Counseling Theory Vignettes

Counseling Theory Vignettes
Counseling Theory Vignettes

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Counseling Theory Vignettes

Sample vignette response: 

A narrative therapist would listen respectfully to John and Mary’s stories, and to understand the influence that these stories have had on their lives (Corey, 2013).  “Because of the power of dominant culture narratives, individuals tend to internalize the messages from these dominant discourses, which often work against the life opportunity of the individual” (p. 410). Growing up in a culture where he may have experienced racism and prejudice, John may have internalized a story that children must toughen up to the world.

“Within the family, African-American parents use a number of disciplinary actions that prepare children to live in a racist environment where unfairness and discrimination are common. In that vein, respect for authority is typically nonnegotiable in African-American families; children who are disrespectful receive the most severe forms of punishment-usually physical” (Evans, 2013, p.65).  Thus the heavy-handed discipline John experienced himself as a child may be an acceptable cultural narrative of his own parenting style with his sons today.

John’s view of the school of hard knox may represent his narrative that his sons should attend school where they will learn to, cope with racism, which includes developing a tough skin.  Mary may have internalized a story from her own childhood where traditional African-American mothers raise daughters to be empowered and independent but for their sons, independence is not stressed as strongly and punishment is not as severe, often enabling their male children (Evans, 2013).

This could explain her desire to protect and her sons from harmful aspects of life and John’s harsh disciplinary measures. The therapist must be aware of stereotyping and learn how to recognize diversity issues and work with John and Mary in the context of their worldview. It is an ethical obligation for counselors to develop sensitivity to cultural differences (Corey, 2013). While John’s style of discipline may be culture-laden, the therapist must look at his or her own professional obligation according to the legal and ethical code of the state in which they work.


The response to each counseling theory vignette should be 1-2 pages per vignette for a total of 5-6 pages for the entire assignment plus reference page. Do not copy and paste the vignettes into your written response


Vignette One

     Jack, a 28-year old man, tells you: “Most of my life I have felt pushed and pulled. My father pushed me into school, sports, and so forth, and over the years my resentment grew for him. He was always directing and controlling my life and beating me when I challenged his authority. My mother always gave me a warm, unconditional love and tried to pull me under her protective wing. My parents divorced when I was 18 and without parental control I began a life of self-will in my relationships and in my use of drugs and alcohol.

On graduating from college, I rejected my father’s wishes to pursue a career and returned to school to seek another degree. In some ways it’s just a place to be that I like. Most of my life revolves around living for today, a hedonistic style that has no concreteness of goals and aspirations, with a lack of definition of `what a man should be.’ I float in and out of people’s lives.

They see an image of me as a despoiler of women, a drug freak, and a cold bastard. My fear is that I am nothing more than that image, that I am empty inside. I want to be able to open up and let people see the warmer, more sensitive sides of me, but I have terrible difficulty doing that. I have a strong need to become close and intimate with others, yet I never let myself become vulnerable because I fear being dependent on them and trapped by their love.”

Assume that Jack comes to you for personal therapy and that all you know about him is what he told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with Jack within a Psychoanalytic frame of reference:

1.    As a psychoanalytic therapist, do you think that Jack’s current unwillingness to become vulnerable to others out of his fear of “being dependent on them and trapped by their love” has much to do with his mother’s unconditional love? How might this experience be related to his relationships with women now?

 2.    Jack describes his father as an authoritarian, controlling, and cruel man who apparently had conventional ideas of what he wanted Jack to become. What are the underlying psychological aspects that you see involved with Jack’s rejection of his father’s wishes? How might you use psychoanalytic counseling theory to explain the fact that in many ways he became what his father did not want him to become?


Vignette Two

     Alice and Javier, both in their early 30’s, have been married for 7 years and have three young children. Javier is a Latino, and Alice is a Pacific Islander. Neither his family nor hers was very supportive of marrying a person “not of your own kind.” Consequently, Javier and Alice do not see their parents very often. She feels a real gap without this connection with her family; he maintains that if that’s the way his family wants it, so be it.

They have been having a great deal of difficulty as a family for several years. Alice seems to think that Javier is far too strict with the children, demanding full obedience without question. He admits he is a hard taskmaster, but he says that’s the way it was for him in his family.

     Alice would like to get a job, yet she stops herself from considering it because Javier becomes extremely upset when she even mentions the issue. His response is: “Why can’t you be satisfied with what you have? It reflects poorly on me if you have to go outside and get work!” Alice has tended to assume the role of keeping peace in the family, almost at any price.

This means not doing many of the things she would like to do, lest it lead to an escalation of the conflicts between them. Alice has finally decided that even if it rocks the boat and causes a storm, she cannot continue living as she has. She has asked Javier to go to counseling with her. He has agreed, reluctantly, mostly to understand her better and “do whatever can be done to help her.”

Assume that Alice and Javier come to you for personal therapy and that all you know about them is what they told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with this couple within an Adlerian frame of reference:

1.    As an Adlerian therapist you will want to make sure that your goals and the goals of Alice and of Javier are in alignment. How might you go about this? What if Javier and Alice have different goals? How might the fact that he is a Latino and she is a Pacific Islander be significant in setting goals?

 2.    If you had to speculate at this moment, what are Alice’s “basic mistakes”? Javier’s?  What specific Adlerian techniques might you be most inclined to employ in working with this couple?


Vignette Three

     Paul, a 30-year old gay man has recently found out that he has AIDS. Though he is in a period of remission, he knows that the disease is terminal. Paul is seeking counseling to help him deal with this crisis and at least get the maximum out of the remainder of his life. He is filled with rage over his fate; he keeps asking why this had to happen to him. He tells you that at first he could not believe the diagnosis was correct.

When he finally got several more professional opinions that confirmed he had AIDS, he began to feel more and more anger—toward God, toward his healthy friends, whom he envied, and generally toward the unfairness of his situation. He tells you that he was just starting to live the lifestyle he denied himself all of his adult life and that he had a direction he was going in professionally. Now everything will have to change. After he tells you this, he is sitting across from you waiting for your response

Assume that Paul comes to you for personal therapy and that all you know about him is what he told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with Paul within an Existential/Person Centered frame of reference:

 1.    Paul tells you that one of the reasons he is coming to see you is his desire to accept his fate. How would you work with him to gain this acceptance? What specific things might you do to help him find ways of living the rest of his life to its fullest?

2.    Do you see any possibilities for helping Paul find meaning in his life in the face of death? What diversity issues and ethical considerations might arise in your work with Paul?

Counseling Theory Vignettes

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Vignette Analysis II Assigment

Vignette Analysis II
Vignette Analysis II

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Vignette Analysis II

Your response to each vignette should be 1-2 pages per vignette for a total of 5-6 pages for the entire assignment plus a title and reference page.

Do not copy and paste the vignettes into your written response

Vignette Four

       Albert and Paula are an African-American couple seeking counseling. Albert and Paula have been living together for several years. Albert wants to either resolve certain problems or break up the relationship. Paula is very anxious about being deserted, and she agrees to come for counseling as a couple. Paula feels unappreciated, and she does not feel that Albert cares for her in “the way I would like.” She initially tells you the following: “I try so hard to do what I think Albert expects.

It’s really important that I please him, because I’m afraid that if I don’t, he’ll get fed up and simply leave. And if he left, I imagine all sorts of terrible things happening. First of all, I feel the constant threat of being left. I need someone to rely on – someone who will listen to me, who I know cares for me and accepts me the way I am, who wants to be with me, and who will approve of what I do.

I feel I must have this in the person I live with. If I don’t, this just proves that the other person doesn’t love me. I need to be loved. My parents didn’t love me, they never gave me the approval I needed to have, and I think that this alone is more than enough for me to bear.” 

     Albert responds with the following: “Frankly, I’m so tired of always feeling that I must prove myself and my constant love for Paula. No matter what I do or say, I typically end up feeling that I’m not enough and that regardless of what I do, it just won’t measure up. I’m tired of hearing that I don’t care. I’m sick of being made to feel that I’m insensitive.

I hate being made to feel inadequate, and I don’t want to constantly feel that I have to weigh everything I say for fear that I’ll offend Paula and make her upset. I just can’t stand having people be upset at me – it makes me feel lousy and guilty – as if I should somehow be more than I am, that I ought to be better than I am. If I can’t get over being made to feel inadequate around Paula, I want out!”

Assume that Albert and Paula comes to you for personal therapy and that all you know about them is what they told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with this couple within a Cognitive-Behavioral frame of reference:

1.    From the perspective of rational emotive behavior therapy, some of the following could be identified as Paula’s irrational beliefs. Show how you would demonstrate to her that they are self-defeating attitudes that are the direct cause of her misery:

• I must please Albert, and if I don’t he’ll leave, and the consequences will be horrible!

• I must have someone to rely on, or else I can’t make it on my own!

• I must have someone to show me caring, love, and approval, and if I don’t get this, life is hardly worth living!

• If I don’t get what I want from life, then life is damn unfair!

2.    Again as an REBT therapist, how might you work with Albert’s irrational beliefs? How would you teach him to dispute them? How would you show him that these beliefs are at the root of his problems?

• I must prove myself, I must be able to meet another’s expectations of me – and if I don’t, I’ll feel inadequate, guilty, rotten, and deficient as a person!

• If I don’t meet Paula’s needs, I’m made to feel inadequate.

Vignette Five

     Fourteen-year-old Candy, her father, and her mother are sitting with you in your office for an initial counseling session. Her father begins: “I’m just at the end of my rope with my daughter! I’m sick and tired of what I see her doing to disrupt our family life. I’m constantly wondering what she’ll pull next in her long line of antics. She’s gone to the Colorado River with some guys who are older than she is, in outright defiance of my order not to go. She’s done any number of things she knows I disapprove of, and the result is that she’s suspended from school for three weeks or until she gets some counseling.

This was the last straw. Candy knows what my values are, and she knows that what she’s doing is wrong. I just don’t know how to convince her that if she doesn’t change, she’ll come to a bad end.” Candy’s mother is rather quiet and does not list complaints against Candy. She generally agrees that Candy does seem defiant and says she does not know how to handle her.

She says she becomes very upset at seeing her husband get angry and worried over the situation, and she hopes that counseling will help Candy see some of what they see. Candy appears very withdrawn, sullen, and not too eager to open up in this situation with her parents. She is in your office mainly because she was brought in by her parents.

Assume that Candy and her family comes to you for counseling and that all you know about them is what they told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with Candy and family within an Choice Theory/Reality Therapy frame of reference:

 1.   Assume that in an individual session with Candy she does open up with you, and you find out that her father’s presentation of the problems is correct. In fact, matters are worse than he imagined. Candy tells you that she has recently tried marijuana and is considering having sex with her 18 year-old boyfriend. Using the Choice/Reality Therapy framework, how might you proceed in working with her? What might you want to say to her? . What would you be inclined to tell the parents? What would you not tell the parents?

2.    Your central task as a reality therapist is to guide Candy toward making an honest assessment of her current behavior and to help her evaluate the results of her behavior. Show how you will attempt to do this. How will you respond if she resists looking at her own behavior, insisting that her problems stem from her demanding and moralistic father, who is driving her to rebellion?

Vignette Six

     The Kline family consists of Gail and George, both in their early 40’s, their two daughters, Jessie, 10, Jaimi, 12 and their son Gary, age 16.  Gary is on probation for using and selling drugs on campus. The court ordered him to undergo therapy. It was suggested that the entire family be involved in family therapy. 

     According to George, the one who is responsible for the family’s problems is his wife, who, he says, is an alcoholic. George, a businessman who does a great deal of traveling, is convinced that he is doing all he can to hold the family together. He comments that he is a good provider and that he does not understand why Gail insists on drinking. He feels that Gary has gotten everything that he ever wanted, and he maintains that the young people of today are “just spoiled rotten.”

The father says that his eldest daughter, Jaimi, is the best one of the bunch, and he has no complaints about her. He sees her as being more responsible than his wife. He views his younger daughter, Jessie, as pampered and spoiled by her mother, and he has little hope for her. 

     George is willing to give family counseling a try and says he hopes that the therapist can straighten them all out. Jaimi doesn’t want to come, because she is not the problem. Gary is very reluctant to appear, even for one session, because he feels sure that the others in the family will see him as the source of their problems. To satisfy the conditions of his probation, Gary would rather see a therapist privately, regardless of what the court wants.

Assume that this family comes to you for counseling and that all you know about them is what they told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with this family within an Family Systems Therapy frame of reference:

1.    If you believed in the value of seeing the family as a unit, how might you go about getting the entire family to come in? Assume that all agreed to attend one session. What would be your focus, and what would you most want to achieve in this family session?

2.    What are the key dynamics of the family as a system?  How you would work with this family, discussing any problems that you might expect to encounter?

Below is a partial answer to the above homework questions by one of our writers. If you are interested in a custom non plagiarized top quality answer, click order now to place your order.

Vignette analysis II


The diversity that characterizes humans ensures that the behavioral mannerisms bear distinctions from one another. In an effort to bridge this gap and enhance understanding of one another for peaceful coexistence, the field of psychology has devised means of helping people recognize their differences and understand them for more trusting relationships to be built and encourage dialogue.

Vignette four

Albert and Paula have, in their relationship not fully understood the emotional needs of one another and in her quest to always have somebody by her side, Paula has instead smothered Albert. Paula’s need to always get approval for everything she does and her attention craving antiques can be traced back from her development from earlier ages. Her neglect as a child has left her always in need of being recognised, her actions approved of and having someone constantly by her side.

She is also afraid of being alone and is always quick to blame herself for other people’s decisions. Albert on his end feels smothered by the constant needs of Paula that he has his mind set on leaving should the situation not change. In this case, the couple needs to apply the rational emotive behavior therapy to help work through their issues.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

The central focus of the therapy will be the address of unhealthy emotions on Paula’s side and the understanding of the power of interpretation of events and emotions for both of them (Bennett and Pearson, 2015). In this case Paula has to understand that despite the human need to feel loved, the over expectation of the same could lead to people leaving as they are likely to feel smothered by the same. She needs to accept herself first as she is and not gauge her personal worth by the decision of someone to stay with her.

She also need to understand that the choice to leave is usually a personal one and that in her effort to ensure that Albert stays, she has made it an emotional journey for him. She needs to develop healthy and rational thoughts on her personal worth based on what she is as a person and not on what she thinks or believes other people think of her.

In the development of these emotive behaviors, she is more likely to let go of her beliefs or her interpretation of her childhood experiences with her parents to fully understand that her personal worth should not be based on her ability to please others or be pleased by others but by her ability to recognize her true worth on a personal level.

She needs to put her be flexible in her thoughts and actions as well as be accepting of uncertainties as life is full of unpredictability and unsatisfied moments. She also needs to develop high tolerance when faced with frustrating situations in addition to accepting herself as an individual instead of basing herself worth on her ability to make people stay.

Albert on the other hand is tired of the feelings that he undergoes every time in the hands of Paula of being made to feel inadequate. He is fed up with her insatiable behavioral mannerisms that put pressure on him to always step up when he thinks he has done his best. He however wants the relationship to work or move out. In his admission of desire to remain in the relationship, it is advisable for him to be more flexible in his thought and acts towards Paula. He also needs to change his beliefs about his position in the relationship as he holds a vital place in Paula’s heart.

All in all, the couple needs to learn to be more tolerant of one another and to try and appreciate each other more on an individual level then as a couple in order to increase their self-worth (McLaren, Doyle and DiGiuspepe, 2016).

Vignette five.

Candy has a communication problem with her parents as she feels they are being unreasonably strict on her and hence she engages in conduct that upsets her parents in rebellion. Her recent use of marijuana and her plans to engage in sexual relations with her older boyfriend are all signs of her acting out against what she believes are right in her actions against what she terms as her parents’ unfair restrictions……

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