Case Study – Jennifer

            Several physical and physiological factors may be the cause of Jennifer’s problems. First, the history of depression in her family may be the reason for her current state. Secondly, being overweight is a major concern for her as it reduces her self-esteem. Additionally, the fact that she went on the diet at an early age could be the cause of her problems as this may cause insufficiency of energy and nutrients in the body.

Social and cultural factors may also be contributing to the problems that Jennifer is facing. First, her weight problem has made her retreat socially meaning that she has little or no social contact with other people. Additionally, the society’s negative perception of people who are overweight may be affecting her. It is important to understand how Jennifer concluded that she is fat and ugly. Comments from relatives, friends and classmates may be the cause of all the problems. The cultural factor that may have contributed to the problems is the strict nature of the Jewish people. Her parents may have enforced certain rules in the home thus stressing Jennifer.

Child centered play therapy (CCPT) is an approach designed by Carl Rogers, to help children with psychological and physical problems (Prout & Brown, 2007). The therapist gives the child freedom to choose what activities to engage in and through these experiences, the therapist can understand and help the child’s problems. This approach can be helpful for Jennifer as it gives her the freedom to express herself freely. Additionally, she will be able to find ways of dealing with her problems permanently.

The use of games is important especially for child therapy programs. It gives the children an avenue of relieving stress and expressing their problems to the therapists. In Jennifer’s case, this would help her socially as she can relate with other children during these sessions. Additionally, games will help relieve the stress and help her sleep better.

Art therapy consists of the use of paints, chalks, paper and other art materials as a mode of expression for people suffering from different problems (Kazdin, 1988). The therapist focuses on directing patients on how to recreate their feelings using art. In Jennifer’s case, art therapy can help her communicate her feelings better. Additionally, she can discover hidden talents thus improving her lifestyle.

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to initiate and develop behavior change in different patients (Prout & Brown, 2007). Hypnotherapist put the patients’ nervous system to rest while they engage in therapy sessions. Jennifer’s weight problem must have been caused by overeating. Hypnotherapy can help her tame this habit and focus on activities, which are more helpful.

Filial family therapy is a varied form of therapy where the parents are involved in the therapy program for the child (Kazdin, 1988). It also involves play therapy for the parents and the child. Through filial family therapy, parents are able to understand their children better. In Jennifer’s case, filial therapy may not be applicable as there are no signs of a strained relationship between them. Additionally, Jennifer needs to get outside help as the parents have tried unsuccessfully.


Play therapist:  They must hold a master’s degree in mental health from a recognized institution. Two years prior clinical experience is also required. Additionally, they must hold active licenses from the state allowing them to practice in mental health (Association of play therapy, 2010).

Art therapist: Masters degree in art therapy. Accreditation and registration by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB). A successful completion of the national ATR-BC examination.

Hypnotherapist: A Diploma or certificate course in hypnosis from the Association of Pure Hypnoanalysts (IAPH). Registration with the National Guild of Hypnotists (National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists, 2010).

Filial therapist: Masters degree in mental health with specifications in play therapy. Registration as a child-centered play therapist is applicable for this section as well.

Response to Denise’s post:

I agree with Denise that Jennifer may be affected by her genetic pre-disposition to depression. The family has a history of depression and it may be the reason for the recurrent problem. Additionally, Jennifer requires a thorough medical examination to determine whether she is medically fir or not. This will help administer the correct kind of therapy. It is also important to note that Denise recognizes child-centered play and filial therapy as probable therapists for Jennifer. However, this post does not comment on how art and hypnotherapy can be helpful to Jennifer.

Response to Fatimah’s post:

By recognizing that Jennifer’s weight problem is a major contributing factor to the problems, Fatimah comes up with one of the physical factors related to this problem. The family’s history of depression is a common factor in these posts making it one of the most probable reasons for Jennifer’s problems. Additionally, I agree with Fatimah that the media’s portrayal of over weight people in the Western society could be a major factor for Jennifer’s low self-esteem. The post’s different analysis of the different kinds of therapy is both informative and accurate. Fatimah analyzes how each therapy could be used to help Jennifer. I totally agree with her that filial therapy is not an efficient means of helping Jennifer deal with her problems.




Association of play therapy. (2010). Guide to Registered Play Therapist Credentialing Program (n.d). Retrieved on November 22nd, 2010 from

Kazdin, A. E. (1988). Child psychotherapy: Developing and identifying effective treatments. Pergamon general psychology series, 152. New York, NY: Pergamon Press.

National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists. (2010). Certification Requirements. Retrieved November 21, 2010 from

Prout, T. H., & Brown, D. T. (2007). Counseling and psychotherapy with children and adolescents: theory and practice for school and clinical settings. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.











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