DQ 4.1: Focus on “Psych” – Practice with the Case of John
John comes in for his first counselling session. John is 38 years old and has been with his partner for 12 years. They adopted two boys: one is four years old and the other is seven years old. John is a white Caucasian and his partner identifies as a Chinese male.
John has three siblings, one older sister and two younger brothers. His parents often compare him to his siblings and make sure he knows just how far short he has fallen in pleasing them. John remembers his father being distant and often not at home, usually working, and his mother drinking a lot until he was about twenty-two.
When John and his partner decided to live together, John’s family somewhat accepted them as a couple. His partner’s family accepted John and the children; however, they disapprove of their son’s decision to be in this relationship.
In your second session John discloses that he is bi-sexual and perhaps he chose the wrong sex to be with. He finds his partner to be overbearing, and controlling. John shares that he is sad a lot of the time, feels fatigued, and could stay in bed most days. He sleeps over ten hours per day and has recently been missing work. John is dissatisfied with his relationship and is stuck with how to handle it. He does not know what he wants or what to do.
What psychological issue stands out as potentially important in counselling when working with John? What would you address with John? Using Chapter 2 of Slay-Westbrook (2017) what possible issues of trauma, hurt, or grief may be uncovered?