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Please select ONE case and provide an analysis.

Josie: An Interdisciplinary Case Study of Madness

Go to      Type “Josie” in the Keyword Box and download the case

This case study is divided into 6 parts.  After each part there are a series of questions.   Jot down your initial impressions after each part.

Then, answer the following questions and discuss the case with your classmates.

1.  Tell the class a brief history of this case.

2.  Discuss the presenting problem, i.e., in the beginning did you think Josie was physically or mentally ill?  How or why did your thoughts change?

3. What kind of treatment strategy would you recommend? Mention theoretical perspectives, or interventions/techniques and prognosis.

Other considerations (answer at least two of the following)

4. Do you think that Josie’s behavior or appearance influenced the care she received?  Why?  How did this impact her case?

5.  What questions still remain?  What other information would help you decide what is wrong with Josie?

6. With respect to the general public, how has the treatment of the mentally ill changed over time?

7.  Do you think that medical professionals are sufficiently trained to differentiate medical from psychological illness?  Why or why not?  Can you give us an example of another illness which presents as a psychological concern but is chemically based?


Artificial Sanity

Please go to the following case:

1. Discuss some accepted models of mental illness, i.e., psychological, biological, behavioral.  How do these differ?  What assumptions are being made?

2.  How do these different models influence the treatment of people with mental disorders?

3.  Tell the class the history of the present case.   What does “right to treatment” entail for Singleton?  Does Singleton have schizophrenia in your opinion?

4.  What are the assumptions about mental illness held by Singleton’s lawyer and the prosecutor?  Support your answer with direct quotes from each lawyer.

5.  Each lawyer appears to believe in a different model of mental illness.  What model is each lawyer using to support his/her argument about how Singleton should be treated?

6.  What is artificial sanity?  Argue your own side of the case.


Sins of the Mother

Read the attached article.  Then answer at least 4 of the following questions.


  1. Susan violated what most people consider our most sacred trust when she killed her children. How could she have done it? Develop a profile of a woman who might kill her own children. Online, find the FBI’s profile of women who kill their own children. Compare your profile with the FBI’s profile.
  2. Discuss potential effects that sexual abuse can have on a young woman. How might Susan’s experiences with her stepfather have affected her behavior?
  3. Discuss possible pressures on a young couple that marries in their teens, especially under the circumstances of David and Susan’s marriage.
  4. Identify nonverbal cues that Susan gave. Discuss how it is possible to tell if someone if lying from nonverbal behavior. What information does the use of the polygraph supply?
  5. Speculate on why Susan might have done what she did. Include speculations about her marriage as well as her own childhood and adolescence.
  6. Susan wanted relief from loneliness and the problems in her life. She wanted to commit suicide but did not want her sons to suffer as she had after her father’s suicide. She believed that if she killed her sons first and then committed suicide, her sons would suffer less than if she left them on their own. She felt burdened and was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a single mother. What role might depression have played in her actions?
  7. Classify Susan according to the DSM IV-TR categories. What would the upcoming DSM V say?
  8. Why didn’t her attorneys use the mental illness defense?


Gender Reassignment: The Case of a Boy Who Became a Girl

Read the attached case. For the discussion, focus on these questions:


Gender Reassignment

1. Some people have argued that the Johns Hopkins psychologist used this opportunity as an experiment to test
his nurture theory of gender identity. What are the expected results of this experiment, assuming that the
nurture theory is valid?
2. According to the nurture theory, predict the gender identity Bruce would express if he were not subjected to
gender re-assignment surgery and raised as a boy?
3.In light of this newer research on gender identity, what advice would you give parents who are considering
gender re-assignment of a male infant who lacks a penis, but has functional testicles?

Since this is the professional cluster, also comment on the therapist behavior.




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