Case Study: Relationship Issues With Father

4 minutes

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

  • Age: 17
  • Gender: Female
  • Education: 12th student
  • Presenting Problem: “I have a very strict family environment. They are caring but at the same time there is less freedom”

Brief History Of The Presenting Problem: Counsellor’s Initial Assessment


The client presented the above issue and shared that there are too many restrictions at home. She had a close relationship with her father but things changed. The reason being her relationship that her parents didn’t approve of at this young age. The loss of the relationship with her boyfriend did not seem to bother her but what bothered her was the trust that her father lost in her. The friendly relationship with her father took a 360 degree turn and now he doesn’t even talk to her properly. The father has now started doubting her and has become strict.

The client realises that she has done wrong and feels embarrassed. She wants to mend it and has been trying to do so by following all the rules put on her. But this seems to suffocate her leading to a lot of negative thinking like “I have lost everything”, “Once a mark, it never goes”. She also mentioned about this new boy, her cousin who she really likes.

All her relatives know about them except the client’s parents. This has also affected her studies as she keeps thinking about this new boy and is unable to study well. Now the client is in a state of conflict where she really likes this boy and even the boy likes her, but at the same time does not want to disappoint her parents.

Relationship With Family


The client belongs to a nuclear family of 5 members: father, mother and her two younger brothers. She is the first born in the family. Her relationship with her father has always been very close, caring and of respect. According to the client she is not very close to her mother and does not share much with her. According to the client her father considers her to be one who can never do anything wrong and always praises her.

Assessment: Counsellor’s Understanding


The client feels guilty as her father had expected a lot from her and she feels that the trust is now broken and can never be mended. The praises from her father were her strength. Now since he lost faith in her, she feels broken and is hard for her to fix it by herself.

After her father, the client gets the love, protection and praise from her new boyfriend and therefore seems to hold on to him. The client mistakes ‘pity’ with love and is in the present relationship with the cousin so that the boy does not harm himself and also as she sees the father figure in him.

Counselling Intervention: How Counselling Helped Her


The client seems to exhibit a lot of uncertainty and doubts about self therefore the counsellor initially focused a lot on Carl Rogers’ client centered therapy and offered unconditional positive regard and empathy. In this process the counsellor focused on bringing out her positive assets and feed her with the good things that she has done. The focus of the therapy was to work on her negative thoughts and to rebuild the relationship with her father, making the client aware that her father still loves her. The therapy then focused on expression and communicating with the father.

Outcome Of Counselling


The therapy worked for the client and made her more confident about herself. Half way in the journey she was able to accept herself and had faith that things can be settled. She was able to communicate to her father and was able to tell him that she misses him.

Although the father was not very open to accepting it, but, later he did open up. Her father started talking to her initially which intern reduced her self pity and negative thinking process.

Swekriti Bhatnagar

Swekriti Bhatnagar is your special friend from YourDOST team. She is a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Christ University. She is experienced in dealing with adolescent and relationship related issues. She believes in the power of communication and that everyone has the ability to change. Through YourDOST she wants to help people vent out their worries and wishes to make a difference in the lives of people