Case Study 1
Marie is 17 years of age and has a steady boyfriend. She would like the relationship to become more serious but is worried if she expresses her feelings to her boyfriend that he might become intimidated by the increased commitment and in turn decide to leave her.
According to Levinson, Marie is in Early Adult Transition(age 17-22) stage of adult development, as she is leaving adolescence, making preliminary choices for adult life. One of the principal tasks of this stage is to modify or terminate relationships with family and significant others by changing the nature of the relationship between self and others, such as love and family relationships(Smith, 1999). One of the behaviours is questioning their places in the world and their relationships with important people and groups. Marie wants to have more commitment and intimate relationships with her boyfriend who is her important people at this moment.
Based on Erikson’s theory, Marie is facing Identity vs. Role Confusion conflict. Although she wants to become more intimidated towards her boyfriend, Erikson(1968) proposed that adolescent love is separate from true intimacy because it is merely an attempt to define one’s identity by projecting their self-image on to another. True intimacy, according to Erikson, is defined as a fusing of identities that stimulates a harmonic relationship between these identities, while simultaneously retaining each person’s individuality. The Identity vs. role confusion can have numerous levels of intimate connections.
Marie may be confronting issues of relationship anxiety and depression as she recognises the differences they have with their quality worlds. She is afraid of losing a love relationship with her boyfriend if she expresses her needs.
The main counselling issue: Marie’s anxiety and depression about the relationship with her boyfriend.
A possible counselling approach: Reality Therapy
It looks like Marie and...