Case study
Case Study Exercise
AB is a 25-year-old woman; a mother of 2 children (aged 7 and 5), she was born in and lives in Whitechapel. Both her parents were born in Bangladesh and live locally. She did well at school with good GCSES and A levels. She left school and became married soon after finishing school.
She talked to her GP describing how she felt that her life was controlled by her parents, and feels there is little love between herself and her husband.
She has been given a diagnosis of depression. She has been given a prescription for SSRI antidepressants and has been referred by her GP for counselling.
She attends the counselling session that takes place in a small room in a brightly lit community building. She is seen by 45-year-old female counsellor from the same faith and cultural background.

P= Patient

C: So what seems to be the problem?
P: [takes a minute to speak] . .. . I don’t really know . . . .[there is another 2 minute pause]
C: Well, you must have some idea about why you have come.
P: My Dr told me to come . . .
C: Well it says here that you have been staying at home, not doing the shopping, unable to pick the children up from school . . . it does sound like there are problems . . .
P: Well my mother picks the children up, she likes doing it . . so that’s OK.
C: You don’t want to go yourself?
P: I would like to . .. it’s stupid, I just can’t go . . . I can’t stand outside the school and wait . . . I hate that . ..
C: Why?
P: I don’t really know . . . it’s just . . .
C: You don’t like to talk to the other parents?
P: Not really . .. I don’t know what to say . . . [there is a long silence of several minutes]
C: Do they talk to you?
P: Sometimes.
C: Are they friendly?
P: They’re OK . . . I don’t know what to say . . .

[There is a long pause of several minutes]

C: You don’t seem to want me to help?

P: I don’t know what you can do . . .

You need to answer the following questions (note the world lengths for each question) on one ‘Word’ document. You should reference your work.


1. Write your impression of this encounter (100 words).

2. Explain both of the terms ‘transference’ and ‘counter-transference’ (250 words).
You must reference these descriptions and refer to the history of the concepts and how they are used in therapy/counselling contexts.

3. Describe how both concepts of transference and counter-transference might be making an appearance in this encounter (250 words).

4. Describe your own social and cultural ‘position’ (in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or anythi ng else that you think might be relevant) (200 words) .
If this is different, how might these differences impact on the counselling?

5. If you were the counsellor how might you approach this encounter? (200 words).