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Theory and Practice of Psychotherapy: Stan’s Case Essay

Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy aims at assisting individuals to understand the effects of their actions on feelings and expectations. For the case of Stan, he has to be encouraged to interact with other people in a positive way in order to eliminate idleness and the sense of inferiority. Behavior therapy suggests that any social problem could be interpreted from two levels that are, the micro-level and the macro-level analysis. For Stan, the problems facing him are caused by societal problems, such as lack of housing, inadequate shelter, low income, unemployment, continued imprisonment, health problems, inadequate education, and issues related to identity, including inferiority complex. These issues can be resolved using the behavior therapy model, as his condition is purely sociological and only sociological solutions are needed to salvage the situation.

The model notes that healthcare professionals, such as psychologists, have the power to influence the views of the individuals whereby the main aim would be to enhance identity and connections. Stan feels rejected when he is told that he cannot be employed because of his diminutive education and lack of experience in the corporate sector. The model argues that issues facing an individual, such as Stan, at old age could be the result of a troubled childhood. Based on this, the major role of any counselor is to strike a state of balance in the life of Stan, which might have been affected by the long-time unemployment and sense of guilt. While solving the issue, the therapist ought to involve the entire family, as they are also affected by Stan’s situation. This will ensure that the issue is resolved both at an individual and family level. Once a state of balance is achieved, the therapist should start addressing the problems facing Stan, as this is considered an optimal goal.

Many people in modern society are likely to encounter certain types of thoughts and feelings that are likely to reinforce or fault their cultural beliefs. If care is not taken, an individual’s beliefs could affect the behavior, leading to problematic relationships, failures in workplaces, and collapsed families. Stan is one of those who face the risk of losing contact with his family, as well as friends, as he is concerned much about providing the basic needs for the extended family, yet he does not have the means. Currently, he suffers from low self-esteem, which might result in negative thinking, as well as a negative perception of society and everything in it, including his ability to perform some of the core duties. In this case, it is suggested that the patient has started avoiding core responsibilities. This is one sign of the patient suffering from depression and the use of the model is the best in resolving the issue. The first step for the therapist would be to help the client identify the problematic belief that has been disturbing him for some time (Corey, 2013). The stage is popularly referred to as functional analysis, which is an important stage in studying the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings of an individual.

Through the model, the therapist should recommend some practices and exercises to Stan, as they will help him cope with the situation. The first step towards full recovery from the problem is self-evaluation. In fact, it is the first stage of treatment whereby Stan would be asked to keep a record of all daily activities. The therapist will then examine the list in the next session to determine what could be wrong with his life. The second step is scheduling weekly activities, which is important in providing an opportunity for the patient to experience something different. Role-playing is the third stage and it would help Stan to develop critical personal skills. In case a new challenge emerges, Stan would invoke the life skills in facing them. Finally, the patient is encouraged to modify his behavior and a reward should be given upon successful modification.

Cognitive Behavior Theory

Social roles can sometimes put too much pressure on an individual to an extent that he or she feels stressed. In the case provided, Stan faces several challenges regarding the accomplishment of the family tasks, something that affects his character. He has a feeling that he must provide for the basic needs of the family, yet he is jobless. Life becomes difficult when Stan is sacked from his long-serving job, having worked for quite some time. This affects his personality, as he refuses to accept the reality that the family can still exist without his salary. Through the cognitive behavior model, it is noted that Stan does not have a clear understanding of his thoughts and feelings. Cognitive behavior therapy is a model that psychologists employ frequently to treat a number of disorders, such as irrational fear, compulsion, despair, and nervousness. The major concern Stan is how to provide for his family and the siblings. The model is utilized because it is effective in solving short-term problems. However, it does not have the power to offer a lasting solution. The major aim of the therapist would be to identify and change his views or the most worrying pattern of thought, which affects the normal functioning of Stan. A close analysis of his behavior, through the cognitive behavior therapy model, suggests that certain feelings and thoughts have a critical role to play in the life of an individual (Corey, 2013). For Stan, he has to come to the reality that things cannot happen the way he wants, but instead he has to interpret an event or situation from a different perspective if he is to survive in the highly unpredictable society.

Reality Therapy

Reality therapy is closely related to the choice theory and its major aim is to connect an individual to the entire world. An analysis of Stan’s life reveals that he operates in isolation because he feels he does not have enough skills to interact with people around him in the workplace. Therefore, he has to be encouraged to concentrate on developing his future and avoid reflecting on past events, as only current problems affect relationships (Corey, 2013). Since he complains of being ineffective and valueless in society, the therapist has to keep off from discussing the symptoms and his weakness. The counselor has to act and think professionally meaning that he or she has to spend little time on issues that cannot be resolved instantly and try as much as possible to change his feelings. Throughout the discussion, the therapist has to be supportive and tolerant to give him time to narrate the story, as any information would be important in arriving at the conclusion.


Corey, G. (2013). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (9th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Theory and Practice of Psychotherapy: Stan's Case'. 22 February.

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