Case Study

Case Study (Worth 30 Points)

Please select and complete either Option A or Option B.

Option A

Step 1: Carefully read the following brief case study.

Bernice was hesitant during her initial counseling session because she feared what the therapist would think of her.  The therapist focused on building a therapeutic alliance with Bernice by engaging in empathic, nonjudgmental listening. Soon, Bernice shared that she feared contamination. She was particularly upset by touching wood, mail, and canned goods. She also disliked touching silver flecks. By silver flecks, Bernice meant silver embossing on greeting cards, eyeglass frames, shiny appliances, and silverware. She was unable to state why these particular objects were special sources of possible contamination.  Bernice became more distressed during the session, and she started sharing what made her come for counseling.  Bernice shared that disturbing images pop in her mind, and the images are mind’s eye pictures of her “worst fear.” The images are so disturbing to Bernice that she showed marked distress when talking about them.  She explained that the images were in regards to her child, “The person I love most in the world and would do anything to protect.” 

Bernice explained that she feels compelled to do specific behaviors to try to reduce her distress. Bernice engages in a variety of rituals that, when taken together, take up much of her day. In the morning, she spends hours washing and rewashing. Between each bath she has to scrape away the outer layer of her bar of soap so that it will be free of germs. Bernice said that although the decontamination rituals are tiresome, the rituals she does to protect her child from harm are so detailed that Bernice has to repeat them several times to get them “right.”  She said that she feels a sense of urgency to do the rituals perfectly to protect her child.

Step 2: Based on the Bernice Case Study, identify the most relevant psychological disorder associated with her symptoms and explain your rationale.

(Hint: Bernice does *not* have a specific phobia; she does not have “fear of germs.”)

Step 3: In your own words, explain what you have learned from the assigned readings about the psychological disorder you identified for the Bernice Case Study.

Step 4:  You will need to select at least *one* academic journal article that explains one treatment approach used for the psychological disorder you identified for the Bernice Case Study.  To conduct your research on the treatment approach, please use one of the following methods:

  • You can search the following:   Monitor on Psychology (webpage, opens in a new tab). In the search box, type the disorder you identified.  Then, you can locate an article about a treatment approach.
  • You can also search the PsychArticles Database, which you can access using the following steps.  First click on:  SPC’s LibraryOnline (webpage, opens in a new tab).  Then, click “Search Online.”  Next, click “Databases by Subject.”  Next to “Social Sciences,” click PsychArticles.  In the search box, type the disorder you identified. Then, you can locate an article about a treatment approach.
  • You can also search Google Scholar (webpage, opens in a new tab).  Google Scholar only provides an abstract, which is a summary.  After you locate an abstract on Google Scholar, you will need to locate the full article on SPC’s LibraryOnline (webpage, opens in a new tab).

In your own words, summarize the treatment approach you identified from the research you conducted.  Please avoid quoting the academic journal; instead, describe the treatment approach with depth and in your own words.Use APA style for in-text and reference page citations.

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