The Case of Stan - Essay

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The Case of Stan
Jonathan C. Bruntjen
Adler Graduate School

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The Case of Stan
Stan, the client, has decided to take advantage of free counseling services, which are provided, to him, as a service from his college. In his initial interview, Stan begins by expressing dissatisfaction in multiple areas of his life and details his personal problems throughout a brief but very detailed narrative of his past and present life. Stan feels discouraged by the multitude of problems detailed below which included a failed marriage, which didn’t last long, ending in divorce. He mentions that they rarely had sex and states that he was impotent most of the time. Furthermore, he tells us that his ex-wife was dominant and “took delight in telling him how worthless he was”. Stan is hard on him-self and describes feeling as if he has not lived up to his potential and believing that he has “wasted most of his life”. He states that he should have finished college by now and believes he should have a good job. He questions his intelligence and his ability to complete a masters level program; but is interested in doing so because he believes that his career options are limited with only a bachelor degree in psychology. Therefore he talks about earning his masters degree in Counseling Psychology and working with kids.

Stan talks about being helped as a kid by someone who cared about him and he wants to pass on this altruistic gesture; demonstrating an innate awareness the Adlerian principals of “social interest” as it relates to living on the “useful side of life” and “to see with the eyes of another, to hear with the ears of another, to feel with the heart of another”.

Although Stan is deeply discouraged in many areas of his life, he still has the selfreflective capacity to understand some of his positive attributes as witnessed by

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statements such as, “And I like my determination” and “everything isn’t so bleak, because I did have enough guts to leave a lot of my shady past behind me and did struggle to get into college”. He communicates that “he lives alone, has very few friends and feels very scared and inferior with people of his own age or older”; specifically mentioning that he has much self-doubt in his abilities to finish his studies because of a lack of confidence in his intellectual abilities.

Stan talks about drinking heavily because he feels alone and is scared; often projecting that he will always be alone and isolated. He also discloses that he has used drugs heavily in the past and still abuses them from time to time. Additionally, Stan reveals that he suffers from overwhelming anxiety around people; especially self-assured women, “I’m so afraid to get close to a woman for fear that she will swallow me up”. Stan makes a point of facing his fears by wanting to work with a woman therapist. He also indicates that he “likes that he feels scared” because he attributes this feeling to being in touch with his feelings. He has thoughts of suicide, occasional bouts of depression and shame about what he refers to as his “shady past”. Stan describes being verbally abused as a child by his parents whom provided little encouragement or support to him. He was told that he was stupid and he “would not amount to anything”. His mother was very dominant and would say horrible things to him like, “you were a mistake”. His lack of self-confidence may be attributed to being put down as a child and his dissuasion seems to stem from his family of origin and their disregard for his feelings. He laments that, out of his four siblings, he turned out to be the “failure”.

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Based on the information above, including but not limited to; the fact that Stan has few friends, feels very scared around other people, especially women, drinks heavily to get drunk, uses drugs to excess, fantasizes about...
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