CNL 500 Case Study

Read the “Case Study Analysis” document and select one of the six case studies.

Select one of the following theories that you feel best applies to treating the client in the case study:

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  • Cognitive
  • Cognitive behavioral
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy
  • Reality therapy

Write a 1,000-1,500-word analysis of the case study using the theory you chose. Include the following in your analysis.

  • What will be the goals of counseling and what intervention strategies are used to accomplish those goals?
  • Describe the process of treatment using this theory. This should include a description of the length of treatment, the role of the counselor, and the experience of the client as they work from beginning to termination of therapy.
  • How does this theory address the social and cultural needs of the client? (Cite specific research findings)
  • Describe the role of choice and decision making within the theory you chose regarding the efficacy of treatment. How can a counselor assist their client in using these concepts more effectively?
  • How can a counselor implement cognitive processes in counseling without undue risk to the client or the counseling relationship?

Include at least six scholarly references beyond the textbook in your analysis.

Each response to the assignment prompts should be addressed under a separate heading in your paper. Refer to “Headings” Class Resource for help in formatting the headings.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

This assignment is informed by the following CACREP Standard: 

Theories and models of counseling.


Sample Answer



In this case study, the major challenge that Imani deals with is anxiety and depression. Therefore, the counseling theory that would best apply to his case to provide the best treatment outcome would be the cognitive-behavioral theory (CBT). This decision is reinforced by studies conducted by (Graham et al., 2013), who assert that the cognitive-behavioral theory produces the highest efficacy of treatment outcomes when dealing with patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, social disorder, and depression.

Goals of Counselling and Intervention Strategies

The goal of counseling will be to help Imani understand that everything he has gone through in the past should not remain in the past, no matter how troubling or painful it is. When such memories permeate into his present life, they immensely distort his thinking process and attention span and lead him to anxiety and depression. Additionally, the treatment will help Imani to learn how to deal with the flashbacks of his painful and traumatizing past. After therapy, he will regain his self-confidence, sense of control and increase his concentration span.

The primary intervention strategy that will be used to make Imani’s therapy more effective will be cognitive restructuring. This psychotherapeutic process will help Imani learn how to convert negative thoughts and imaginations into more positive ones (Hupp et al., 2008). The main objective that should be attained with this strategy is the number of cognitive distortions that Imani has will be significantly reduced, leading to more balanced and positive thoughts that will not have an effect on his concentration span.

Treatment Process

Length of Treatment

The entire process of treatment will last for four months. Within this period, Imani will be required to avail himself for three therapy sessions every week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for 90 minutes per day. Considering that Imani’s trauma is rooted in his childhood, the long duration of therapy will be imperative. In addition, this lengthy period and numerous therapy sessions will ensure that Imani’s anxiety and depression will effectively be handled, and all the problems that may arise during treatment will equally be handled (Murray, 2012).

  1. Role of Counsellor

In Imani’s treatment process, the role of the counselor will be to ensure that a relationship full of understanding, compassion, empathy, and trust is developed between them and the patient. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the counselor to work hand in hand with Imani in order to explore how his past has affected his behavior, thoughts, and other essential dynamics in his life, thereby partially incapacitating him from carrying out his daily activities. The counselor also has the role of helping Imani set achievable goals during each therapy session to make sure that each therapy session improves his life in one way or the other (Dobson & Kazantzis, 2003). Moreover, the counselor should keep track of Imani’s progress to determine whether the treatment is working or whether additional interventions should be included.

Experience of the Client

At the beginning of therapy, Imani will be advised to keep a self-monitoring diary where he will extensively document all his activities, emotions, and moments where his anxiety and depression were heightened. Additionally, Imani will begin a behavioral activation session where he will be helped to rekindle the flame with his friends. Activities between him and his roommates will pioneer this process. By making Imani more social and less gloomy around his roommates, he will be able to spark the initial friendships he had with his friends at school, and this may even help him improve his relationship with his grandmother. The other important step of treatment that Imani will go through is cognitive restructuring. The hot spots in Imani’s memories will be transformed into “less-hot” memories through cognitive restructuring. This will be achieved by helping Imani cope with all the beliefs he initially triggered his anxiety and depression. Through cognitive restructuring, Imani will be able to transition to more balanced behaviors and thoughts. The substitution of distorted thoughts with balanced thoughts will ensure that the intensity of his anxiety and depression will be reduced, and his concentration span will be increased. Ultimately, cognitive restructuring will help Imani to deal with all the traumatic events that he has experienced in his past and prevent them from permeating into his future.

CBT and its relation to Imani’s Cultural and Social Needs

According to (Ennis et al., 2020), “the cognitive-behavioral theory accentuates the acceptance of core cultural beliefs and culturally related strengths.” Additionally, (Hofmann et al., 2012) affirms that even though the cognitive-behavioral theory primarily applies to the White population, it is among the few theories that are flexible and can therefore be adjusted to align with the cultural and social needs of a patient. However, considering that Imani comes from an ethnical minority group, the CBT needs to be adjusted effectively. For example, considering the fundamentality placed on social hierarchy and cultural emphasis in East Africa, a more instructive stance and a more active approach should be taken during the sessions. Additionally, the CBT theory was adjusted to anticipate the East African client’s hesitance to discuss their issues; therefore, a more tentative approach was taken when dealing with Imani.

Role of Choice and Decision Making in CBT

When the Cognitive-behavioral theory is integrated into therapy, the counselor and patient work collaboratively throughout the entire process; however, most of the decisions are made by the patient but with immense support and guidance from the counselor. Cognitive-behavioral theory places accentuate the importance of having a patient become their own therapist. This is because the patient is the only person who knows what decision or choice is best for them. When these choices and decisions are reinforced with the support and guidance of a counselor, the efficacy of treatment is maximized.

Implementation of Cognitive Processes in Counselling

A counselor can enact cognitive processes during the process of therapy without undue risk to the patient or the counseling relationship by first understanding the needs of their clients. By doing this, they will have enough knowledge of how to best implement cognitive processes. Additionally, it would be essential to seek the opinion or perspective of the patient before enacting these processes, which ensures that the client-counselor relationship is not distorted in any way.


Imani’ case is one where the best treatment outcome can be achieved by integrating the cognitive behavioral theory during therapy. Imani’ major problem is anxiety and depression and this can be fixed through CBT. The CBT will not only reduce anxiety and depressive disorders in Imani but will also ensure that his concentration span is increased. Additionally, CBT is best suited for Imani since it is the only counseling theory that can be adjusted or modified so as to be inclusive of Imani’s social and cultural needs.


Dobson S., & Kazantzis N. (2003). The therapist in cognitive-behavioral therapy: Introduction to a special section. Psychotherapy Research13(2), 131-134.

Ennis, Shorer S., Shoval‐Zuckerman Y., Freedman S., Monson M., & Dekel R. (2020). Treating posttraumatic stress disorder across cultures: A systematic review of cultural adaptations of trauma‐focused cognitive behavioral therapies. Journal of Clinical Psychology76(4), 587-611.

Graham R., Sorenson S., & Hayes-Skelton A. (2013). Enhancing the cultural sensitivity of cognitive behavioral interventions for anxiety in diverse populations. The Behavior Therapist/AABT36(5), 101.

Hofmann G., Asnaani A., Vonk J., Sawyer T., & Fang A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive therapy and research36(5), 427-440.

Hupp, S. D., Reitman, D., & Jewell, J. D. (2008). Cognitive-behavioral theory. Handbook of clinical psychology2, 263-287.

Murray, I. (2012). Does the length of training determine the effectiveness of counselling practice?

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