27 May 2022


Cognitive-Behavioural Case Study

Format: APA

Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Case Study

Words: 948

Pages: 3

Downloads: 0

In the case study of discussion, there is a young man known as David who is involved in an altercation with a student from where he is a teacher. The student claims that David was threatening and therefore began to fight him. David was beaten up, and since the incident, he was never the same again. David became socially shy and avoided situations where he had to mingle with people. Most of the time he kept to himself and when he went home avoiding people is what he did often. The school decided to give him a medical leave due to his situation that seemed to have significantly affected him. There is the perspective in that his behavior can be connected to a cognitive approach. Cognitive approach is one used famously in psychology currently where the theory emphasizes that thought can affect behavior (Beck, 2011). 

In the case of the discussion above David is seen to be the last born in a family of three children. He has grown up watching the siblings fight for attention, and that did not seem appealing to him hence his calm nature. David is not known to talk a lot, and he always prefers burying himself in reading rather than socializing. According to the cognitive theory of perspective, it is evident to see that David has always had the thought of preferring to be less competitive and therefore in the case of the student he could not defend himself. To him, peace is attained by avoiding any altercation, and therefore his thought leads to the action of being helpless in the situation of the student. He prefers hurting in pain rather than repaying to the student what he did to him. The cognitive approach also emphasizes the fact that behavior is impacted significantly by many external factors. It may be through thoughts or situations surrounding someone (Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock & ERBAUGH, 1961). 

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David, in this case, is seen to have grown up in a family that was very competitive with the siblings. They were all competing for attention and therefore the moment he realized that he preferred to program himself in being less competitive. Once one is less competitive, they focus their life on learning how not to compete with others, and this makes them vulnerable to bullies. David is seen to be bullied by a student who tries to blame it on him claiming that he was a threat. The fact that his thoughts were always inclined to the fact that competition and confrontation with people are wrong led to his actions of not fighting with the student. He was affected psychologically which damaged his social life giving him more reason to become a loner and avoid socializing. The claims that he seemed threatening led him to fear the way people perceive him and how they would react. All this resulted in the thoughts that he may not be as appealing to individuals and resulted in fear which eventually resulted in him socially detach from the social realm (Driessen & Hollon, 2010). 

To make the situation better for David, certain aspects need to be put in order. There is an intervention that can be used to (or “intending to”) helping David become better psychologically. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a method used to treat patients who are faced with various mental problems. It mainly focuses on cognition which is how one thinks, an emotion which is how one feels and behavior which is how one acts. It shows that with an interaction of all aspects a common result is achieved (National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, 2010). The one thinks affects their emotion which in the end affects the way one acts. In the case of David, he is faced with a situation of competition when he is young that leads him to be quiet and careful. Because his siblings were competitive, he felt the need to be quiet and careful which in turn make him avoid confronting the student who attacked him (Hofmann, Asnaani, Vonk, Sawyer & Fang, 2012). 

The incident makes him scared, and he becomes socially detached. To change the situation, the cognitive behavior theory can be used. The therapy aims to help the patient understand the situation in which one is and try to change the negative perspective in which they interpret situations. Once a person’s thinking is changed, they can begin to have positive thoughts that give them the courage to face the different situations that they face. David, in this case, will start to change his idea of certain conditions and will start to see himself as appealing, therefore, caring less of what people think of him. Once that perspective is changed, it will change his distress emotion which is depicted because he was attacked by the student who found him threatening (Johnstone & Dallos, 2006). 

Once he feels comfortable with himself, he will be able to face any situation that comes his way and therefore has the courage to interact with people and therefore restoring his social life. The therapy acts as an umbrella of many other therapies that may share the same elements. Once one can relate to the positive side of their emotion their actions, then become confident, and the distress that they feel begins to disappear (Martin, Volkmar, & Lewis, 2007). 

David’s distress is from the attack that occurred in the school compound where the student claimed that David seemed threatening to him. Such a perspective made him feel like he was not appealing to people, therefore, leading to him being a loner. To change that view, the therapy will change that thought which in turn will change his emotion than his action. The therapy’s advantage is that it works efficiently, therefore, becoming permanent. There is also a limitation of the treatment in that; it may take long to change one's thought of themselves (Meuret, Wolitzky-Taylor, Twohig & Craske, 2012). 


Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond . Guilford Press. 

Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & ERBAUGH, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of general psychiatry , 4 (6), 561-571. 

Driessen, E., & Hollon, S. D. (2010). Cognitive behavioral therapy for mood disorders: efficacy, moderators and mediators. Psychiatric Clinics of North America , 33 (3), 537-555. 

Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive therapy and research , 36 (5), 427-440. 

Johnstone, L., & Dallos, R. (2006). Introduction to formulation. Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: Making sense of people’s problems , 1-16. 

Martin, A., Volkmar, F. R., & Lewis, M. (Eds.). (2007). Lewis's child and adolescent psychiatry: a comprehensive textbook . Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 

Meuret, A. E., Wolitzky-Taylor, K. B., Twohig, M. P., & Craske, M. G. (2012). Coping skills and exposure therapy in panic disorder and agoraphobia: latest advances and future directions. Behavior therapy , 43 (2), 271-284. 

National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK. (2010). Depression: the treatment and management of depression in adults (updated edition). British Psychological Society. 

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