Case Study

2000 words 

The case study will include: analysis of the client presentation, assessment, therapeutic principles and best practice guidelines to take into consideration, ethical aspects of case study, and analysis of the social context. 


Students will choose a character who has experienced a trauma from a contemporary film and construct a hypothetical case study. 

Select a character from one of the films below: 

• Spotlight 

• Waltz with Bashir 

• The Railway Man 

See references and access to films below: 

❖ McCarthy, T. (Director). (2015). Spotlight [Motion picture]. Universal City, CA : Universal Studios. Videos are available to borrow from the library on a 7 day loan or students can privately access. 

❖ Folman, A. (Director). (2008). Waltz with Bashir [Motion picture]. Israel : Bridgit Folman Film Gang.

❖ Brown, C, Curbishley, B, Paterson, A (Producers) & Teplitzky, J (Director) (2013). The Railway Man [DVD]. UK and USA: Archer Street Productions, Latitude Media, Pictures in Paradise, Silver Reel & Thai Occidental Productions. Videos are available to borrow from the library on a 7 day loan or students can privately access. 

Your case study will need to include: 

• introduction to the case study 

• introduction of the key characteristics of the client including the client’s social context 

• assessment – content of assessment and the process of assessment outlined 

• therapeutic principles and best practice guidelines to consider in working with the client 

• evidence based treatment appropriate for your client. Use the three-stage model (Herman) to structure the therapeutic approach/es and interventions that you are advocating for your client. 

• ethical considerations in working with the client 

• reference to current literature and integration of relevant theory into your discussion embedded throughout case study 

Structure of the case study 

This case study needs to be structured in a similar way to an essay with an introduction, a body, which contains the bulk of content, and a conclusion. 

As it is a case study and not an essay student can use headings such as summary of the client characteristics, client’s social context, key issues, and recommended evidence-based treatment

This assignment is written in the first person (the client has come to you the counsellor) and third person. 

Make sure you have a good balance between describing your case study and analysing it. Many students fall into the trap of being too descriptive when writing their case study. Some ways to include analysis are: 

 Explaining and giving reasons 

 Comparing and contrasting 

 Making suggestions and recommendations 

Marking Criteria – Case study essay 
Not Satisfactory Satisfactory Good Very good Outstanding 

1. Introduction to case study/essay 

2. Key characteristics of client and social context outlined 

3. Appropriate assessment- content and processes discussed 

4. Therapeutic principles and best practice guidelines discussed 

5. Evidence based treatment appropriate for client described 

6. Analysis of ethical aspects of case study outlined 

7. Integration of relevant literature and theory to support your case study 
Structure, Presentation and Referencing 

1. Main ideas clearly and logically presented 

2. Presentation guidelines followed as specified in the learning support website ( and first/ third person writing style is applied where required 

3. Academic writing style is used, including correct spelling, grammar and punctuation 

4. Appropriate conclusion provided that summarises the key findings/ideas 

5. In-text referencing and reference list follows APA referencing style (6th ed.) as set out in the APA website: 

6. Word count is within + or – 10% of requirement 
No Yes 
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