This response to a case study focuses on how I would approach the development of an intervention program for Jenny. Such a program begins with extensive psychological and physical assessments. The psychological assessment would be garnered primarily through observation of Jenny at practice and in games, extensive interviewing of the athlete, and, with her permission, interviewing her coaches and parents. The physical assessment would involve testing of Jenny’s injured knee as well as a complete conditioning evaluation. The key issues that emerged as part of the conceptualization of Jenny’s Performance Dysfunction include: (a) family issues, including the internalizations of a perfectionistic father and a needy mother; (b) unresolved feelings related to her parents’ divorce; and (c) emotional immaturity that expresses itself in fear of failure, inappropriate emotions, and avoidance from conflict. The intervention would take a multimodal approach that involves: (a) insight; (b) emotional exploration; (c) behavioral change; and (d) mental skills. The program would conclude with a post-intervention assessment that would be comprised of objective evaluation of Jenny’s physical condition, coach feedback about Jenny’s behavior, and, finally, Jenny’s own assessment of changes that have occurred due to the intervention.
The author is in private consulting practice in San Francisco, CA. E-mail: email@example.com.