Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Jasmine's Changes through Schema Focused Therapy

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Jasmine's Changes through Schema Focused Therapy

Article excerpt

Jasmine1 is a 31-year-old Caucasian female. When she entered therapy she had been in a four year relationship. She was living with her male significant other and adolescent son. She describes the relationship as being the most stable and secure relationship she has had in her life.

Jasmine came in for therapy as a result of experiencing anxiety at school. Additionally, she had not been able to "relax" when she was at home or at work. Jasmine always felt "keyed up" and did not think it was possible to relax. Jasmine has struggled with anxiety since she was a child. The anxiety stemmed from witnessing domestic violence in her home as a child. Jasmine's father was physically abusive toward her mother and brother. Additionally, from a young age, Jasmine was verbally and emotionally berated and intimidated by her mother. Jasmine's mother interacted with her in angry and demeaning ways. Subsequently, Jasmine has always dealt with anxiety and insecurities, and has never felt valued or safe.

Due to the history of physical abuse, Jasmine's mother took her and her brother and went to a hotel when Jasmine was 10 years old. One week kter they returned to the home. Her father promised to stop hitting her mother and brother. Within one month the violence started again, the police were called, and her father left permanently. However, Jasmine's mother continued to be verbally abusive towards her. At age 11 Jasmine started hanging out with older adolescents. She also started drinking, using drugs, and became sexually active. At age fourteen she became pregnant. When she found out she was pregnant she stopped drinking and using drugs. She also did not want the baby around her mother, so she ran away.

Jasmine survived by lying about her age and working different odd jobs. She was eventually hired to work at a bar. One evening after leaving work, when she was 17 years old, she was sexually assaulted. She never reported the rape, but started drinking and using drugs again. Her drug use resulted in being charged with possession of an illegal substance and she lost custody of her child. Jasmine's mother took care of the child. Jasmine moved back in with her mother and once again stopped drinking and using substances. She also stopped working at the bar.

When Jasmine was 20 years old she obtained custody of her son again. During the three years that she lived with her mother she was, once again, subjected to demeaning verbal comments from her mother. She moved out of her mother's home soon after gaining custody of her child and lived on her own. In her new job she interacted with several prominent men from her town. One of the men she met asked her out, but she declined. He found out where she lived, and went to her home on two different occasions and raped her. After the second assault her attacker threatened to return again if she told anyone.

After the rape Jasmine lived in fear. She was unable to sleep more than two hours a night because she feared her attacker would return and rape her again. When she did sleep, she had dreams about the rape and being harmed again. She continued to work, but she had her mother or brother to drive her to and from work. Her alcohol and substance use increased after the rape, and she was not eating regular meals. Jasmine became extremely depressed and attempted suicide. She was hospitalized for a brief period of time. After she left the hospital she contacted the State Police about the rape. The man was arrested and charged, and just prior to going to trial he committed suicide. Many in the community blamed Jasmine for the death. Jasmine, once again attempted suicide, which she felt was due to the maltreatment she received from those in the community. After being treated and released Jasmine moved away from the town. After leaving her home town, Jasmine came for therapy to deal with the PTSD symptoms and her overall restless feelings.

Treatment Conceptualization with CBT & Schema-Focus Therapy (SFT)

Much has been written about the effectiveness of cognitive interventions for reducing PTSD and anxiety symptomology (Benish, Imel, & Wampold, 2008; Feldner, Monson & Friedman, 2007; Shipherd, Street, & Resick, 2006). …

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