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Marvin And His Therapist Irvin Yalom
During the first session, itcame to my realizatio ...
Marvin And His Therapist Irvin Yalom
During the first session, itcame to my realization that Marvin was interested in spectacles, as
witnessed during the first interaction with him. Without glasses, itwas impossible to read; hence
most of the time, Idepended on Marvin's help since mine was at home. Marvin explained how he
had developed migraine headaches, and the neurologist was not able to control his situation. He
suffered from unilateral distribution as well. Marvin believes that his sexual performance touches
off the migraine, which has been encompassed with challenges. He underwent violent swings in
the mood (Braunias, 2019). He feels to be suffering from manic depression as everything looks
black for him for the failed manhood during sex. Icould not recommend anything and scheduled
for another hour.
The last session was scheduled after one year. During this time, Icould play the initial session's
recording to Marvin. He smiled all through. Marvin was happy for the change he had undergone,
and he was different by that time. His wife Phyllis was doing well, and she had improved her
phobia of leaving the house. She even joined awomen therapy group and had to work on the fear
to attend to social functions. For Marvin, he did not have any more migraines. He had persisted
in mood swings, though not disabling. He still had periodic importance though he brooded less
about it. His mind on retirement had changed, and he was apart-time worker.
During the third session, Marvin appreciated the last week ’srecommendation of bringing Phyllis,
but he highlighted the existing barrier between them: communication. His wife could not come
along with him. Also, he complained alot about the therapist's schedules and linked him to a
business firm. Marvin described the worst migraine he faced during the week and was rushed to
the emergency room. The headache affects him so much and even recited the previous dream.
Also, he continued to describe other challenges he faced from Phyllis. He was so much
depressed with his situation.
The presenting problem, in this case, is suffering from amigraine headache. Also, Marvin was
unable to fulfil her wife's sexual desires since he suffered from premature ejaculations. This issue
worsened the relationship between the couple, making Marvin become depressed over the issue.
The presenting problem was an actual problem for various reasons. First, the neurologist could
not help Marvin deal with the challenge of migraine headache after aseries of medication. Also,
migraine headache became an actual problem when itaffected the sexuality of Marvin as he
could not perform his conjugal rights successfully. Also, the presenting problem became an
actual problem. After he failed to successfully perform his sexual role, his wife looked down
upon him, which negatively affected the relationship between the two. Also, itbecomes an actual
problem when he started suffering from depression. The other actual problem that arose from the
same is the mood swings which became violent, affecting his personal life.
Iwas able to question whether itwas the actual problem basing on different factors. First,
towards the end of the session, Marvin ascertained not to have migraine headache any more,
although his impotence was still there. Also, Iwas able to relate itto the main cause of the
existing challenge. Also, Iassessed the side effects that had resulted from the presenting problem.
Besides, Iquestioned itas an actual problem by critically assessing the consequences that arose
from the same. The reality is that the presenting problem was not the real problem that affected
the client. However, itis essential to note that the client was struggling with the psychological
effects that rose from this presenting problem, like depression that arose from his inability to
perform his sexual role as aman. Also, the client was struggling with the social effects that arose
from the presenting problems. After he could not fulfil his wife's sexual desires, she looked down
upon him, which deteriorated the relationship between the two partners. This represents what the
client was struggling with. The contextual information Idrew from this is that sex tends to act as
the root of everything in marriage. Failure to have successful sex among partners may lead to
serious challenges which affect the entire relationship among the couple. Also, the other
contextual information is that some psychological challenges tend to affect sex among partners.
The therapeutic focus of the therapist was to ensure that the patient heals or get alleviated from
the symptoms arising from migraine headache that seems to affect his marital life and
individual ’sacceptance. This therapy focuses on implementing an intervention approach that
could help the patient to achieve certain goals that could help the patient in healing. Also, the
therapeutic focus of the therapist is to ensure that the patient attains individual bodily sense,
which they feel is good for them. They do so by paying attention to the words and behaviours of
The goals and therapeutic interventions that stood during these sessions include improving the
ability of the client to maintain relationships. The same was witnessed when the therapists
advised Marvin to come over with his wife so that he could guide both of them or seek afemale
therapist for the wife. The other goal that manifested during this session was initiating ways that
could help the client to deal with the challenges he suffered from. These goals and interventions
varied over time. At one point, the therapist could address Marvin on how to deal with the social
relationship with the wife and at other times, he guides him on how to deal with migraine
The changes that the patient made during this session include dealing with migraine since during
the last session, he claimed not to have any problem with the same. He also had mood swings,
although they were not disabling as in the past before he started attending therapy. He had
changed his mind concerning retirement, and he was now able to work as apart-time individual.
He also switched fields, and he was doing so much better in real estate management and
development. Also, he now had agood relationship with Phyllis. His nightmares were no more.
Ithought of many things when Iwas reading Marvin ’sstory with Irvin. First, Ithought that the
migraine headache that Marvin was undergoing could not get better at all. It is because the
neurologist had tried his best in assisting him, but itwas not possible. Ifelt that there was
nothing much that this therapist could help Marvin with. After the first session, Ifelt like indeed
my thoughts could automatically come true since the therapist spend all the time looking at
Marvin and never recommended anything to him, forcing him to schedule another day for them
to continue with the session. Apart from that, Ialso thought that if the therapist could help
Marvin deal with his migraine challenges, then all other problems that affected him could be
solved. Iwas wrong on this thinking because during the last session when the two mates, Marvin
had seriously improved and was not suffering from migraine headache anymore, although he
could not still perform his sexual role as he was still impotent. Besides, Ifelt helpless to the poor
Marvin when he narrated the challenges he went through due to migraine headache. Ifelt that he
needed consolation, and his wife was to stop her insensitive nature and at least just listen to him
and comfort him. Also, Ifelt the challenges that impotent men undergo in their marriages after
reading how he reacted and the treatment he underwent.
Moreover, while reading this story, Ithought that itwas done for the couple. Ithought that there
was no day that the relationship between them could become better. The same got witnessed in a
session where Irvin advised Marvin to attend the next session with his wife. The look in his eye
proved that something was not right and his professional response instructing the therapist to
think about the same, let me aware things will never work between them. However, Iwas wrong
since Icame to realize towards the end that the couple had managed the relationship between
them with the help of physiotherapists. The other thing though about during this session was that
sex was everything. However, towards the end of the session, Icame to realize that sex was not
everything. It is because the broken relationship between Marvin and Phyllis had been sealed,
and they were communicating well with each other, although Marvin was still impotent. Also,
Marvin had changed his approach to issues; that is why he was able to appreciate retirement and
decided to do some part-time jobs. Indeed sex was everything.
Personally, Ihave apositive response to Marvin as aclient. First, Ilike Marvin the way he is
presenting his problem. His presentation enables one to understand the psychological torture that
people undergo when they face different challenges in life. Also, Ilike Marvin because he does
not fear sharing his problem with the people who can help him. He shares his situation with the
neurologist, and when his situation doesn ’tchange, he goes ahead to address the same issue with
the physiotherapist. Ilike him because he is an optimistic person. He always views life positively
and feels that he will get the best, that's why he could seek help from the experts when he started
experiencing challenges in life, and indeed, he got the help he wished for. Also, Ilike him
because he is open. He doesn ’tfear or shy away from telling the physiotherapist the challenges
he went undergoes. He says them making the reader have sympathy with him. The other thing I
like about Marvin is that he speaks his mind. That is why he was able to tell the physiotherapist
that he was disgusted in him since they were after money as he operated abusiness, and he never
bothered of having three or four meeting sessions within aweek. Ithink that all his actions were
to ensure that he received better care that could help him regain his normal life.
The way he expressed his ideas when he visited aphysiotherapist is avery important observation,
according to me. The observation is useful since ithelps other people to understand how to help
an individual. Such is significant to me since itwill help me in informing my clients whenever
they come for assistance to always be open and tell the whole truth so that their problem is
solved once and forever. Such information is important as well since itwill help me understand
how to manage my clients more so when they are furious like Marvin was (Oliveira et al., 2017).
As atherapist, Iwill have various responses to Irvin. First, Irvin is aprofessional, and I'm
impressed with how he handled the situation with Marvin. Also, Irvin is empathetic. He was able
to listen critically to the issues presented to him by Marvin and put himself in his shoes. He tried
to figure out what he was going through. That is why he left without any recommendation on the
first day. Also, I’m impressed with Irvin ’sgood listening skills since he paid attention to him
during his worst moment and looked for means to help him curb the challenge. I’m impressed
with the good communication and social skills portrayed by Irvin when he was attending to the
client (Cobb & Potter, 2019). He tried as much as possible to make Marvin comfortable even
though he was undergoing mental challenges. Also, I'm impressed with Irvin's critical thinking
skills, which enabled him to assess the situation with Marvin and then offered him the best
therapy to deal with the situation. In addition to that, Iloved the self-awareness portrayed by
Irvin. After Marvin had explained all the challenges he was facing, Irvin was able to relate the
issue. Take, for example, he was able to relate everything informed by Marvin to his individual
standards and advised him accordingly.
If Iwere aclient to Irvin, Icould feel safer and be rest assured that all my challenges will be
solved to the latter. First, itis because Irvin will think critically when Ipresent aproblem to him.
Thereafter, he will come up with agood treatment plan that will automatically help to address
the challenge Ihave at hand. Also, he will display his empathic nature and put himself in my
shoe before addressing the challenge. Such askill is quite important since individuals who
empathize with others cannot misdirect them as they will wish the best for others as they take the
problem as their own (Barker et al., 2019). Also, Iwill feel safer in the hands of Irvin since he is
not quick to anger because even after he was wrongly accused by Marvin to be abusiness-
oriented person, instead of ensuring that he attends to him fully, he could not respond to him in
an abusive manner as some people. Besides, Iwill feel safer because he is highly skilled and
more knowledgeable in his line of career. That is why he was able to address the challenge faced
by Marvin. It more interested for aperson to be attended to by an individual who is highly
knowledgeable, you feel safe.
Ithink that what appeared to be the most helpful for Marvin was his ability to accept his situation.
First, he was able to understand that his impotence was there, and itcould not end. Also, his
acceptance to retirement seems to more helpful since he is able to work as apart-time worker.
The other helpful thing might have risen from the acceptance of his wife to seek assistance from
apsychologist since ithelped in building the relationship between the couple.
One of the things that Icould do the same is making the broken relationship between couples. I
could do itif Iwas not on good terms with my partner. Icould tell her not to leave the house.
Thereafter, Icould call her after every two hours and plead with her not to leave the house just
the same way Irvin instructed Marvin to do. What Icould do differently is to encourage Phyllis
to understand that life is not about working forever since people need to retire at the end. Iwill
inform her to compare her past life when she just married and at the moment if she really
responds to house chores in asimilar manner since she will realize achange in productivity
(Oliveira et al., 2017). After that, Iwill inform her why she should not be sad about the
husband's retirement because his productivity reduced.
Apart from that, Iwas impressed by how the couple undertook the issue at hand and decided to
solve the existing challenges among them. Such seemed important to me since itencouraged that
every challenge that people undergo in life has asolution. Also, itis significant to me since it
taught me that the first way by which acouple can solve challenges affecting them is by
identifying the problem, sharing it, and look for ways to tackle the same.
Icame to realize that therapeutic relationship tends to strengthen with time. At first, the
relationship is boring since the parties involved are new to each other, and they do not know each
other so much. However, as days go by, these individuals understand each other and cooperate
more. Also, Irealized that atherapeutic relationship is not easy to maintain unless if the therapist
is not quick to anger as some patients will appear before them and accuse them over some things
that they are innocent of. Therefore, as an expert, one needs to ensure that they remain calm
when such accusations are made since the patient may talk out of pain the challenge they possess
(Pyszorab et al., 2017). Also, Irealized that atherapeutic relationship needs trust among
members. An individual will tell his personal story only after an assurance that there will be trust
between the two parties, and the details informed will not leave the room. Therapeutic
relationship leads to respect among members. A therapeutic relationship entails caring among
partners. It is true that since patients share their side of personal story, then itimplies that the
therapist has to care for this person.
The main things that Ilearned and makes sense to me are the qualities displayed by Irvin. One is
professional, and I'm impressed with how he handled the situation with Marvin. The second one
is empathetic. He was able to listen critically to the issues presented to him by Marvin and put
himself in his shoes. The other one is good listening skills since he paid attention to him during
his worst moment and looked for means to help him curb the challenge. Also, Irvin's critical
thinking skills enabled him to assess the situation with Marvin and then offered him the best
therapy to deal with the situation (Oliveira et al., 2017). These aspects mean alot to me as a
therapist since they educate me on the right qualities to have when Ibecome atherapist. Also,
they teach me how to deal with patients. Sincerely speaking, this particular focus comes through
because, after all these happenings, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The patient ’sproblem
has been solved, which implies that he received the best care from the therapist. Also, the patient
was able to solve the misunderstand issues with his wife, which is an impressive issue. Besides,
I’m impressed with all the steps that the couple achieved at the end of the day as they were more
interesting. Therefore, this therapy has taught me alot, and Ianticipate applying the knowledge
gained here in future.
Barker, K. L., Newman, M., Stallard, N., Leal, J., Javaid, M. K., Noufaily, A., ... & Lamb, S. E.
(2019). Exercise or manual physiotherapy compared with asingle session of
physiotherapy for osteoporotic vertebral fracture: three-arm PROVE RCT. Health
Technology Assessment (Winchester, England) ,23 (44), 1-318.
Braunias, S. (2019). A dreamer of the road [Book Review]. Landfall ,(238), 172.
Cobb, C., & Potter, M. K. (2019). Who Is the Dreamer?. In Critical Essays on Twin Peaks: The
Return (pp. 237-251). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Oliveira, A., Pinho, C., & Marques, A. (2017). Effects of arespiratory physiotherapy session in
patients with LRTI: apre/post ‐test study. The clinical respiratory journal ,11 (6), 703-712.
Pyszora, A., Budzy ński, J., W ójcik, A., Prokop, A., & Krajnik, M. (2017). Physiotherapy
programme reduces fatigue in patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care:
randomized controlled trial. Supportive Care in Cancer ,25 (9), 2899-2908.
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