Behavior Therapy

Read the summary for Mary A, then answer the following questions using behavior therapy. Your answers should be a minimum of one paragraph per question.
Behavior therapist – Edward L. Thorndyke, John Watson, Joseph Wolpe, B.F. Skinner

1.What are the goals for counseling with Mary from this particular theoretical approach? For example, if counseling is successful from this approach, what might be different for Mary?
2.What would be the role of the counselor and the role for Mary from this particular theoretical approach?
3.What interventions/ techniques/ procedures (associated with this particular theoretical approach) might be helpful for Mary, i.e. what could the counselor do with Mary?
4.Briefly state why this theoretical approach could be appropriate for Mary and describe how comfortable would you feel working with Mary from this theoretical approach.

Mary A. is a 35 year old separated mother of four children, ages 2, 6, 8, 11, who all live with her. She is in a lengthy and emotional court battle over her request for a divorce. Her husband is suing for custody of her children. She states that he has a drinking problem and at times has been violent, but neither has been reported. She has a high school education, but because her husband has been financially successful, she has not been meaningfully employed since the birth of her first child. She comes to you complaining of anxiety and depression. She sleeps 2 4 hours per night and wakes up tired. She repeatedly dreams she is falling down a large hole in the ground, but she never hits the bottom. She wakes up in a cold sweat and cannot go back to sleep. Her food intake, consisting mainly of junk food, has greatly increased and she has gained 10 pounds in the last two months. She seldom ventures outside of the house, which is kept dark all of the time. She is becoming short tempered with her children. She reports feelings of guilt because divorce is not the right thing to do. She states she is not contemplating suicide, but she is beginning to feel hopeless and helpless. She is lonely, isolated, and reports an increasing desire to be loved by someone who understands and cares. Her primary care physician has prescribed a reasonable antidepressant, and she has been taking these as prescribed for about a month. Marys social history indicates that she is the 4th of 5 children in what appears to be a generally healthy and functioning family. She is very close to her mother, but quite distant from her father whose love she questions. She reports a vague history of seeing a counselor a long time ago, but does not elaborate. She refused to respond to questions about any history of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Her opening statement to you is, I want to feel better about myself as a person and get my life back.


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