Case Study: Christian Counseling Presenting Problems Diane

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[. . .] It is very crucial to eliminate dysfunctional behavioral and cognitive strategies, secondly it is important to take out any negative appraisals and lastly, there should be decreased re-experiences of the traumatic memory. It is important to note that the therapist should make use of all these points. Treatment would not be successful if the therapist were to rely just on the emotional processing theory and forget the other theories.

Ehlers & Clark (2000) emphasized on the fact that individuals who suffer from prolong PTSD do not consider the trauma limited by time. In other words, even though the trauma had occurred way back, they still think that they can be harmed and that their life is in danger. Therefore, a major purpose in this therapy is to remind and restate that what happened in the past is over now.

The learning theories state that the environmental cues that bring back fear and memory associated with the event should be removed. Wolpe (1976) emphasized that a person should avoid traumatic memory and any trigger that will activate or reinforce those memories. It is important to see and observe what conditions can trigger fear in that person. A patient of PTSD can view being in an elevator alone as a dangerous situation due to an assault that could have occurred in an elevator before.

Therefore, when working through this theory, it is important for the person to take on an avoidant behavior that keeps away from these sorts of triggers. Another basis through which PTSD patients are treated is the way they cognitively and emotionally process something that has occurred. (Clark & Ehlers, 2004) As mentioned earlier, a PTSD is considered persistent if the individual recalls and experiences a bad event just as he experienced it the first time it happened. Therefore, we see that the major purpose is to teach the patients how to pinpoint, evaluate and reframe the cognitions that are linked to the trauma. This will consequently contribute and avoid the bad emotions and any reactions that were linked with the trauma.

Patients who are suffering from PTSD always go on to render themselves very weak and incompetent. Their past experiences have shattered their defensive ability and they think that they cannot fight anymore. Along with that feeling, these patients feel that the world is a very bad place and that everything bad will happen to them. They do not have any good hopes and feelings about the world.

The goal of therapy for PTSD patients is that they need to be taught strategies that will help them cope with their stress. These clients need to identify and restructure their beliefs and their thoughts about what happened to them. Another thing that is crucial in this therapy is evaluating the negative and irrational cognitions through validity and functionality. In other words, the patient and therapist can talk about the chances of something bad happening to them. The patient can be convinced with evidence, and this will work to change his thoughts and reframe the irrational thoughts that he has been having. In other words, the major goal over here is to give rise to more rational, balanced and functional perceptions of the world, the future and of the person himself. It is very important for the therapist to see how the person feels about himself.

Our patient Diane was also suffering from dissociative symptoms. Morrison (2009) has stated that cognitive therapies have been used to treat people with schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder is a disorder that causes the person to lose touch from reality and have mood issues. It is apparent that Diane has never had a healthy relationship with many people. Going through a traumatic childhood, she needed comfort and securities form her husband. Schizoaffective order could have been a result of these experiences or they could be due to the medicines she is taking. This shows that Diane is in need of counseling and therapy along with medications. The hallucinations that Diane is having is just exacerbating her symptoms. Increased trauma has caused Diane to lose touch with reality and has resulted in these symptoms. The satanic ritual abuse (SRA) that Diane went through just added on the traumatic experiences that she has had. It is not clear whether Diane is in favor of these rituals but it was seen that she never tried to stop them. This aspect of Diane's condition can be healed better through the spiritual and emotional ways that will be discussed below. This was inflicted upon Diane as part of religion. It is quite clear that Diane needs to be strong and stable before she can re connect to her spiritual and less violent side of religion.

Cognitive therapies basically help the person smoothly move from their current state of mind to a better one. A very important point to notice is that cognitive therapies slowly transition and alter the person's thinking. In contrast to medications, these patients therefore do not experience sudden spikes and falls in their moods.

Religious insight into cognitive approach to PTSD

When therapists are utilizing cognitive therapies to treat disorders like PTSD and schizophrenia, religious and spiritual beliefs should be considered a great deal. Many people have their set of beliefs that they will continue believing no matter what happens. Park (2005) emphasized that people have used and relied on religion to define whatever happens in their life. It should be noted that people can use religion in varying ways. A therapist should establish a good relationship with the patient so he tells about his religious orientation. If a person is adherent to maladaptive beliefs, no amount of psychological therapy will make a difference to their condition.

For instance, many people use religion to explain the tragic and non-sense events that happen to them. They think of it as a trial by God and are not affected that much. The people think that the trials are a part of a much larger plan and everything will turn out well for them. In these cases, religion and spiritual thinking can be a plus point and dealing with trauma is not that difficult.

On the other hand, we see that religious attributions can hint at and give wrong ideas about understanding an event. It has also been concluded that bad thoughts regarding injustice and punishment after trauma are highly associated with the development of PTSD (Wortmann and Park et al., 2011)

For instance, negative thoughts about the world are interlinked with maladaptive thoughts regarding injustice and punishment. People start thinking that the bad things happening to them are because they are being punished by God. Many people also think that all the bad things are a reason of demonic powers over them. This sort of thinking can go on to make matters worse and make the person feel worse about themselves. One probable cause for Diane's schizoaffective disorder could be the spiritual rituals she has been going through since childhood.

Collins (2007) emphasized that all the counseling is linked with direct or indirect interpersonal relations. In other words, he placed a lot of emphasis on relationships and environment. The cognition theory discussed earlier on also stressed on making the environment friendlier for the person who is affected with abuse and trauma. Collin states that Satan is always behind interpersonal conflict that gives rise to depression and dissociative symptoms.

When looking at incidences of sexual and physical abuse, Collins has stressed on emotions and feelings of the victim. Most of the psychotherapy theories revolve around the cognition of the person and what he or she perceives. Biblical counseling therefore stresses on the feelings that the person has regarding the event and the people who committed the event.

For instance, Diana was sexually abused by her family and her husband. Collins (2007) therefore stresses that forsaking bitterness and forgiveness fastens the healing process and helps the person recover from the trauma. Apart from having bad memories about the event, the victim can also feel guilty and ashamed of what happened to them. This leads to the person thinking that they are deserving of such bad treatment.

The idea of self-image and self correction has also been emphasized biblical counseling. This is seen to overlap to the cognitive theories that were discussed before. Collins (2007) also stated that crisis is something that cannot be avoided. The trauma that has occurred to Diane has happened and the facts cannot be changed. This builds up on the acceptance of reality part of the behavioral therapy. The people need to be aware of the things that have happened to them. Collins has also stressed that people who go through a lot of crisis during their life; they should know that God is watching what it going on. The spiritual belief of relying on a higher being has helped many people through trauma in their life. Therefore, it is seen that spiritual view on this condition relies on the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Christian Counseling Presenting Problems Diane.  (2013, September 18).  Retrieved July 17, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Christian Counseling Presenting Problems Diane."  18 September 2013.  Web.  17 July 2019. <>.

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"Christian Counseling Presenting Problems Diane."  September 18, 2013.  Accessed July 17, 2019.