Some time or other, in the study of Psychology or any mental health-related subject students are required to write a case study. There is no specific definition of a case study. According to the article under the title “What is a case study?” in Evidence-Based Nursing, it can be described as a profound, systematic investigation of a single individual, group, community during which a researcher is supposed to examine data relating to several variable factors.
As for a mental health case study, it examines an individual’s background (i.e. behavioral patterns, health conditions, and previous mental issues, etc.) and extrapolates results from any of these to predict possible future occurrences. It exposes students to real life situations, improves their critical and analytical thinking, and simplifies complex contexts in the subject.
In writing a mental health case study, there are certain steps that have to be adhered to. In constructing a mental case study, you should:
● Define Participants
The first approach towards writing a mental health case study is to select participants that you will interview for your case study.
Think of those who could serve as good examples in your mental health case study. You have to determine if you will interview an individual or group of individuals. If you look at the mental health case study samples from the Nottingham Community Housing Association, you’ll see there is one participant in each case study. Conducting personal interviews, you can focus better on a personal subject matter or medical issue.
Collect the information about the participant’s background, occupation, medical history, educational qualifications, place of residence and so on. The detailed data allow you to announce significant findings in a case study.
● Write the Essence of Counseling
The next step to take is to document why the participant needs counseling – what problem he or she wants to address to, how it started, the cause. It is also pertinent to document the effectiveness of the previous treatment how it was provided to the participant. Your participant(s) should know the essence of the interview. Make the questions precise and concise.
● Record the Participant’s Symptoms
The third step is to describe accurately the symptoms that are associated with the participant’s mental problem. Write down if he or she maintains eye contact, is depressed, sensitive, quick-tempered, obsessive, confused, aggressive during an interview.
● Create a Case Study with the Data Derived
After you get information from interviewing a participant or group of participants, you have to write your case study with the data collected. The case study should contain 4 sections, which are an introduction, background information, presentation of data and conclusion.
1. A Case History Study
This section presents a detailed record of a participant’s background, the grounds for mental disorders that a researcher studies. Don’t forget to include in your mental health study:
Background information. Include information about the participant’s background that serves as a ground for your case study. It is better to present the factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, social relationships. You can record your participant if he or she doesn’t mind. For example, at the site of the University of Birmingham you’ll find short films that present a case study of different mental health situations. It surely helps your own case study to be persuasive.
Description of the problem. Formulate the problem in one or two sentences that you’re going to solve while writing a mental health case study. The behavioural, mental, physical, physiological, psychiatric, psychological symptoms should be described as well. Note your participant’s thoughts, feelings and emotions in detail.
After you thoroughly study a particular mental health case, give an appropriate diagnosis by means of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. DSM–5 is a shortened title for a manual that is used by psychiatrists in all aspects of mental health. Provide the diagnostic criteria with the help of which you establish a diagnosis.
2. A Case Study Problem Solution
In this section you’re supposed to focus on possible solutions based on theoretical approaches and your own observation.
Theoretical approaches to the solution. Describe how clinicians view any given participant’s mental health issue. There is a mental health library in which you can find various types of treatment approaches. Moreover, it provides you with the essential information about a therapy, its major theorists, and related articles. For example, one of the most frequently used approaches is a cognitive-behavioral therapy. Welcome to the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy where clinical psychologists and psychotherapists offer the highest quality cognitive-behavioral treatment for depression, anxiety, phobias and many other mental health problems.
Description of your own findings with the discussion of their implications. Mention what you learned in your interviews about the research problem in the form of percentages or bullet points. Explain the value of your case study findings and how they influence an existing mental health problem. For example, you can reveal hidden issues for an addictive behavior that could prevent such a mental health problem as drug abuse. Focus on the points that would contribute to reducing the chance of suffering from mental health issues.
3. A Case Study Conclusion
This section is an inevitable part of any research paper, including case study, where you need to sum up your conclusion in a clear, simple manner. Do not try to simply reiterate two previous sections. Just choose the key findings that highlight the significance of your research problem. Depending on your professor’s requirements, you can include the limitations of your case study. For example, a mental health case study deals with the social isolation among teenagers. It means that the findings from this case study has limited application among the other social groups. As a result, the given issue needs a further research.
If you get the information from external sources, you should reference all of them at the end of your case study. This part makes your case study more authentic and genuine.
There you have it! The above are steps you should adhere to if you want to write a powerful case study on mental health topics. Additionally, keep in mind that your paper must be thoroughly proofread and edited according to a format (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian of Harvard). Tired of writing? Rely on our specialist in writing, proofreading and editing. Be sure we do our work so that you can be proud of it!
Useful samples and examples: