Theoretical Orientation using Gestalt Therapy

 Melinda is a 16-year-old White female from a high school. The teacher states that Melinda presents as highly anxious. She often complains she is stressed out about school and also has demonstrated frequent checking behaviors (e.g., checks to make sure she has her books, the door is locked to her home). Melinda also has a history of no positive relationships with kids her age. She will often eat lunch alone and keeps to herself throughout the day. Melinda is in a special resource class and, overall, has not done well academically. She has articulated interest in math and has earned good grades in math classes. Melinda is also musically inclined. Although she has not been able to participate in band since she can’t afford an instrument, she has been in choir and seems to have taught herself the piano. Melinda’s parents have been mostly resistant to responding to the school counselor regarding Melinda. Both parents work at a truck stop off the highway and have stated that they are too busy to meet with teachers or the counselor. Melinda’s mother did come to school for a team meeting with the teacher, principal, and school counselor. She said that she and her husband come from good German stock and know the value of work. She added, “Neil couldn’t come. It is crazy at work and he doesn’t believe in this crap anyway.” Her mom had a laundry list of complaints about Melinda (e.g., didn’t do chores, was sulky). Near the end of the session, her mom softened a bit and expressed concern for Melinda and interest in her wellbeing.

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