John: His primary physician referred John to a clinical psychologist after several episodes of sudden violence and rage. John claimed to have limited or no memory of the incidents. His mother described him as typically being a shy, quiet, and even withdrawn adolescent. This was the 15-year-old’s first psychological evaluation. During one of John’s episodes, his anger was so out of control that he broke dishes, punched holes in the wall, and did hundreds of dollars of damage to his room. His mother worried that John’s anger might soon turn to violence against himself or others. She further described him as having low energy, sometimes being sullen, and wanting to sleep a lot. He was unhappy in school, falling far behind his classmates, and in danger of repeating the ninth grade.
Nick is a 10-year-old boy whose pediatrician has referred him for a psychological evaluation because of concerns about his behavior at school and at home. Although his teacher thinks he is smart and capable of more than he is currently demonstrating, she has suggested that he be evaluated for ADHD. Nick’s academic performance has declined, and the teacher complains that he is impulsive and has difficulties focusing. His parents report that “homework is a nightmare” because Nick cannot sit still and becomes very frustrated when he does not know how to solve problems. Nightly battles over homework have become the norm. Lately, Nick has been referring to himself as “stupid,” and he shows poor motivation when it comes to schoolwork.
When reviewing the case studies, what would you consider for a diagnosis for each? Why? What other questions might you want to ask to learn more? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of making a diagnosis at all?
What are the differences between structured, semi-structured, and unstructured interviews (give examples)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? When would you use each? What is important to keep in mind when writing up an intake interview?
what are the differences between objective and subjective tests (give examples), and what are the pros and cons for each measurement type? When and how should behavioral assessments (give examples) be used? Which is your favorite type of test and why?
what are the differences between psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, and humanistic theoretical orientations? If you were a client, which style would you like your therapist to have, and why?
what are the differences between behavioral therapy, Beck’s cognitive therapy, and Ellis’ rational emotive behavior therapy? If you were a client, which style would you like your therapist to have, and why?
you’ve now learned a ton about individual psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, neuropsychology, forensic psychology, and health psychology. What are some of the main roles that each contribute to the field of psychology? Which one(s) are your favorites, and why?