Divorce Case Study Essay

Total Length: 769 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

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Case Study of “Julie”:  The Effects of Divorce on a Teenager



1.     Identifying information

The client, “Julie,” is a white, 14-year-old female 9th grade student with no siblings and a single mother, “Anne.” She presents for this first counseling session well groomed, appropriately dressed, and reports being in a relationship with a 17-year-old boyfriend who is a senior at her school.

2.     Initial Impression

The client is intelligent and articulate, but she is also shy and reluctant to make eye contact. Despite her apparent shyness, Julie was responsive to questions and gesticulated a great deal, including the use of “air quotes” and swinging her legs when speaking.   

3.     Presenting Issues and Concerns

When she was 2 years old, Julie’s father died in an automobile accident. Her mother, who is employed full-time as an accountant, subsequently remarried when Julie was 12 years old. Three months previously, Anne completed an ugly divorce from this spouse who had been physically abusive on occasion. Although the divorce relieved Julie it distressed her mother which also distressed Julie because they are very close. Since the finalization of the divorce, Julie reports that her mother has become increasingly depressed, has started using antidepressants and has come to count on her more for emotional support and household assistance than in the past. Consequently, Julie has also experienced increasing stress at home which she believes is harming her academic performance because her grades have dropped and she is having trouble concentrating in class. She also reports having trouble sleeping and states that she does not know how to assist her mother besides helping out around the house and is not certain she is the right person for the job.

4.     Personal History

The client attends high school in a middle-class Midwestern high school and is an above-average student who has shown an interest in fashion design.
Her childhood was uneventful except for the most recent domestic violence incidents involving her mother and former step-father. Although Julie reports have several friends, she denies having any close friends besides her boyfriend, “Francisco” and denies being sexually active. At present, Julie is a member of the yearbook committee at her school and she participated in volunteer activities at a local shelter the previous 2 years.

5.     Initial Assessment of Functioning

The client is an otherwise well-functioning teenager who is experiencing problems at home in responding to her mother’s depression and increasing need for assistance.

6.     Medical History and Health Related Issues

The client reports general good health except for trouble sleeping in recent weeks. The client denies tobacco or illicit drug use and has not been treated for any mental health disorders in the past.

7.    Counselor Case Conceptualization

This case is can be conceptualized using Dorothea Orem’s self-care model that provides a number of strategies for helping young people cope with family-related problems.

8.     Counseling Plan

The goals of the counseling plan were three-fold:  (a) provide Julie with the information and resources….....

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