Case Study Paper Example on Mental Health: The Case of Jose

Published: 2023-01-18
Case Study Paper Example on Mental Health: The Case of Jose
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  Counseling Mental health Diversity
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 1997 words
17 min read


Mental health is increasingly becoming an issue of concern in the world today. Therapists and clinicians are expected to be alert because these cases ought to be taken with a lot of seriousness. This paper presents the case of Jose, a thirty-five-year-old unmarried truck driver cum mechanical engineering student who lives with his parents. The paper presents a critical assessment of Jose's case, the diversity of issues significant to the case, mode of therapy for Jose, law, and ethics regarding the case, and the treatment plan. It also offers recommendations on what could be done to make things work better.

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Case Assessment

Most American families, which have Mexican roots, tend to live near each other so as to preserve their identity. Due to this cultural practice, Jose extended finds himself living in a crowded four-bedroomed house with his parents and other relatives. He is unmarried despite his age and seems to be harboring feelings of guilt for having impregnated his Caucasian girlfriend with whom they already parted ways. Jose also has quite a busy schedule since he is a working student. His mother is sick and has to be cared for yet his father does not care. The burden seems to be on Jose's shoulders and all this may be taking a toll on him. Since this family is made of migrants, it becomes rather hard for Jose's family to immediately assimilate into the mainstream American societies for the fear of losing their identity.

Although America has made important steps towards ensuring there is racial equality there is a lot that needs to be done (Cole, 2017). Evidence of race-related challenges can be seen in Jose denouncing his Caucasian girlfriend whom he met when he was about 30 years old. He forced her to abort their unborn baby most probably because she was a white woman. Moreover, due to Jose's Mexican origins, which place a lot of responsibilities on males in taking care of their families, Jose feels as if he is not in control of his life because he has to care of his family members yet has none of his own and is getting the pressure to marry. The parents of Jose fear for the future of their son since he is in his thirties, and yet he has not started his own family thus has no children who will take care of him once he becomes old. While Jose's parents, and Jose himself, may have contributed to his state of mental disturbance, none can be blamed fully. What Jose requires is therapy and it is good that he has already decided to take the initiative. After all, he has the right to make decisions that affect his own life directly.

Diversity Issues Affecting the Mental Stability of Jose

One of the issues affecting Jose's mental stability is the notion of race and origin. Identity plays a huge rule in America especially in matters touching on civil rights, laws for jobs appointment, education opportunities, and housing affordability (Hiraldo, 2010). Due to mistrust among various races in the US, it is clear that one of the main reasons for Jose dumping his white girlfriend was for him to remain loyal to his Latin race. He feels uncomfortable with her since he probably wishes to preserve his identity.

The second factor is about Mexican American cultural practices at the family level. Family togetherness is an important aspect of a Mexican American family (Burt et al., 2018). This explains why Jose's parents are more concerned about his bachelor status at his age as well as his missing from family parties during the weekends. When Jose informs his mother about his actions of forcing his ex-girlfriend to commit abortion, she reveals the secret to the other family members. This action can be interpreted both positively and negatively. On a positive note, it can be viewed as a method of promoting family togetherness even during hard times while on the negative side, it can be seen as a sign of betrayal of the trust Jose had in her. This might be one of the causes of his stress and depression. Even after letting out the secret of her son, Jose's mother gangs up with the other family members to put more pressure on him to marry and have kids since he is getting old. Such actions have caused a lot of tension in the family which might explain why Jose no longer participates in family gatherings, such as family parties and church services.

The other factor is the pressure to have children. Jose is being pressured to have kids because of the current discrimination of the old people in the society. These kids are viewed as important because they might come to help him in the future as per the Mexican American cultural beliefs where children are expected to take care of their aging parents. This is because these aging parents will no longer be working due to the rising workplace ageism cases that have led to many corporations preferring to employ young workers to older ones. Although many corporations in America like to announce that they need experienced and committed employees many studies have found out that they have a tendency to see old labor as less cost-effective, not flexible and not good for the business image (Macdonald & Levy, 2016). This age discrimination is likely to cause psychological stress on the victims. From this point of argument, Jose's parents might have reasons to fear for the future of their son since he is single and does not have a good job at that age.

The gender debate is not a major issue among the Mexican America families since the gender roles, responsibilities and expectations are clearly spelled out in their culture. Cultural alignment hypothesis argues that culture offers social guidelines on how human being belonging to that particular will behave and how they will view the world (Triandis, 2003). From this ideology, the Latin man is viewed as the head of the family. Going by his Latin cultural beliefs, Jose has a reason to be angry with his father for failing to be a symbol of leadership in the family. Instead of taking care of his family, he drinks and shouts at everyone. Jose seems to suffer from the lack of a responsible father-figure in his life, and this explains his reluctance to marry and have a family of his own despite the pressure from his family members. He fears failure. Still, on the issue of gender, the mainstream American society is more occupied with improving the welfare of women. Therefore, Jose finds himself in a difficult situation due to gender roles.

The other factor contributing to Jose's mental turbulence is his Catholic faith. The religious association remains a big factor in influencing the assimilation of Mexican American families into the mainstream American society (Ruiz et al., 2018). Although other Roman Catholic collections of ethnic associations have integrated into American society, the Mexican Americans are still holding onto their Catholic beliefs. This explains why Jose still feels guilty for forcing his ex-girlfriend to undertake abortion, which is not acceptable in the Catholic faith. He thinks he will be punished by being taken to hell by God for taking an innocent life. This thought of hell has increased Jose's stress to an extent that he does not sleep, and has added a lot of weight within a short time. Due to this feeling of guilt, he fears attending the church service. His mother's revelation about Jose's ex-girlfriend's abortion means people know about his past actions, therefore, giving him the more reason for not attending church and family gatherings.

Mode of Therapy

The best modes of therapy for Jose will be individual therapy followed by family therapy. The main reason for starting with individual therapy is because the one-on-one talk with a therapist in a confidential room will enable the therapist to be in a good position to evaluate the client's anger, pain, religious and cultural faith, and his personal character traits (Halverson et al., 2018). The therapist must be able to link the events such as Jose's family pressures to marry, abortion guilt, and the fear of losing his mother to cancer among other issues. Jose seems to suffer from low self-esteem because he is convinced there is no more happiness in his personal life. With a face-to-face talk, the therapist will be able to attend to what Jose is narrating and read his body language.

The second stage is family therapy. Since the structure of the Mexican American family makes it easy for the members to live together, most of them blame their emotional challenges on their family fights and financial shortcomings (Sexton, 2017). This cultural practice can be witnessed in Jose's emotional struggles which are mainly caused by his family conflicts and lack of money since he does not have a well-paying job. The family also pressurizes him to marry yet he does not seem to mind about his status as a bachelor. He is not even willing to date again. Therefore, since the family understands Jose more, it is important for the therapist to work with them in trying to help Jose realize the root of his stress. In the family therapy, the family of Jose will learn how to talk, to disagree with one another constructively, and understand their needs so as to maintain peace and unity. In due course, Jose will most likely be in a position to change what he can, and accept what he cannot; thus begin the healing process.

Law and Ethical Implications

There are some laws and ethical implications of Jose's case. In the US, there are some laws that reflect on some features of the culture of many ethnic groups living in the US (Sue et al., 2019). Many people view this as government encroachment on their privacy hence any topic touching on the law in conjunction with culture evokes feelings of anger in many citizens. Going by this argument, the Mexican American culture that puts unnecessary pressure on Jose should be reviewed so as to relieve Jose of any financial and emotional burden. On the other hand, with the issue of abortion, Jose might have it rough in courts in case his ex-girlfriend decides to press charges against him. The movement for the right to Life organization which came to life in 1968 achieved their agenda of pro-life associations; therefore, making it illegal to commit abortion in 50 states (Zald, 2017). The United States is a member of the conventional on whipping out discrimination based on race has the mandate to prohibit any kind of discrimination.

In the US, the population of people aged 65 years and above is increasing, and this may cause a lot of stress to many families (Macdonald & Levy, 2016). This worry grows out of the fear of issues such as the idea that the old and experienced labor is no longer preferred by most employers. This explains the reasons why Jose elderly parents want him to have kids who will take care of him in his old days since it is acceptable in Mexican American cultures. Since it is ethically acceptable for the working kids to take care of their old parents in Mexican American culture, then Jose has a duty to obey his parent's wish of having kids.

Treatment Plan

Therapeutic Relationship

For Jose to realize full recovery, he must have a good relationship with his therapist. A good therapist-client relationship provides a strong foundation for treating the client's mental challenges, and the help needed for the evolving insights into the personal character trait of the client (Monger, 2018). For this relationship to be fruitful, components such as warm-heartedness, geniality, goal-oriented, optimism, and moderation must be encouraged. In Jose's case, these building blocks of a good relationship will be realized through Jose paying attention to what the therapist will say, being optimistic about life by going through the observed results by the therapist, and the therapist allowing Jose to take charge of his own healing process.

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