Case Study Development and Theoretical Explanation



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Case Study Development and Theoretical Explanation

Martin, a 45-year-old married accountant, constantly complains of back pains, anxiety, sweaty palms, and shortness of breath, stomachaches and dizziness. Seemingly, he has been getting these illness signs for more than four years with only some periods of lengthened reprieve. He furthermore experiences constant frustration, instances of severe muscle tension, restlessness, decreased energy, loss of interest, and also desiccation in the mouth but apparently he has been brushing off  or rather he constantly denies any feelings of depression and goes on to enjoy hobbies as well as family activities.

As a result of his symptoms and health complications, Martin has resulted in seeing his main care physician who is a therapeutic chiropractor and has been contacting manual therapy on him including joint manipulation and adjustment with specific focus on back pains and joint dysfunction. He apparently has received constricting diagnosis as well as treatment of which six of them have greatly helped.

Martin’s childhood was mostly troublesome especially after losing his mother at the age of seven and his father then resulted into alcohol due to the loss of his wife. He together with his sister were forced to go and live with their grandparents and their neighborhood was full of muggings and his fellow kids and classmates used to bully him due to his skin color. Although they managed to reunite with their father after the 12th grade, Martin has always borne those bullying and mistreatments he went through while young. He succeeded in middle school and therefore joined college of accountancy and passed with distinction and got a job as an accountant in a leading firm in the city. He has been having the above symptoms for the past four years and the only instances that the problem was absent was when he got a pay rise and promoted in his post to become the company’s chief accountant and also when his wife was announced to be cancer free after three years struggling with cancer.

Martin persistently worries on the subject of his wife’s health, his children as well as his father who is currently 61 years of age. He also imagines about disasters which could happen within the homestead and works out strategies aimed at avoiding them. His wife was diagnosed to have breast cancer three years ago but she received chemotherapy and luckily has been cancer free for almost a year now even though he always fears that the cancer could reoccur again.  He also worries much concerning his work performance and feels that he could be terminated at any time although his work reviews are excellent and do not designate any working problems. His coworkers always talk positive about him and praise him of how hardworking and visionary he is but Martin sometimes supposes that his workmates do not like him of which is not true.

Psychodynamic Explanation

Psychological theories usually present evidence-based rationalizations for the reason why people feel, behave and think the manner they do. Similarly, early experiences, history, and personality factors; along with interpersonal relationships are perceived as key factors in the origin of depression. For instance, psychodynamics is the approach using psychology which accentuates a methodical study of all psychosomatic forces which bring about human emotions, feelings and behavior and seemingly how they may correlate with early personal experiences (Berzoff, Flanagan & Hertz 2011).

Martin has had several symptoms which range from back pains, loss of interest, shortness of breath, dizziness, restlessness, decreased energy, to severe muscle tension and theorists such as Sigmund Freud came up with specific insights to explain such abnormal behaviors. Freud brought out arguments that people whose desires were not met up at some stage in the oral phase of psychosexual growth are mostly susceptible to getting depression in their adulthood stages since this causes excessive dependence and also low self-esteem.

Martin suffered loss of his mother when he was at a tender age and he was mostly depended on her since his father was a workaholic and wasn’t at home most of the times. After the death of his mother, his father turned into alcohol to simmer his loss and he was forced to go and live with his grandparents and in such new surroundings he received discrimination and was mistreated by his peers constantly. Freud argued that people are victims of their feelings, since displacement and repression are defense mechanisms towards a response to real loss which enables people to manage emotional turmoil even though such could outcome into depression.

Individuals who are exceptionally reliant on others are particularly probable to build up depression after suffering a loss. Rage at the loss is shifted onto the person, and this affects their sense of worth and causes them to re-experience loss time and again even though it occurred in their infancy. Freud further believed that superego or sometimes called conscience is central in the person depressed and this explicates the extreme remorse experienced by numerous depressives (Berzoff, Flanagan & Hertz 2011). Martin’s mother was involved in road carnage which saw quite a number of people lose their lives and his feeling of guilty has driven him to always worry about his family’s health and safety and imagines about disasters which could happen within the homestead and more so works out strategies aimed at avoiding them.





Psychodynamic therapy is a viable treatment to Martin’s disorder which focuses on the unconscious processes which are noticeable in his current actions. The main goal of this therapy is for Martin to regain self-awareness along with understanding the influence the past has had on his present behavior. Therefore, the approach would enable him scrutinize his unresolved conflicts plus symptoms that crop up from his past dysfunctional relations which have manifested themselves in the fear for insecurity both at home and workplace. The psychodynamic clinician would make general usage of free friendship with the client in the hope that he would talk about whichever is in his mind and thereafter get the insight of the lost object or the hints behind the object will surface. Furthermore, the therapist would discuss with the patient the events which might have brought about the loss and endeavor to deduce the events. Such interpretations would provide Martin with a few insights into his self-anger and guilt and unlock his unconscious mind and therefore understand his loss and seemingly how he can handle present and future losses (Comer 2013).









Berzoff, J., Flanagan, L. M., & Hertz, P. (2011). Inside out and outside in: psychodynamic clinical theory and psychopathology in contemporary multicultural contexts (3rd ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc..

Comer, R. J. (2013). Abnormal psychology (8th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.