The Case Study On Genital Herpes Essay

The Case Study On Genital Herpes Essay

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The case study presents me with a couple in crisis because the woman, 28-year-old Carol, has diagnosed with genital herpes by her OBGYN. Carol believes that she may have contracted the STD from her 31-year-old boyfriend, Francisco, because she claims that she has been sexually monogamous. Now, Carol is having thoughts of her boyfriend being a “dog,” “player,” and a “liar” because he seems to be flirting with other women when they are in social settings; although she loves him, she is unsure of remaining in the relationship. However, Francisco states that he has not been unfaithful and cannot explain the diagnosis of genital herpes.
The first thing I would do is use normalization with Carol because it makes sense to feel a sense of betrayal due to the recent diagnosis of genital herpes; furthermore, I will also state to Francisco that it is okay to feel a sense of confusion due to him faithful to his girlfriend of four years. According to Shepherd, “common psychological reactions to genital herpes include depression, anxiety, health anxiety, psychosexual difficulties, low self-esteem, distorted body image, shame, guilt, anger and hostility towards those from whom the virus was contracted” (2010, p. 150). Both Carol and Francisco may be feeling a sense of distress because this is something new that is being introduced into the system. So, due to the high negative emotions running within the system, “it is important for clinicians to be aware of the common negative thoughts and cognitive distortions that women with diagnoses of genital herpes can experience” (Shepherd, 2010, p. 151). Using a CBT approach, I will explore the emotional reasoning behind the idea of Francisco being a “dog,” “player,” and a “liar.” Furthermore, I will a...


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... associated psychological distress” (2010, p. 150). Moreover, taking antiviral medications also helps relieve the reoccurring symptoms of genital herpes. Both suppressive therapy and medication may have its benefits and limitations.
Taking into account that the couple still has not had any children, I will also inform them that the possibility of having healthy babies is still available. For example, if Carol were to become pregnant she is able to give birth to her baby through C-section if she were ever to experience an outbreak during delivery (Fisher & Holzapfel, 2014, p. 483). Therefore, the possibility of having children has not been taken away from them due to the diagnosis. So, if the couple finds the thought of having children to be important, I believe this type of positive information will help alleviate any ideas of possible loss that they may have had.

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