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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Marcus Case

Here I was asked to apply four theories to one mental hath case regarding a 4 year old.

Poor kid has issues but as he doesn’t exist I feel okay about the whole thing.

Marcus case

Symptoms: aggression, limited vocabulary, a lack of self control, slow growth.

First and foremost a responsible clinician need rule out overt biological factors such as bad diet, child abuse, or even malformations of the scull. Once examined for these mental health can be examined.

Epigenetic factors
The most common and understandable reason for Marcus’s problem is childhood anxiety caused by a lack of parental attention or fighting by the parents. For whatever reason Marcus may be experiencing high anxiety levels and those levels will cause sleep disorder and a failure to thrive.
In this case his parents should be sent to counseling for their marital issues and should spend more time with their son. There could be genetic factors, but nothing will serve this unfortunate young man more than a loving nurturing home.   
Firstly Marcus must not have been exposed to the right behaviors to emulate and secondly his aggression must be reinforced somewhere in his environment. First question to ask: does your TV act as your babysitter? If yes: what is he watching. Marcus would be best served by Sesame Street and Bob the Builder. Nonviolent shows with reasonable speech patterns.
The second point would be to find where aggression is being rewarded. Often times when children act out the parents, teachers, and fellows do whatever will involve the least amount of work to stop the behavior. “Do you give you child a lolly to shut him up? Yes!? Bad parent, bad! Go to your room.”

The slow cognitive development of Marcuse is still the major point to examine. At four he should gain and understanding that his feelings are not universal and that may be the cause of his problem. Marcuse may feel shut off from others.
Again look for a factor that is causing the slow development. Good diet and parental involvement are the best recommendations, but cognitive restructuring will need to take place.   

Simply put the Id has taken control over the ego and super ego due to an over or under stimulation. Engage in play therapy where the super ego is strengthened to combat the overpowering Id.

As the working of Marcuse’s genes, his ‘distal processes’ are beyond our control me must then focus on his ‘proximal processes’ or the child’s interaction with his environment. Again somewhere he is observing and emulating aggression. Remove this proximal and ad a new more healthy one.