Humanistic Approaches

Case of Justin Justin is a 20-year-old male, Euro-Canadian who lives with his parents. He decided to seek out counseling at a local mental health center at the assistance of his mother.   Justin was friendly, agreeable, and open with the counselor, although his affect was limited and he appeared to be tired. Justin reports that he is the oldest of four children. His father works as a school custodian and his mother has never been employed outside the home. He indicates his father is “hard working,” but his family struggles financially and they only have enough money to cover basic living expenses. Justin adds that he had a “good” childhood. He states that he was surrounded by supportive family members and enjoyed solid relationships with his extended family and community friends. He further states that when he was younger he attended church (his family is Catholic), but he stopped going at the age of 14. He explains that at this time, religion is not important to him. His father has wrestled with depression and takes an antidepressant, but no other family mental health issues are reported.

Prior to his recent move back in with his parents, he was living on campus and attending classes at a local university. After a “difficult” freshman year, Justin was placed on academic probation. His struggles started when he began college and simultaneously  experienced a difficult break up with his girlfriend of 3 years, who “cheated” on him with his best friend. The breakup and the college transition sent him into what he calls a “funk”  and he struggled to keep up with the work and expectations and reported feeling fatigued, overwhelmed, and he had days where it was hard to get out of his dorm room. Justin started missing classes and his grades dropped. He reports that he felt lethargic, disengaged, and lacked motivation. He also reporting not finding enjoyment in things he used to like (e.g., dating, hobbies).

Justin denies any thoughts of suicide or past attempts.  He denies substance use.  Justin returned home to live with his parents for the summer and he has continued to struggle to gain focus and get motivated.  He is eager to reassess his situation, move forward, and go back to college in the fall, but how he can do that is elusive and he feels overwhelmed, unmotivated, and scared. He works part time at a pizza shop delivering pizza, and he reports that getting through the days can feel like moving though quick sand.”  He expresses that in counseling he wants to improve his mood and developing a plan that will help him “get on track and feel better.”

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