Clinical Psychology - Case Studies

Clinical Psychology – Case Studies


The work of the clinical psychologist is varied and interesting. Below are some examples of the type of work that the clinical psychologist may do.


Anxiety and Stress Management


Bill is ain his late 50s. He has had a heart attack, but is now recovering. He is referred to a stress management group as heart attacks are linked to stress and how people cope with their stress. There is a type of behaviour, called Type A behaviour, where a person shows typical responses to stress. For more information on Type A behaviour, see the article – Clinical Psychology – Type A Behaviour Case Study. The clinical psychologist will help Bill to cope with his worrying thoughts without becoming stressed or tense. He will also be encouraged to organize his time in a more productive and less stressful way. This will hopefully reduce his stress, which should affect his blood pressure and reduce the need for medication.


Brain Damage Diagnosis


Fred was suffering from painful headaches and rushing noises in his ears. His doctor sent him to see a neurologist. He was diagnosed as having a small brain tumour and required an operation to remove it. He was also sent to a clinical psychologist before the operation. The clinical psychologist gave Fred a series of tests to find out how his thinking was affected by the tumour. Sometimes tumours or damage to the brain will affect our behaviour. For example, a person may become more aggressive, emotional, unable to judge distance etc. The brain is a complex organ which can be affected in a multitude of ways. After the operation, the clinical psychologist performed the tests again to determine whether his thinking was affected – in a positive or negative way. The psychologist would then advise staff supporting Fred in ways to improve his recovery, aid his thinking and so on.


Social Skills Training


Jane is involved in petty assaults, shop lifting and joy riding. She has served a period in youth custody. She cannot read or write and has not bothered to apply for any jobs as she did not think she would get a job. The Clinical Psychologist assessed her. The tests showed that she was able to learn to read. A programme was developed to develop her social skills, such as job interview skills, improving her view of herself and her prospects. This case study shows the potential overlap, as this could also have been dealt with by a clinical psychologist or criminological psychologist.

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