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Abnormal /clinical Psychology

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Abnormal /clinical Psychology

The case study of Susan, a 32 year old women seeking psychological help, is one in which a therapist can apply various theoretical approaches and techniques to help solve Susan's problems. These approaches can be used to diagnosis various psychological disorders. In Susan's case I have applied the approaches of Cognitive behavioral therapy, and have diagnosed Susan with having a form of phobia known as Agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that involves a person having a fear of fear, or a fear of being away from a safe place. After Susan lost her job 3 weeks ago she has found it increasingly more difficult to leave her house. Whenever she plans to leave her house, her mind becomes cluttered with thoughts about "what a failure she is," and how she never does anything right. On several occasions Susan has exhibited symptoms of Agoraphobia. While shopping, Susan received a panic attack in which her heart began to pound rapidly and her breathing became erratic. Since then Susan has become plagued with a sense of dread, worry, and fear that something terrible will happen to her if she leaves her house. This is clearly Agoraphobia, a fear of being away from a safe place. Susan's house has becomes a haven from all her fears and failures. It is her retreat from facing the imperfections in her life.

The best psychotherapy approach to help Susan overcome Agoraphobia is Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is basically using constructive and rational thinking to solve or overcome one's problem. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the best approach because it involves using the systematic desensitization method, which works on the basis of operant conditioning. Systematic desensitization will allow Susan to gradually learn that there is nothing to be afraid of through increased exposure to that which she fears.

In order for Susan to take control of her life and began feeling better about herself, she has to go through a gradually increasing treatment plan. Susan should begin her treatment plan by taking trips outside of her immediate environment. To begin, she can leave her house twice a week with friends and try to go out at least once on her own, and every-time she begins to feel anxious she should take deep breaths and remind herself that there is nothing



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