Moreover, I will give him ample time to deal with his emotions.

Problem identification

Problem at school

After completing high school education, John went back to his parents. Six months later, John enrolled in university education. His parents were happy that their son had a promising future. They took him to college and made sure that he had all that he needed for his studies. John was a hard-working student, and he always spent most of his time in the library. He aimed to become a civil engineer, and he was not ready to settle for anything less. He performed well in class, and many students admired him. John’s parents were happy that their son was not wasting their money. However, their joy was short-lived.

On September 9, 2014, unexpected happened. The university went on a strike claiming that administration increased tuition fees without consulting the student body. Students destroyed property worth millions of dollars. After the situation was calm, the administration identified several students who it blamed for the strike. Unfortunately, John was one of the students. Despite him not participating in the strike, the administration was adamant that he was among those who orchestrated the attack. John was expelled from school. His dream of becoming a civil engineer was cut short.

Problem at work

John stayed at home for two months without any idea of what to do. No university would admit him after what happened. He decided to look for employment. John secured a job with a local contractor. He was in charge of the procurement department. The job came as a blessing to John, and he vowed to focus all his energy on the job. However, he did not work for three months before he was fired. The contractor blamed him for the misappropriation of financial resources. The company’s accountant swindled over $50,000 and blamed it on John. It was hard for John to plead innocent since such an incident had never happened before he joined the company.

Problem with spouse

After being expelled from university, John married his childhood lover. Having been with the lady for many years, John believed that nothing would ever separate them. However, this was untrue. After the woman realized that John had been dismissed from the job, she packed her clothes and left. John tried to implore her to stay as he attempted to look for another job, but the lady did not accept it. All these events happened very fast, such that John felt like the world had conspired against him. Being unable to come to terms with reality, he developed depression.

Treatment Goals

Goal 1

John feels worthless after all the effort to build his future has failed. His first goal is to learn how he can cope with his belief that he cannot keep a relationship. Since he lost his wife, John believes that he cannot keep a relationship. It is important to help John change this attitude because it is affecting his life. The primary objective of this goal is to assist John love to again and perhaps get married in the future without fear that something wrong might happen again.

Goal 2

Since John lost his job and wife, he has developed low self-esteem. It has become hard for him to relate to his friends and parents. He feels hopeless and spends most of his time at home. The second treatment goal is to help John regain his self-esteem. It will be very hard for John to seek employment if he continues to believe that he is worthless. Therefore, it is important to assist John is working on his self-esteem with the hope that he will be able to secure a job in the future and live a happy life.

Goal 3

John’s predicament has made him hasty and irritable. Perhaps, these are some of the reasons he cannot keep a relationship. The third treatment goal of counseling is to help him deal with his emotions. The counseling program should help John to shun emotions when making decisions. The primary objective is to make sure that he relates to other people in society and can make decisions without difficulties.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 30). Counseling Low Self-Esteem and Decision Making. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-low-self-esteem-and-decision-making/

Work Cited

"Counseling Low Self-Esteem and Decision Making." IvyPanda, 30 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-low-self-esteem-and-decision-making/.

1. IvyPanda. "Counseling Low Self-Esteem and Decision Making." June 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-low-self-esteem-and-decision-making/.


IvyPanda. "Counseling Low Self-Esteem and Decision Making." June 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-low-self-esteem-and-decision-making/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Counseling Low Self-Esteem and Decision Making." June 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/counseling-low-self-esteem-and-decision-making/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Counseling Low Self-Esteem and Decision Making'. 30 June.

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