Janelle is a heterosexual, 32 year old woman who was born in Egypt and moved with her parents to Toronto when she was 2. She uses she/her as pronouns. Janelle is a professor at a local college and specializes in environmental science. She enjoys traveling, doing research, and fine dining. She is single and lives in the city in a comfortable apartment. She belongs to a painting club, meets two of her friends each week for dinner dates, and drinks socially. She also enjoys cooking and listening to classical music.
Growing up, Janelle describes her parents as having "high expectations" of her. Her parents, a heterosexual couple who have been married for over 50 years, are both professors as well and Janelle grew up with her parents going to faculty meetings, doing lectures, and disappearing for weeks into their studies with research projects. Her parents demanded high grades, community service on the weekends, very early curfews, and limited interactions with boys. Often, growing up, Janelle was bullied for "being different," which caused many tears. She was able to find a few friends that lasted throughout her school career, and her 4 siblings - two brothers and two sisters, all older than her, were "there to protect her." Her parents expected her to attend a prestigious college, but Janelle chose to go to a smaller college, much to her parents' disappointment. Janelle graduated with top honors and secured employment quickly. She is now working toward tenure and has published numerous papers and attends many symposiums as a guest speaker.
Janelle's parents now often bring up her single life and how she "needs to find a nice, Egyptian man" and settle down. She checks in with her mother daily by phone and goes to the family home for dinner each weekend where all her siblings and their families are expected to join each week as well. All her siblings are married and have children and Janelle noted that she often feels like the "15th wheel" at these gatherings and finds them tedious and "a bit sad."
Janelle is coming to counseling as she is experiencing what she describes as "scary symptoms that I can't figure out." For the past month, every time she has to go to these family dinners, she is experiencing feelings of panic before attending. She finds that right before she leaves her apartment to go to these dinners, she begins to sweat, shake, and gets a choking sensation in her throat. Twice, in the past month, she has had to call one of her older sisters to take her to the emergency room. Doctors released her after an hour and noted that physically she is fine. During her last visit to the emergency room, she left with a recommendation to seek counseling. Just last week, Janelle was unable to attend the family dinner, as before leaving her apartment she felt numbness in her hands and feet, felt sick to her stomach, was so hot she stripped down to her underwear and sat with a cold washcloth on her neck, and felt like she was "going crazy."
Janelle would like to understand what is happening and find out how to "make these symptoms go away" as they are now beginning to interfere with her ability to go out with friends, which she truly enjoys.
Apply one theory from: Psychoanalysis, Jungian, Adlerian, Person-Centred, Existentialism, Gestalt). Do not select pragmatic, cognitive or post-modern theories
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