case study

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A student on the dean’s list every semester, Carrie came into treatment because she felt she was simply not herself anymore. She used to remember times when she was happy. Recently, her boyfriend had just broken up with her. She was dating him for approximately ten months. The breakup came out of no where and she was not expecting it. At one point they had talked about taking a break, but it was brief and they both decided against it. However, she did mention that he was the reason she was here. He felt it was time for her to take control of her life again and be the person she was when she started seeing him. She admitted she knew she wasn’t the same either and when he said that she promised him to seek treatment.
Further on in the session, Carrie explained she had been raped that summer. She knew her attacker and had dated him. She was with her last boyfriend at the time, and she felt that he had helped her through it completely. However, she would no longer engage in large social groups in fear another attack would happen. She could not associate herself with anyone that was a mutual friend of his. Not only was this a hindrance, but also everytime that her boyfriend would try to kiss her, she simply did not feel the love and affection she used to feel before the rape, it was almost as if her body was “numb to the feeling of love.” She was scared this pattern would continue throughout her other relationships. She believed this was the case because it brought back memories of her trauma. The last thing she mentioned about this trauma was the fact that at least once a night she would wake up in panic that she was once again being raped. She figured this led to the eventual break up even though he denied that it had a part in it. The main reason she felt this was due to the fact that she felt that if she had not been at that house at the time of the rape, the rape would have never happened. She said if she had not been drinking it never would have happened. Lastly she contributed the rape to the fact she was not as strong as she could be. In all actuality, she blamed herself for the rape.
As a new student at her school, Carrie had not felt she had any close friends to talk to about her break up. She felt she was just another number in all of her classes. As an avid track athlete in high sc...

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.... Because she does not know the first step in coping, we would go through each of the coping steps in order for her to recover from her trauma. Because she does not have a strong support system at school, I will encourage her to eventually tell her parents about the assault so in the future they will be able to help her deal with the stress of the trauma.
Because she knew the person who attacked her, I may encourage Carrie to confront him about the situation. Carrie may not only have more confidence in herself after telling him that he cannot hurt her anymore and may be able to handle the situation better if she believes she is in control of her emotions and thoughts about her attacker. Though this may also distress her more, I will see how the initial treatment progresses to see if this is the right step to take in her recovery.
Finally, I will attempt to help her deal with the avoidance of the situations. If another man comes into the picture, I want her to feel comfortable around him and she needs to know that she can be physical with a significant other without thinking about the trauma. This however can only be done if another man comes into the picture during her therapy.

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