This week, we will work on the second major part of your Case Study –
Interpretation. In more psychological terms, this is called the
diagnostic stage. It is here that the counselor begins the process of
refining what the client is sharing. Since this is not a live session,
the process of interpretation that would normally happen through
clarifying questions by you the counselor, obviously cannot happen.
Therefore, your interpretation will need to be entirely drawn from what
you perceived through the videos, the Intake Form, and your interaction
with your fellow counselors (i.e. classmates & Facilitator).
To start this process, it will help to review the observations you
made last week. As you review your observations, do you see patterns,
clues, insinuations, specific behaviors, or traces of symptomatic
issues? Some of these may be blatant, others may be discovered as you
develop connections between what seem to be isolated statements or
thoughts. Eventually, these insights will help you develop diagnostic
impressions, which will then be used to develop an actual diagnosis.
Depending on the level of perceived severity or even just for
clarity, it will be helpful to leverage the DSM to help you in your
diagnosis. A summarized version of the major diagnostic categories can
be found here: Diagnostic Categories. You may also find it useful to directly cite the DSM.
When making a diagnosis, keep in mind that diagnoses are to be
ordered. According to the DSM-5, the first diagnosis (if there are
multiple) is called the principal diagnosis. It is viewed as the primary
issue. If there are other diagnoses, these should be listed in order of
clinical need. Feel free to use Subtypes, Specifiers, and Severity as
part of your diagnosis, if you feel comfortable using these elements of
It may be that you believe that there are indications of an issue,
but you are not comfortable just pronouncing a diagnosis. The DSM allows
for that. If this is true, simply designate your diagnosis as
provisional. . You can then describe what more needs to be considered
before confirming the diagnosis.
Based on your Rubric, the Interpretation Section of this analysis should
address each of the topic/issues below.
Things to keep in mind (and help) as you develop your Interpretation Section:
- 1. Some issues may be comorbid
(co-occurring). If you believe that there are comorbid issues, it will
be essential that you describe the etiology and diagnosis for both,
including a description of how the two orders may exacerbate each other.
- 2. Be sure to discuss the
psychosocial and environmental factors that may be influencing the
client. One of the things you have learned through your interaction with
the College is our focused on a holistic understanding of people (Fit
Heart, Fit Mind, Fit Body, and Fit Soul). It is no different here. If
there are issues that are influencing the well-being of the person, it
is your task to recognize and articulate those, describing the possible
- 3. Have you considered the cultural
perspective? Symptomology can be effected by our cultural heritage. It
may also affect how we interpret the behaviors of others. In other
words, are you ensuring that the culture of the client is being
- 4. When discussing psychological
perspectives, be sure to cite your sources. This will help you in
justifying your approach, as well as help the Facilitator understand
- 5. You will need to justify your psychological perspective and highlight how that perspective influence your diagnoses.
- a. EXAMPLE: Applying
Erikson’s Psychosocial Stage of Development (CITE), the client is
struggling through the Generativity vs. Stagnation phase. Specifically,
the client wrestles with feelings of inadequacy, pride in
accomplishment, and sense of unity with fellow coworkers and peers. This
has led to anxious behavior and depressive ideology.