Treatment for Anxious Depression: A Case Study of a 20-Year-Old

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Sabala, Sophia
Washburn University
Psychology department
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The following is a de-identified case study on the treatment process and outcome for a 20-yearold pregnant LatinX female diagnosed with anxious depression. Names and other details of the case have been changed to preserve confidentiality. The name “Nicole” is used to refer to the client within this document. Nicole is a full-time college student who presented with moderate to severe depressive and anxious symptoms that impacted her ability to function at home and academically. Consistent with the literature on empirically supported treatments for anxious depression, this therapist utilized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to assist Nicole in learning skills to effectively manage and reduce her symptoms. The interventions included psychoeducation on depression, lifestyle changes, and cognitive restructuring. This EST Case Study reviews the relevant scientific literature of theoretical models used to conceptualize etiology and maintenance of symptoms, an overview of treatment modalities used to treat symptoms, along with empirical support for those interventions. This is followed by client-specific descriptions of the initial interview and formal assessments used to clarify diagnosis, development of a treatment plan, implementation of treatment interventions, and measures of treatment progress. A transcription of one complete session is included to provide a glimpse into Nicole’s presentation and offer insights into how this therapist processed session content to make informed decisions regarding implementation of treatment interventions. Reflections on strengths and areas for improvement regarding the therapist’s skills are also discussed. In brief summary, Nicole regularly attended 15 sessions over 5 months. Her adherence to homework assignments was fairly consistent. She implemented therapeutic techniques, such as developing a healthier diet, improving sleep hygiene, and engaging in cognitive restructuring. At the conclusion of the fivemonth EST Case Study, Nicole had made small treatment gains and was somewhat more effectively managing her symptoms. Treatment was expected to continue beyond the writing of this report.
An Empirically Supported Treatment Case Study