Case Study: A Successful Single Woman

5 minutes

IN BRIEF:This is a Case Study of a working woman with persisting relationship issues in day-to-day life. This case study has been broken down to make it easier to understand about how a counsellor communicates, analyses, charts solutions to solve the issues at hand.

  • Age – 26
  • Gender – Female
  • Work – Project manager at a multinational corporate firm, managing a team of 12 members.
  • Health – Prone to infections and minor diseases. Frequent visits to doctors.
  • Drugs And Alcohol Use – None
  • Relationships – Single child. Working Parents.


Client’s Relationship Status


  • With Mother – Shares a good rapport with her mother. Believes she can share everything with mother without any hesitation. Depends on mother for basic needs.
  • With Father – Volatile relationship with father, fights with him 1-2 times every week. Believes father has been very demanding and disciplining since childhood. Feels he restricts her freedom and thus now she rebels.
  • With Extended Family – There is no extended family in the same state. Cordial relationship but no active involvement with any members in the extended family.
  • With Friends – Makes and maintains friendships very easily. She is known to go out of her way to help and protect her friends. Can take fights and risks for sake of her close friends. Due to this nature, her friends stand by her through thick and thin as well.
  • With Colleagues – Good working relationships with boss and colleagues. Despite some careless mistakes sometimes, she is accepted and regarded as a performer at work.
  • Romantic Relationships – She has been in 2 relationships so far. The first one started when she was 18 and lasted for 5 years. They broke up on mutual understanding. She believes she was too naive for a mature relationship at that time. Been in current relationship since 3 years, after being pursued by the boy. Her parents know about the relationship and they have been involved in mending the relationship during rough times. Regular fights began with her boy friend within 6 months of relationship. The girl being outgoing, the boy has been possessive about her and has doubted her character also, owing to which she and her parents have both decided this may not be the right relationship for her. Current relationship status – client broke up 6 weeks ago (out of overreaction), and the boyfriend has been maintaining the break up from his end.


Mental Status Of The Client


  • Mood – Low and teary due to the recent break up. Mood is mostly euthymic. (normal mood, clinical depression not seen)
  • Affect – Appropriate to the circumstances.

Reason For Referral & Description of the Presenting Complaint

Her father had been in therapy with the therapist already. He brought the daughter for counseling when he saw she was unable to handle her break up, to which the client readily agreed.

  • The client has been having constant bouts of crying following the break up with her boy friend 6 weeks ago.
  • She has been able to attend work, but has become socially reclusive off late.
  • She cannot sleep well.
  • Ruminating and emotional most of the times.


Case Analysis From The Counsellor


  • Low and mildly depressed mood due to recent break-up. The client requires only support and empathy at present.
  • The following reasons can be her contribution to the troubled relationship with her boyfriend
  • The client has a strong sense of self-righteousness, to the point of an aggressive attitude, which sometimes can cause her to misinterpret others. This inclination to protect herself and her loved ones from others seems to have developed as part of tending for herself in childhood, given that both her parents were working and had limited time for her.
  • Can be over-reactive in her interactions. She guards her personal space and boundary very closely, and does not like it if someone crosses that boundary.
  • A sense of rescue fantasy (an absoluteness about “I know better”, which translates into protecting others. This tendency causes her to miss out on seeing strength in others.)


Goals Of Counselling & The Counsellor’s Approach

Supportive Counselling – to help the client deal with immediate situation and resulting emotions of grief and loss, and not feel the pressure to take a decision about the relationship immediately.

Insight Oriented Therapy – If the client chooses to continue being in counselling beyond the immediate situation, she can be helped to explore how her nature must have made a loop of circular causation in her relationship problems.

Client Centered Approach – empathetic statements, probing into client’s relationship details and her feelings, reflection of feelings and other humanitarian methods to help client feel calmer.

The Outcome


  • The client’s crying bouts have gone down considerably.
  • She is willing to look at possible insights into her constant health concerns as potentially psychosomatic in nature.
  • She is also engaging into exploring how her anger could be part of the problem in her relationships, first with the father, and then with her boyfriend.

Shruti Singhal

Shruti is your special friend from Your D.O.S.T team. She is a practicing psychotherapist with 11 years of experience in the field of clinical psychology. She has worked with clients of different age groups, dealing with a wide variety of psycho-social & life adjustment problems that people face in everyday lives. Shruti believes that if we learn the skill to master our emotions, then we would all have that immense mind power to create a successful life of love, joy and purpose. It is her lifelong passion & pursuit to develop and help develop this skill. Through Your DOST, she would like to touch minds and souls to make a positive difference in their lives