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Oct 19, 2023

Mallory is a 25-year-old woman seeking therapy from Dr. Santos, a clinical psychologist. When Mallory initially called Dr. Santos, she described mild depressive symptoms. At the first interview, Dr. Santos began with some open-ended questions intended to allow Mallory to explain the issues for which she sought treatment. Mallory began by describing her dissatisfaction with numerous aspects of her life. She had hoped to be married or seriously involved with a romantic partner, but she was not. Although her job paid her bills, she found it boring and unfulfilling, and she regrets not completing a university degree and pursuing her dream job of becoming a lawyer.

Mallory also described having an intense phobia of dogs. She was attacked by her neighbour`s dog at the age of 7 and was badly injured, resulting in her being hospitalized. She continues to experience panic attacks whenever she sees a dog, which has negatively impacted her life in many ways, for example, she cannot go to public parks where dogs might be walked.

About 10 minutes into the interview, Mallory interrupted herself and said to Dr. Santos, "I`m sorry, I know I`m boring you. You`re probably thinking, `I have more important things to do, and other clients who need my help more than her-this is a waste of my time.` I feel bad that I`m making you spend time listening to my stupid complaints. I`m just gonna leave." Mallory stood up to go, but Dr. Santos urged her to stay and assured her that she was indeed very interested in what Mallory was saying. Mallory stayed and continued, but again after about more 10 minutes, she interrupted herself and insisted that Dr. Santos must be bored and frustrated with her. In all, the interview included four such self-interruptions by Mallory.

Dr. Santos was paying an appropriate amount of attention to Mallory, she was careful not to display any behavior (verbal or nonverbal) that would communicate that she was disinterested at all. She listened to Mallory with as much eye contact and interaction as she did any of her clients. Dr. Santos had never conducted an interview in which a client interrupted themself "knowing" that Dr. Santos was bored.


Consider the psychodynamic approach to therapy.

(a) What is the name of the phenomenon described in psychodynamic therapy that Mallory seems to be displaying in her interaction with Dr. Santos?

(b) What is happening and where might you speculate this response came from?

(c) How should Dr. Santos work with Mallory to deal with the phenomenon?


Now consider the case for Mallory from a humanistic approach to therapy. Define and explain the humanistic concepts of...

(a) What is the term Roger`s would use for the problem Mallory is experiencing related to her concept of self, and what would be a healthy goal in that regard?

(b) Name and explain the three main elements of humanistic therapy that the therapist should be sure to use with Mallory.


Consider the behavioural approach to therapy....

(a) What would be a technique that a behavioural therapist would use to treat Mallory`s phobia of dogs?

(b) Describe the process of how that technique would be done by giving a series of steps.


Consider the cognitive approach to therapy.

(a) How would Beck`s cognitive theory explain Mallory`s depression?

(b) Based on the case description, what kind of thinking style might Mallory have?

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