How to Write a Psychology Case Study

Written by taylor divico
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How to Write a Psychology Case Study
Case studies provide information about a patient undergoing therapy. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Writing a psychology case study requires examining a patient's background, symptoms, applied theoretical framework, session conversations and the results of therapy. Case studies give insight into the types of problems that a patient is experiencing and the exercises or therapy used to treat the patient over a period of time. A case study concludes with an evidence-based outcome, which details whether or not the patient responded to and benefited from therapy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Therapy session notes

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  1. 1

    Write a description of the patient first. Include gathered information about patient demographics, level of education, family background and occupation.

  2. 2

    Explain the reason the patient is seeking therapy. Describe circumstances of the problem that the patient is experiencing such as occupational struggles, personal stressors, relationship conflicts, the resurfacing of past problems or addiction issues that may be causing or enhancing symptoms.

  3. 3

    Describe physical, mental and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, withdrawal, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, anger, changes in eating habits, argumentative behaviour, sexual dysfunction and hyperactivity.

  4. 4

    Write a depiction of the therapy sessions. Discuss what types of things the patient divulges and talks about and how the person behaves during therapy. Include the emotional state or mood of the person during sessions and when discussing certain topics.

  5. 5

    Describe how the therapist and patient interact. For example, note if the patient answers questions and is forthcoming or is evasive or standoffish and struggles to converse or answer questions openly. Add details about how the communication between therapist and patient has evolved.

  6. 6

    Describe the approach, therapies and exercises that the therapist uses to treat the patient. Discuss the positive or negative results of those therapies on the patient.

  7. 7

    Write a conclusion that describes the effects of the therapies and exercises on the patient. Describe the end result of the therapy sessions regarding the patient's progress or lack of progress.

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