Anxiety Case Study

Please find below a case study of a client who has received counselling to give you an idea of counselling content.

I’m a teacher in the state education system. I’m working 70 hours a week and it’s still not good enough. I’m anxious, can’t sleep and it’s affecting my marriage and time with my kids. My creativity and energy are just sapped. I don’t want to leave because I love teaching but the stress, tiredness and exhaustion is just not sustainable. How can counselling help?

This enquirer approached me when she was at the end of her tether. She felt bullied, oppressed, manoeuvred out of her management position, demoralised, discriminated against and had the creative humanity just squashed right out of her. She had to sign a non-disclosure agreement (gagging contract) and told to manipulate student achievement data for inspection and reporting. Cheating had been actively encouraged by senior management in student exams. She experienced high-pressure contact by senior managers at weekends and in the evenings to complete and submit planning and assessment and was working more than 70 hours a week. It had placed enormous pressure on her own relationships, family and self-perception.

She needed to talk about the systemic flaws and corruption in the system that had caused an incredible burden mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. She was exhausted and presented with symptoms of Chronic Stress, anxiety, depression, trauma and very low self-confidence and inability to work through her presenting conditions alone. Glimmers of light were seen when she rediscovered her strengths and gifts. In the counselling journey she worked on re-igniting her own buried goals, aspirations and dreams so we could look at what started her off on this career.

She addressed her mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs to stabilise overwhelming emotions and mental exhaustion. She worked through guilt and shame issues associated with the typical personality type that enters this profession and worked towards balancing personal needs with personal costs. Even though she considered leaving her job pangs of guilt and shame haunted her so she worked through patterns of guilt and shame from earlier experiences and began to see patterns that meant she could choose different ways of reacting rather than the guilt and feeling forced to carry on in such a negative situation. She used the time in counselling to reflect on her options and establish a plan that felt good and fitted in with her other life commitments.

Deeper goals and aspirations were explored and she reflected on ways forward, addressing the bullying and corruption in her workplace and challenging her managers on it after a great deal of role play and thinking how she wanted to address this. She worked through about 12 sessions of therapy and felt able to work through her changes feeling more independent and focused without all the emotional and mental overwhelm she arrived with.