Cognitive Therapy Case Conceptualization

1718 words 7 pages
The client: Elena

Elena is an adolescent female, coming to the therapy process demonstrating through actions and words a great deal of anxiety and overall apathy for her situation. Elena is a smart, socially engaged Mexican American attending public high school. She opens the session with presenting problems regarding conflict over what she might do after high school.
Preliminary conceptualization from a cognitive perspective Overall, there is an obvious feeling of disempowered regarding her right and or ability to make life decisions. She comes from a close-knit family, though some of her siblings have moved away to seek out goals beyond those that they may feel their parents are putting upon them. She has recently begun to
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At some point everyone must decide to respect family wishes or go out on her own. Elena would be challenged to explore the beliefs she holds regarding herself as a Mexican American; she could begin to see how the complex construct is not a means to an end. Helping Elena expose automatic thoughts and change subsequent behaviors could serve to identify the struggle she will face as a bicultural woman in America today.
Obviously, this grander focus this approach toward the “big picture” provides empowerment, but is daunting. Collaboratively, it would be ideal to praise Elena for exploring her identity on a grander scale. At this point, I would encourage Elena to do some homework: Her recent social isolation undermines her support system and exploration of self-identity. Many of her friends to do not sound as if they are struggling as bicultural adolescents: Meeting with a Latino cultural group on her local college campus would be an ideal way to allow her to feel empowered as well as supported. I am sure that many others have faced this kind of multicultural dilemma in their formative years, and have come up with myriad life choices. Though I can help Elena begin to understand and possibly question her core beliefs that drive her behaviors, she will need safe and pertinent ways to explore them.
Elena is a very intelligent young lady, and I do think from our observation that she inherently knows that as well. Finding places and people with whom she can


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