PSY 8316 Cappella University Unit 4 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Discussion HW

Question Description


Respond to at least one learner’s posting. In your response, do one of the following:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Offer a suggestion.
  • Elaborate on a particular point.
  • Provide an alternative opinion.

Be sure to support your response with examples.

Identifying Information

Jonny is a 17-year-old, Caucasian male. He lives with his biological parents and his younger sister. Jonny’s sister is 14 years old. The family lives in the Midwest and are considered middle class. His father is a school teacher at the elementary school in town while his mother is a secretary at an insurance company. Jonny has a three-year history of substance use. He reports using marijuana and taking prescription drugs. His parents report that he has been taking his sister’s ADHD medication for the past three months. It is reported that Jonny has never been diagnosed with ADHD. Jonny’s parents discovered he was doing this when his sister ran out of her medication before she was supposed to. Jonny reports alcohol use “on the weekends”. He reports that he consumes 6-12 alcoholic beverages every time he drinks. Jonny’s parents report that they have sought out help from a counselor before. Jonny reports that he did not like the counselor as the counselor was too “confrontational” with him. Jonny is currently struggling in school. He is failing all his classes and likely will not graduate.

Referral Information

Jonny was referred by his school counselor for assessment and treatment due to issues in school. The school counselor “does not know what to do about him”. She reports that she has tried to connect with him for several years but has not been able to effectively intervene. The counselor indicates that “something needs to be done because at this rate he will never get his diploma”.

Problem Identification

Jonny struggles with a substance use problem. While the main substances of choice appear to be marijuana and prescription drugs, there is also significant, underage use of alcohol. This substance use is impairing his school functioning as evidenced by him failing all his classes and potentially not being able to graduate.

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework that will be utilized will be Cognitive Behavioral Theory. Jonny’s schemas and maladaptive thoughts that lead him to use substances will be identified and addressed.

Individual and Cultural Diversity

            The main cultural component to consider for Jonny is his age. He is in his late adolescence and very soon to be considered a legal adult, however, he is not quite there yet. He is probably yearning for independence but is not able to as of yet. It is also important to remember that he is still considered a minor and in the custody of his parents. The amount of disclosure regarding treatment will need to be discussed prior to beginning as, technically, his parents have the right to the information discussed in sessions. It is important to realize that Jonny may not attend therapy willingly but rather at the demand of his parents. This may be difficult in treating him as it may take time to build rapport.

It was reported that Jonny has been to counseling before. This means that he already has a schema of what therapy should look and feel like. Based on the information provided, this schema is negative and puts treatment in a negative light. He believes that the therapist is meant to confront him and potentially get him in trouble with his parents. He may feel as if the therapist is aligned with his parents rather than an advocate for him.

Lastly, it is important to consider that Jonny may be under the influence during the course of treatment. While the frequency and extent of his marijuana and prescription drug use is unknown, it may be a possibility that he comes in with some sort of substance in his system. He may also attend therapy hungover if he comes in on a Monday given his reported alcohol use on the weekends.




Dembo, R., Schmeidler, J., Wareham, J., Briones-Robinson, R., Winters, K. C., & Ungaro, R. (2016). Impact of brief intervention services on drug-using truant youths’ self-reported delinquency and arrest changes: A longitudinal study. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 25(5), 458-479.


Hopfer, S., Hecht, M. L., Lanza, S. T., Tan, X., & Xu, S. (2013). Preadolscent drug use resistance skill profies, substance use and substance use prevention. Journal of Primary Prevention, 34(6), 395-404. Doi:




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