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Jamal: Case Study
Jamal was a 15-year-old boy who first encountered mental health treatment after he admitted to his parents that he had thoughts of hurting himself. He had been caught smoking cigarettes in his room at home by his stepfather and in the verbal altercation that followed Jamal told his mother and stepfather that he “didn’t care anymore and wanted to die” Jamal’s stepfather became very angry and threw him out of the house for being disrespected and untrustworthy. The mother then became enraged at her husband and told her husband that if he kicks out Jamal, she is going, too.
Jamal admitted to feeling depressed for several months prior to this episode. He wanted to be an actor and said that he did not see the point of studying or going to school. Although he did well academically in the 9th and 10th grade, his grades declined significantly in 11th grade to the point that he was ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities like the drama club. He admitted to having difficulty fitting in and was associating with the kids who skipped class and took drugs. Jamal’s depressive symptoms included sad mood, decreased motivation, decreased energy, decreased concentration, and sleep difficulty. After breaking up with his girlfriend, he cut himself superficially on his forearm with a razor and had fleeting thoughts of suicide.
Jamal’s family consists of his mother, stepfather, 18-year-old older sister, and 11-year-old sister. Jamal’s biological parents divorced when he was two years old and his mother remarried when he was six. His mother reported that his biological father was abusive toward her, but not the children. She left him after an incident where he struck her while she was holding Jamal when he was an infant and she felt Jamal’s safety was being seriously threatened. Jamal had little contact with his biological father since the divorce, but contacted him recently because he wanted to leave his current family and live with him in another state. To Jamal’s disappointment, his biological father’s response was noncommittal.
Jamal’s mother reports symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the abuse she suffered from Jamal’s biological father as well as from a sexual assault in her adolescent years. She also experienced chronic headaches and fatigue, which sometimes limited her involvement with her children. She revealed that her family of origin was unstructured and that she had “too much freedom,” which she felt contributed to the sexual assault she suffered. She believed that she was allowed to “run wild” and became involved with alcohol at a young age. Of her children, she felt most similar in temperament to Jamal. She feared that without more parental supervision he could end up like her and put himself in dangerous situations.
Jamal always had a distanced relationship with his stepfather. Jamal’s stepfather was a retired police officer who highly valued order and discipline. He did not agree with Jamal’s long hairstyle or passion for acting. He forced Jamal to cut his hair and change his style of clothes after he was caught smoking. Jamal admitted that sometimes he feared him when his temper ignited. The stepfather was generally suspicious of mental health providers and viewed psychiatric symptoms as an excuse or a weakness. This caused marital problems in relation to the mother’s PTSD symptoms as well as Jamal’s depressive symptoms.
Jamal’s older sister had bipolar disorder and although she had been stable for the last two years, she had a difficult time for several years and was unable to attend a regular school. Jamal felt his order sister was not held to the same standard as he was because of her psychiatric illness, and he felt this was unfair. Jamal felt that the expectations for success were all the more potent for him due to his sister’s illness. His sister also smoked cigarettes and, as far as Jamal could remember, had never been reprimanded for this behavior. Jamal’s younger sister had no mental health diagnosis, but did have exaggerated separation anxiety when she was a young child, some of which was still evident. She got along well with her siblings, but spent most of her time with her mother at the exclusion of peers. Several times a year she would complain of a stomachache until she was allowed to stay home from school. This was more frequent following the altercation between Jamal and his stepfather, which raised the stress level for everyone in the home.
• Write a 2-1/2 page paper on the case study Jamal
• Case History (Assessment- background information)
Clients background, which should include factors such as ages, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family social relationship, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goalsand coping skills and weakness.
• Description of the Problem
In this section of the case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with. Describe any physical, emotional or sensory symptoms shown.
• Thoughts, feelings, and perception related to the symptoms should also be noted.
Your Diagnosis
• Provide your diagnosis
• Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the clients symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.
• This section will describe types of therapy chosen and why
Helpful information from class study
Family Systems Therapy Approaches
• Structural family therapy
• Strategic family therapy
• Intergenerational family therapy
• Psychoanalytic approach
• Cognitive-Behavioral approach
• Borderline personality
• Interpersonal antagonism
• Codependency
• Humanistic approach
• Collaborative therapy
• MRI therapy
• Milan therapy
• Narrative therapy
• Experiential family therapy
• Bowen (Family therapy)
• Virginia Satir (Family therapy)
• Haley (family therapy)
• Minuchin(family therapy)
• Stuart (family therapy)
• Liberman (family therapy)
• Bell( family therapy)
Class text book used for your assistance)
Goldenberg, H. & Goldenberg, I. (2013).Family therapy: An overview (8thed). Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole, Cengage Learning.
NOTE: If you can get possession of text book will be very helpful. However if not, I have listed above some helpful information to assist you. There are many more d methods and approaches in text book.

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