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Abnormal Psychology Online
Assignment 3: Ben’s Treatment Plan
In the practice of psychology, the ability to create a proper and thorough treatment plan is
crucial. For your final assignment, you will write your own treatment recommendations for our
client Ben. Read over his case notes from the intake summary, and then start to build a plan of
action to best assist the client, without misdiagnosing or overmedicating him. Include a proper
APA cover page. You should title and bold each section of the treatment plan, for the ease of the
reader. Write each section in essay format, avoiding the use of bullet points, except for the
diagnosis section. In your recommendations, you should explore the following areas:
List the client’s name, age, height, weight, orientation, presentation, occupation, and living
Concerns & Problems
Here is where you will list Ben’s symptoms (most pressing/concerning symptoms first), using the
correct clinical language to describe each. Phrase your analysis clinically and factually- “Client
reports/states/experiences/demonstrates XYZ.” Do not use the first person narrative. Not all of
the symptoms may be spelled directly out for you—this task might require a little applied
thinking and review of lecture slides.
Supports & Strengths
List the client’s relevant support systems and personal strengths. They may come in a several
Diagnosis (you may use bullet points in this section to separate each diagnosis)
Primary Clinical Diagnosis (note: can contain more than one diagnosis, the most impactful
Personality Disorders and Intellectual Disability (if applicable)
Medical Problems (allergies included)
Psychosocial Stressors (see Psychosocial form below)
Global Assessment of Functioning (see GAF form below, assign specific number)
This should be the most elaborated section of your plan. Use this section to outline Ben’s best
possible treatment options. Your plan should answer the following questions:
Is medication a recommended option? Why or why not?
If so, which category and type of medication, and specifically which medication, and why?
(Watch out for interactions).
Which theoretical approach/es of psychotherapy are recommended and why?
Which specific techniques and interventions that we learned about should be used, and for which
At what frequency and duration is treatment recommended?
How long, if at all, before a reassessment?
Any other general comments about treatment recommendations and expected outcome also
Your finished product will be a thorough and professional sounding treatment plan,
approximately 3 pages (not including cover page), double-spaced, in Times New Roman font
size 12, with correct diagnoses, strong clinical recommendations and rationale, good
organization, and no spelling or grammatical errors. Oversights in details may result in harm
coming to the client, so attention to detail is absolutely imperative. The assignment should start
with a proper APA cover page, and each section must be thoroughly addressed, with that section
titled and bolded. This treatment plan is worth 10 points of your final grade, and should be
submitted on Blackboard, attached as a Word or pdf document only.
Ben’s Intake Summary
Ben Wilson is a 22-year-old Caucasian male, presenting at 5”9 and 176 lbs. He is fully
oriented x3 (knows name, location, date). His hygiene is good. He resides in a private house with
his father and older sister. Ben reports that his family (father and sister) gets along well, but they
struggle a bit to pay their bills each month, which causes tension and concern. Client reports this
has been ongoing. Ben reports he would like to address his “freaking out all the time,” which he
describes as feeling of anxiety (but not panic) with no discernible trigger or cause. Ben states he
would like to learn how to control his “constant worrying.”
He has recently moved home after graduating from college with a degree in computer
science six months ago. Ben works as an administrative assistant at a vet’s office to generate
income, as he has been unable to find a job in his field. He stated he believes that he is “basically
worthless and unemployable—no one in my field wants to hire me.” When prompted, he states
he did not believe the economy is a factor in his difficulty finding computer-related work.
Ben seeks clinical assistance today, at the request of his father, because he reports that the
cats at the vet’s office have been telling him “secrets.” He reports that they whisper things to him
when no one else is the room. When prompted, Ben was unwilling to share these secrets in the
interview, because IRS agents were “watching him” to collect on his student loans. He was not
consoled by the suggestion that IRS agents do not collect student loans. Ben stated, “They’re
here– you’ll see, when I flee, they’re looking for me,” demonstrating an unusual speech pattern.
Ben reports he does have some close friends from college that he sees from time to time,
but they do not know about the cats. They have noticed, however, a change in his behavior and
have expressed concern for his well-being. Ben does not have a girlfriend currently, but has
dated in the past. He stated he would one day like to marry and start a family.
Client is allergic to Penicillin. Ben takes 2mg Lozol per day for his high blood pressure, and a
Psychosocial and Environmental Problems
Psychosocial and environmental problems may affect the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis
of mental disorders. A psychosocial or environmental problem may be a negative life event,
an environmental difficulty or deficiency, a familial or other interpersonal stress, an
inadequacy of social support or personal resources, or other problem relating to the context in
which a person’s difficulties have developed. So-called positive stressors, such as job
promotion, should be listed only if they constitute or lead to a problem, as when a person has
difficulty adapting to the new situation. In addition to playing a role in the initiation or
exacerbation of a mental disorder, psychosocial problems may also develop as a consequence
of a person’s psychopathology or may constitute problems that should be considered in the
overall management plan.
When an individual has multiple psychosocial or environmental problems, the clinician may
note as many as are judged to be relevant. In general, the clinician should note only those
psychosocial and environmental problems that have been present during the year
preceding the current evaluation. However, the clinician may choose to note psychosocial
and environmental problems occurring prior to the previous year if these clearly contribute to
the mental disorder or have become a focus of treatment-for example, previous combat
experiences leading to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
For convenience, the problems are grouped together in the following categories:
Problems with primary support group – e.g., death of a family member; health problems
in family; disruption of family by separation, divorce, or estrangement; removal from the
home; remarriage of parent; sexual or physical abuse; parental overprotection; neglect of
child; inadequate discipline; discord with siblings; birth of a sibling
Problems related to the social environment- e.g., death or loss of friend; inadequate
social support; living alone; difficulty with acculturation; discrimination; adjustment to
life-cycle transition (such as retirement)
Educational problems – e.g., illiteracy; academic problems; discord with teachers or
classmates; inadequate school environment
Occupational problems – e.g., unemployment; threat of job loss; stressful work schedule;
difficult work conditions; job dissatisfaction; job change; discord with boss or co-workers
Housing problems – e.g., homelessness; inadequate housing; unsafe neighborhood;
discord with neighbors or landlord
Economic problems – e.g., extreme poverty; inadequate finances; insufficient welfare
Problems with access to health care services – e.g., inadequate health care services;
transportation to health care facilities unavailable; inadequate health insurance
Problems related to interaction with the legal system/crime – e.g., arrest; incarceration;
litigation; victim of crime
Other psychosocial and environmental problems – e.g., exposure to disasters, war, other
hostilities; discord with nonfamily caregivers such as counselor, social worker, or
physician; unavailability of social service agencies.
Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF)
91 – 100 Superior functioning in a wide range of activities, life’s problems never seem to get out of hand, is
sought out by others because of his or her many positive qualities. No symptoms.
81 – 90 Absent or minimal symptoms (e.g., mild anxiety before an exam), good functioning in all areas,
interested and involved in a wide range of activities, socially effective, generally satisfied with life, no
more than everyday problems or concerns (e.g., an occasional argument with family members).
71 – 80 If symptoms are present, they are transient and expectable reactions to psychosocial stressors (e.g.,
difficulty concentrating after family argument); no more than slight impairment in social, occupational, or
school functioning (e.g., temporarily falling behind in schoolwork).
61 – 70 Some mild symptoms (e.g., depressed mood and mild insomnia) OR some difficulty in social,
occupational, or school functioning (e.g., occasional truancy, or theft within the household), but generally
functioning pretty well, has some meaningful interpersonal relationships.
51 – 60 Moderate symptoms (e.g., flat affect and circumstantial speech, occasional panic attacks) OR
moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., few friends, conflicts with peers or
41 – 50 Serious symptoms (e.g., suicidal ideation, severe obsessional rituals, frequent shoplifting) OR any
serious impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., no friends, unable to keep a job).
31 – 40 Some impairment in reality testing or communication (e.g., speech is at times illogical, obscure, or
irrelevant) OR major impairment in several areas, such as work or school, family relations, judgment,
thinking, or mood (e.g., depressed man avoids friends, neglects family, and is unable to work; child
frequently beats up younger children, is defiant at home, and is failing at school).
21 – 30 Behavior is considerably influenced by delusions or hallucinations OR serious impairment, in
communication or judgment (e.g., sometimes incoherent, acts grossly inappropriately, suicidal
preoccupation) OR inability to function in almost all areas (e.g., stays in bed all day, no job, home, or
11 – 20 Some danger of hurting self or others (e.g., suicide attempts without clear expectation of death;
frequently violent; manic excitement) OR occasionally fails to maintain minimal personal hygiene (e.g.,
smears feces) OR gross impairment in communication (e.g., largely incoherent or mute).
1 – 10 Persistent danger of severely hurting self or others (e.g., recurrent violence) OR persistent inability
to maintain minimal personal hygiene OR serious suicidal act with clear expectation of death.