Conceptualization a patient’s problems and diagnosis


  • Highlight the relevant information from the patient’s history you will use to inform your conceptualization of the patient’s problems and diagnosis.
  • Mr. Smith has Anxiety about his future. He is guarded when talking about his family and childhood, he was diagnosed with adjustment disorder with anxiety. Mr. Smith is an only child and had limited contact with his father due to his fathers job and remained with his mother essentially most of the time. Mr. Smith’s mother worked at his elementary school and latter transferred to his high school once he transitioned to high school. Mr. Smiths father died a year ago and he has been avoiding his mother since she moved to San Diego, California. Mr. Smith does not speak much about his mother, she had anger issues when he was growing up and made robust outbursts. Mr. Smith is originally from Canada, does well socially and worked as a psychology technician for 14 years. Mr. Smith quit his job as a psychology technician because he became bored with it and has not been to work in a few weeks. He drinks socially, is a part of a college fraternity but has recently lost a lot of weight and continues to be suspicious and closed off to his friends.
  • Provide an evaluation of the patient’s symptoms and presenting problems within the context of a theoretical orientation that seems to be most appropriate for the situation. Be sure to indicate which theory you are using for your evaluation and provide a justification for your choice. To get the most out of this assignment, you are encouraged to use the same theoretical orientation from which you chose to write your Week Two Initial Assessment discussion’s guided response.
  • Mr. Smith’s symptoms appear to be that he tells his doctor that all is well for the most part but he lives quite a different story. He is anxious about his future, he has lost a lot of weight and he has adjustment disorder. The doctor used a Humanistic theoretical orientation by talking to Mr. Smith and by going against the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Ethics by hiring a private investigator to find out about Mr. Smith’s mother. The reason that I will continue using the Humanistic theoretical orientation is because I believe it is important for me to talk to Mr. Smith to get him to speak about his Mother and his childhood. This area appears to be an area that Mr. Smith is not sharing with the Doctor and his friends. It appears that Mr. Smith shields himself from having to discuss his childhood or his mother. Mr. Smith appears to avoid his mother as well.
  • Provide a diagnosis for the patient based on one of the diagnostic manuals available (e.g.,DSM-5,Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, etc.). Justify your choice of this diagnostic manual.
  • According to the DSM 5, I believe that Mr. Smith is suffering from Anxiety Disorder due to another Medical Condition (First, M.B., 2013). I believe the mental disorder’s that Mr. Smith is suffering from is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as Adjustment Disorder. The reason that I believe that Mr. Smith is suffering from PTSD is because people who suffer from PTSD avoid people and things that remind them of the situation that led to their PTSD. Mr. Smith appears to be avoiding his mother. Mr. Smith’s mother may not have been the person who caused him to have PTSD but she could remind him of the person. I believe that Mr. Smith has adjustment disorder but it is associated with the presence of his mother.
  • Describe at least one evidence-based and one non-evidence-based treatment option for this diagnosis. Compare the benefits and costs of these treatment options.
  • One evidence-based treatment for PTSD is Written Exposure Therapy (WET) (AUSTERN, D., 2017). This treatment requires a person to write out their issues as well as situations that they believe will assist them in their crisis. I believe that this is a good method to use in order to assist a person suffering from PTSD related issues. The primary non-evidence based treatment option for PTSD is dialogue. Talking to other people in similar situations tends to assist people who are suffering from PTSD. The benefits and cost of dialogue is minimal. The cost of WET is minimal as well.
  • Based on specific theoretical and historical perspectives, provide questions for your colleagues seeking their thoughts and feedback.
  • How would you approach a situation where a gentleman avoids his mother in adulthood?
  • What would cause a person to act one way around their friends and describe a different way of life to their doctor?
  • Pose appropriate questions that may help refine the diagnostic impression of this patient.
  • Does verbal abuse cause PTSD?
  • What mental condition causes avoidance?
  • V/R
    Carl D. Nelson Jr.
    AUSTERN, D. (2017). Beyond Binary Thinking: Providing Best Practice Treatment to Veterans with PTSD. PCSP: Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy. 2017, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p165-172. 8p. , Database: Academic Search CompleteLinks to an external site.
    First, M. B. (Ed.). (2013) DSM-5: Handbook of Differential Diagnosis. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.


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