Social Work With Marcus Case Study

Length: 8 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Family and Marriage Type: Case Study Paper: #85257612 Related Topics: Summer Camp, Online Dating, Social Worker, Social Network
Excerpt from Case Study :

¶ … Contact Information

Interviewer Name:

Date of Interview: April 25, 2014

Interview place: Chicago Southside Community Center

Tshe name of tshe individual in question is Miss Johnson, a woman of 40 years of age who went through a divorce six years ago. Miss Johnson lives in a house with sher parents and sher three children. Tshe house is big and spacious and tshe presence of tshe grandparents shelps in offering tshe children anotsher pillar of support and guidance.

Tsheir last known family doctor was Dr. A. Robinson who had a practice located on Main Street.

Miss Johnson's ephone [HIDDEN]

Miss Johnson's Work Number: 773.867.3498

Grandparents's cell phone [HIDDEN] Miss

B. Person, Family and Household, and Community Systems

Miss Johnson describes himself as a single motsher; sshe talks very openly about feeling afraid of going off on sher own and occasionally will avoid eye contact. Miss Johnson appears to work hard at being nurturing presence to sher daughters. Sshe explains that sshe so often puts tsheir needs before sher own it is like second nature to sher. However, in spite of those efforts she generally avoids eye contact, and tshere is a pervasive sense of sadness about him. Tshe divorce appears to have been an extremely traumatic event and something which continues to negatively impact sher quality of life even to this day. Miss Johnson denies that sshe has any shealth issues, but appears to be suffering from tshe signs of PTSD. PTSD refers to a condition that can manifest in an individual who had experienced some sort of traumatic event.

According to tshe Mayo Clinic, "Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within three months of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after tshe event. Tshese symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships" (2014). Tshe manifestations of PTSD generally fall into tshe following categories: painful or intrusive memories, negative thought patterns, or changes in emotional reactions. Miss Johnson appears to have various patterns of avoidance: sshe seems to veer away at times from talking about tshe divorce or from talking about all things connected to this tragic event. This appears to be why sshe so often stays within tshe house, afraid of going outside (aside from work) or from establishing a life of her own. She also demonstrates a range of negative thinking and mood patterns: she generally tends to make pessimistic remarks, such as "I don't like to go outside of my comfort zone" along with other dismissive remarks which to me indicate a strong sense of internal disbelief and a sense of a generally negative outlook. Her statements general provoke the consensus that she might not be able to experience positive emotions. She appears to be experiencing a certain amount of emotional numbness, along with a difficulty in maintaining close relationships. Miss Johnson mentioned that she doesn't feel like she has any friends, explaining that she went on one date once around five years ago and that it was enough for her.

The fear of going out on her own, along with the fear of taking care of finances and the fear of other such common events connected to living are all classic signs and symptoms of PTSD. Miss Johnson is also in danger, as she gets older, of experiencing even more severe depression, as once her children leave the nest, it is likely to be an incredibly traumatic event for her and could cause her to feel even more depressed. Thus, Miss. Johnson needs to work on her fears now, and needs to focus on conquering them so that she is in a stronger and more stable place when her children do eventually leave the house.

2. Family and Household System: See Genogram Below

Based on this very simple genogram, it becomes apparent that there are some highly significant and negative influences in Miss Johnson's life: she has a tremendous amount of lack when it comes to the amount of social support that she receives. Her entire world revolves around her parent's house and her children. This means that there is a tremendous amount of narrowness in her life. In fact, there is a certain amount of arrested development as well. This can be all too common when it comes to a divorce, particularly an unwanted divorce, which it seems like this is. "Few things are worse than the lack of control and emotional pain one feels when a spouse decides to leave a marriage. Questions about why go unanswered. Fears of what the future holds are constant. And the loss of the one you love is unbearably painful. You can go from feeling hopelessness to hopeful and looking forward to life after divorce…" (Meyer, 2013). It appears as though Miss Johnson has never moved on from this stage. Thus, her development in the healing


"To 'move on' after divorce you need to be open to new experiences, new ways of looking at things and new relationships. You have to take an active role in rebuilding your life, not sit and wait for a new life to come to you" (Meyer, 2013). Miss. Johnson has not made any steps forward in this regard, and seems solidly reluctant to do that.

C. Presenting Problems / Issues of Concern In this section

The foundational problem with Miss Johnson is the fear and uncertainty that cripples Miss Johnson and prevents her from moving forward with her life in any concrete or substantial manner. In many ways, Miss. Johnson's fear of dating really acts as a metaphor for her fear of living life outside of her parent's house in general. Miss. Johnson is largely afraid of focusing on herself, in lieu of her failed marriage. "At the core, inaccurate social pricing is a by-product of low self-esteem and other negative self-emotions. 'Fear absolutely devastates some people,' says clinical psychologist Michael S. Broder, Ph.D., a former radio-talk-show host and author of The Art of Living Single. 'It can be the fear of being hurt, rejected or involved, and it can stem from a history of having been hurt or of traumatic relationships. People can be very proficient in other parts of their lives, but the fear of dating can make them stay alone or pine for the relationship they left'" (Anderson, 2011). While it's good that Miss Johnson doesn't have the recklessness that other people have when it comes to dating after divorce, Miss Johnson is crippled by the fear of trying new things. This is so problematic because it prevents her from going forward. She stagnated at a developmental and evolutionary level.

E. Referral Source and Process; Collateral Information

Miss Johnson's mother was the one who strongly suggested that she see a social worker. She can be reached at 773.845.3761.

F. Social History

Miss Johnson admits to never having friends she could trust: not just now, but always. She says that she was teased as a young girl and her divorce no doubt resonated strongly with her internal trust issues. Miss Johnson admits that she went from her parents' home to the home with her husband, to being a stay-at-home mom. Essentially, Miss. Johnson has just gone from one contained environment to another, something which has stunted her social history.

Part of this is no-doubt connected to the fact that Miss. Johnson grew up a somewhat spoiled and coddled child. "First, parents were bankrolling their 20-something children, paying tuition bills for private colleges, globe-trotting adventures and rent after college. Then the 30-something offspring needed down payments, money for their own children's summer camp, cars and school tuition. What next? If their net worth hasn't been devastated by the recession, will these parents who reach their 70s and 80s be subsidizing their children's retirement? True, this largess only applies to a minority of the population, so the effects -- economic, social as well as psychological -- are hard to predict" (NYT, 2009). This excerpt truly sets the foundational stage for the background of Miss Johnson's education and situation. Essentially, she is in a place where she has been taken care of her entire life: first by her parents and then by her husband and then by her parents again. At this point one can argue that her parents are engaging in a certain amount of enabling behavior with her. In certain respects, this is common to her generation: "But never have so many members of the nation's younger generations been so dependent on their parents and grandparents. Should parents set limits, or is this transfer of wealth a social and economic necessity in the long jobless recession? How has this growing dependence changed the country?" (NYT, 2009).

II. Developmental A. You might include a description of a client's developmental history.

Miss Johnson lived a very full childhood that was marked by lots of vacations and quality time with her parents. She never wanted for anything: anything she asked for she was given. She was never encouraged to take…

Sources Used in Documents:


Anderson, D. (2011, June 1). Dating after Divorce. Retrieved from, 2013. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 25 April 2014].
Meyer, C. (2013). Making the Most out of Life After Divorce. Retrieved from
NYTimes. (2009, October 28). The 40-Something Dependent Child. Retrieved from

Cite this Document:

"Social Work With Marcus" (2014, April 25) Retrieved May 23, 2022, from

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"Social Work With Marcus", 25 April 2014, Accessed.23 May. 2022,

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