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Psychotherapy and counselling is a kind of treatment at which the basic tool of influence on the patient’s behaviour is the word of the doctor. Although there are some minor differences between counselling and psychotherapy, these terms resemble each other, and will be used in this paper in the same context.
Psychotherapy in a broad sense covers all the area of dialogue of the doctor and the patient. Practitioners of any profile, communicating with patients, inevitably have a psychological influence on them. Optimum psychological contact and individual approach to the patient, considering the life experience, features of personality and concrete social conditions, is very important.
Counselling is, first of all, is a diagnosis and treatment by words. In the course of verbal interaction between the practitioner and the client, an extensive search and identification of the internal latent senses, underlying in the basis of psychological problems is carried out. Counselling has a wide spectrum of methodical receptions and ways of work.
Depending on the problems and the conditions psychotherapy can be individual, family and group, and counselling in that sense is a one-on-one treatment. Nevertheless, a major point in counselling is the diagnosis based on certain events known or narrated by the patient. In this paper, a counselling plan will be developed based on a given case study of Rajinder Singh, highlighting any considerations or actions that should be taken to support the subject of the case study, i.e. Raj.
The Problems Identification
Analyzing Raj, it could be said that the first and the main disorder is depression. This depression could be caused by the termination of the Raj’s relation with his girlfriend Shania which lasted for a year.
Depression is an emotional disorder, displayed in such symptoms such as hopelessness, feebleness, guilt, self-criticism, and decrease in the interest to external activity. These symptoms can be accompanied by a decrease in mental and physical activity, indifference to the surroundings, weariness, absence of appetite, and sleeplessness. From the symptoms of Raj, the increase in alcohol drinking could be caused by his loss of confidence and the interest in life. The absence of activity could be apparent in his ignorance to his studies.
From the psychoanalytic point of view, frequent if not a universal sign of depression is the infringement of the regulation of the self-estimation. A basis for the development of such vulnerability is the absence of acceptance and emotional understanding from the mother. The internal psychological structures, capable to regulate a self-estimation are not formed in the child; a constant acknowledgement from the outside is necessary for that. Depression can be developed with persons with unstable self-estimation, losing the external support necessary for the maintenance of a stable image own self.
Infringements of the regulation of a self-estimation and the subsequent depression can be caused by a loss of an object (e.g. a significant person) – death, reprobation or disappointment. In the case of Raj, the disappointment and the reprobation could be the cause, although the details on the reasons of their break up are not apparent.
In a diagnostic sense, the term “depression” designates a mental disease which basic criterions are emotional disorders. Thus it is necessary to take in consideration, that depression is present at a wide spectrum of mental diseases with various origins. In this case, depression is more of a temporary state of mind cause by recent events, rather than major disorders or pathologies.
Another point of concern is Raj’s feel of possessiveness in his relationship with his new girl Harmeet. This can be resulted either from the break up with Shania, or has its core in Raj’s psychological characteristics. Possessive behaviour cannot be result from jealousy as much as it is absence of safety in the relationship and the fear of domination.
This can enlighten the way the relationship between Raj and Shania had ended. The feel of possession in relation can serve the purpose of finding calm through love, attachment, and favour. If the love is so important for the person, that the feeling of safety depends on it, then he is ready to pay any price for it, and basically it means submission to the desires of others.
However often the person is incapable to trust in love and attachment, perhaps due to a painful experience as the case of Raj showing, and then possessive feeling is directed not on the love gain, but on self-protection. There are people who can feel the safety only at full possession, which can be seen through jealousy, argues, and limiting personal freedom.
For such people, anxiety and disbelief in love are so great that to believe in reciprocal feeling is unimaginable. In case of Raj, the feel of possession also can have its roots in the childhood, an important fact that might be unknown, where if the child felt abandoned or left from the people who heshe loved, this feeling might grow up into disturbed character with a desire to never feel unsafe again by controlling everything. “Habitual possessive thinking promotes a dehumanizing attitude toward others. When the disturbed character views others as primarily an object of pleasure, a vehicle to get something he wants, or a potential obstacle in the way of something he desires, it becomes almost impossible for him to consider them as persons with rights, needs, boundaries, or desires of their own.” (Simon, 2008)
Action plan for Raj might include behaviour therapy “aimed at changing observable and measurable” behaviour”. The action plan consists of determining the factors that led to such behaviour, assessing the current behaviour and the consequences that such behaviour might lead to.
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As it was seen in previous paragraphs the known factor that led to Raj’s behaviour is his break up with his girlfriend. Assumingly, there were problems in Raj’s childhood that were combined with the breakup resulting in his depression and the possessive feeling in his relationship with Harmeet.
The behaviour itself consists of ignoring the university, the feel of anger as well as constant arguing, violent attitude expressed in physical abuse, and an increase in alcohol consumption. The consequences of such behaviour if it was not treated could be seen in isolation, change of temporal mood depression into a clinical one, and gradual alcohol addiction.
Raj will be prompted to learn to control his feelings. If the event that triggered his behaviour is associated with his break up a discussion on the reasons of this break up and the feelings that Raj might have felt back then would be necessary. The therapy also might include making friends with the opposite sex in order to restore his confidence, and to share his feelings and worries with his current girlfriend.
A special attention will be given to the problem of physical abuse. Leading a diary would also be good ideas to record the events that make Raj feel uncomfortable and unsafe. A special attention should be given to the problem of alcohol, where the frequency and the regularity of Raj’ alcohol consumption is at first stages of alcohol addiction.
Summarizing Raj’ case study, it should be said that a special concern should be paid to changes in behaviour that are not characteristic to the person. In each person’s soul, and especially person suffering from a kind of emotional disorder, a complex of guilt might occur, that some events or symptoms are merely hisher fault, while there could be hidden causes making him the victim, rather than the guilty. In that sense a help is needed not only because of the person, but also to help the people that surround himher. Counselling is not merely method for solving psychological problems; it is also suitable to help many personal problems and difficulties, which in the case of Raj are shown to transfer to form disorders.
Palmer, S. (2000). Introduction to counselling and psychotherapy: the essential guide. London; Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
Simon, G. (2008). Possessive Thinking and the Disturbed Character. Web.