Case Study Unpacked


The goal of this assignment is to practice critical reflection and self-reflexivity as it applies to who you are and what you assume might be happening in the work. I want you to imagine that this is your first session with the client. Read the the case below and take a moment to try to really picture this client, your relationship with them, and where you are encountering them. Notice what immediate ideas, assumptions, thoughts about the person’s identity, setting, etc. arise even when very little information is provided about the case.

  1. A client tells you that they have recently lost someone to cancer. They do not exhibit many signs of emotion while telling you about the death. 

Write a short, 3 pages doubled spaced paged paper unpacking this case which addresses the following:

  • Who were you first picturing? What aspects of their identity did you imagine (e.g., gender identity, age, race, class, possible diagnosis, size, etc.)? Where/what kind of setting were you imagining this happening? Did you imagine the person had a particular diagnosis, or symptoms, or way/s of surviving?
  • Based on who you were picturing, what thoughts do you have about what is going on, and what might you say or do? Why?
  • You won’t be able to unpack everything here but select 2 of the assumptions you made about one of their social locations, setting, possible diagnosis, etc. and talk me through each of the 2 assumptions – how might this assumption influence how you were thinking about the client, what you might say or do? How do each of these two these assumptions relate to you, your own social locations, your own lived experiences, the way power operates in the world? Why do you think you pictured what you pictured? (For example, if you were picturing a 21year old client in case one, you might talk about: your own history of working with adult clients, you being a similar age so there being little power differential in the age category between you and the client, the assumption that you could likely ask them verbal questions about what was going on, assumption that they were by themselves pacing, etc.)
  • Using the same 2 assumptions what, if anything, would change if that assumption changed in terms of what you were thinking, saying or doing? (For example, if you were picturing a 45 year in case one and now consider this being an 8 year old, how would that alter what you think might be going on, or what you might say or do? What about your assumptions change? How might this client relate differently to you depending on their age and your age? What might be an appropriate shift in your intervention?)
  • Other than citing the assessment method you would use with this client, you do NOT need to use any peer-reviewed literature for this assignment.

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