Would you incorporate a DSM-5 diagnosis for this client? Explain.

What Is Sexual Assault? Jane’s Story

Imagine that you are a counselor in a private practice. Jane is a 45-year-old female computer programmer who has initiated services with you for problems associated with stress at work. Jane tells you she is having difficulty dealing with the extremely competitive environment. Jane identifies as lesbian and has recently come out to her adult children from a previous marriage, who want little contact after her disclosure. Jane looks disheveled and tired when she comes into the session, often telling you she is lonely. Jane has recently ended her first same-sex relationship since divorcing her husband several years ago.

During one session, Jane discloses that she gets angry easily. Upon further exploration, Jane reveals several incidents when she became very angry with her then girlfriend. After arguing for weeks, Jane recalls slamming her fists into the wall and threatening to hit her girlfriend. Jane graphically describes how the last time they fought, she was angry with her girlfriend for staying out all night and insisted that she was cheating on her. Jane goes on to describe how their last fight was when her girlfriend came home late. She shares that during the fight, Jane grabbed her girlfriend by the throat, pushed her down to the floor, ripped her shirt off, and bit her breasts, then she pulled down her girlfriend’s pants and penetrated her with her fingers. Jane’s girlfriend ran out of their apartment crying and has only returned to get her personal items. She will not respond to Jane’s calls or texts. Jane is remorseful but still blames her girlfriend for provoking her by cheating. However, she wants to make amends with her girlfriend.

Discussion Questions

1. Would this incident meet the definition of sexual assault?

2. If this incident does meet the definition of sexual assault, what type is described in the scenario?

3. Considering legal and ethical issues, are there any steps you are required to take as a mandated reporter in this case?

4. Would you incorporate a DSM-5 diagnosis for this client? Explain.

5. What treatment modality would you use with this client?

6. Talk about what personal issues would come up for you while listening to the client’s story.

7. With a peer, role-play implementation of the task model for crisis assessment and intervention featured in Chapter 1.

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