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Psychology Case Studies Essay

According to the diathesis-stress model there are many things that seem to be able to relate to the anxiety disorder that Winnie has. As for the biological factors some of the issues could have arise from Winnie spending her first three weeks of life in the neonatal intensive care unit where it would be impossible for her to bond with her mom and have the typical bonding experiences that occur with a newborn. Therefore Winnie would have a harder time with feeling security and could have some separation anxiety as part of her biological make up of not being with her parents during those first few weeks for bonding time.

Biologically it could be suggested that since she was having a hard time breathing and having the “blue spells” that her mother talked about there could have also been some brain development or psychological damage from this. As for life experiences being factored into her issues with social anxiety there are many different experiences in her life that could be a part of this. One of these issues could have been the fact that she was not with her parents and in the intensive care unit.

There are different studies and theories as to whether or not this would be considered a biological or a life experience factor in this case, for these purposes it is being left as a biological factor. When Winnie was very young and her mother had the two miscarriages and suffered depression and then suffered some side effects of the medications there would have been strain on Winnie as her mother would not have acted the same as she did prior to these instances.

For a developing child at these ages there are many reasons to believe that this could cause permanent damages for the child’s confidence and ability to feel secure as this is the time when so many developments are taking place. Also the experience of Winnie’s friend moving away could have caused some of the social anxiety and some of the issues with her innate fear that something would happen to her mother when she was not around. These different factors could explain her social anxiety through the Diathesis-stress model. 2.

The separation anxiety disorder can be explained through the behavioral perspective. The explanation would be that there are so many various factors that could affect a child which would have caused her to have these negative learned behaviors. When the mother was depressed and then agitated from the medications the child could have learned to stay quiet and to keep to herself in order to be able to manage her feelings and still have her mother be happy around her. Another explanation on this theory could have been that the mother might have rewarded the child for quiet play.

When the child’s friend suddenly moved away the learned behavior might have been that someone can leave and never return. This would have taught the child to keep her mother close by in order to ensure that her mother would not be leaving and never coming back. Also when the mother gave her more attention for throwing a fit the first time then it would explain how she ended up throwing fits each day as she was hoping to be rewarded by getting that extra time with her mother.

As for her overall separation anxiety and treatment for it, it could be suggested that the child be enrolled in some play therapy where she could discuss her real fears and the sources of her fears with the therapist in order to be able to reassure her that things were okay. Also there could be some indications that the child would also benefit from a very set and scheduled routine and some reassurance from her mother in the form of a reward of some sort.

The reward would be to reinforce positive behaviors for instance if she was able to not throw a fit and if she were able to be okay when her mother left her then she would be able to manage her feelings in some positive manner (Cliff’s Notes Behavioral…). As for the cognitive perspective and the issue of Winnie’s separation anxiety, there are many factors that can be examined in order to explain the problems. The way that this perspective could be applied is through the ways that Winnie is interpreting and looking at things having to do with the separation of her mother.

Since Winnie has spent her primary amount of time with her mother there is reason to believe that some of the problems could have to do with her father not being around her perception on what he is doing when he is not home since he is admittedly thinking about work much of the time when at home. Her perception might be that he is not really there for her and that he is not really able to be there for her on a regular basis. She might have a larger fear from some of the other issues occurring like that if her mother leaves she might not ever see her again after her perception that her friend left and she didn’t see her either.

As for her fear of something happening to her mother while she is gone, there are many reasons to think that her mother could have a hard time without her. It could be questioned as to why she has this fear if something has happened to someone she knows or the content of the television programming that is being watched around her. Some of these things are because there seems to be a lot more to her perceptions and why she is so fearful of losing her mother. Some treatments that might be suggested in this case are family therapy.

There could be a lot gained from Winnie understanding that both of her parents care about her well being and that both of them are dedicated to taking care of her. Some other treatment could be to monitor the family’s television and to not allow Winnie to be in the room when viewing any type of movie dealing with death and also there could be some benefits from Winnie spending some quality time with her father (Garvy and Spoor). The psychodynamic perspective for child development would suggest that the separation anxiety as coming from Winnie’s infancy and her being separated from her parents during her first crucial weeks of life.

This perspective would suggest that Winnie was unable to be without her parents and had such a large fear of being away from them because she was unable to bond with them during the first few weeks of her life and she had to be alone during this time as well. Also the separation of Winnie from her young friend would suggest that there were more issues to this than originally thought as there were many times when Winnie would not have been able to process these thoughts.

Also Winnie’s mother had commented that Winnie did not talk about this friend moving and not having this friend around. This is crucial as there are many reasons to believe that Winnie should have in some way expressed that she was upset about being separated from her friend and that she needed some reassurance which she did not get during this time as she had not asked for it. Through this perspective it is possible to conclude that Winnie would not have understood or known what to ask for in this situation (Van Morgan 2009).


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