“The Forgetful Doctor”
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
A 52-year-old male doctor by the name of Michael sought assistance for problems pertaining to his memory. In recent months, Michael has had trouble remembering both complex and simple things. He was unable to remember a grocery list which his wife gave to him over the phone, and he also forgot to go to the grocery store altogether. He also was unable to remember facts from a lecture he attended just last week. He reports that he was unable to maintain his focus on the lecture. After the lecture, he could only remember the main topics and not much of the details regarding those topics. Michael claims that he could also not understand the notes which he took during the lecture.
When ask about his current state of affairs, Michael said that he has been under a great deal of stress lately. There are several changes occurring at his place of employment, and it is quite possible that he may lose his job due to these changes. Being a doctor, it is possible to start his own practice; however, he is unsure of whether or not he will be able to do this at his current age. He also reports that he is experiencing a lot of stress at home. His wife is upset that he has been working a great deal of hours, and she has threatened him with divorce.
During my session with Michael, I was given an adequate amount of information to make an assessment. The first thing I explained to Michael is that the brain is incapable of multi-tasking. When we try to perform many different tasks at once, it appears as if the brain is working on everything at the same time. This is not true since the brain is only capable of working on one issue or problem at any given moment. What appears as multi-tasking is actually the brain switching back and forth between tasks at an extremely fast rate. It is so fast, in fact, that the switching is almost unnoticeable. In addition to that, I...