Marcusis an African-American who was born in America 13 years ago. He wasborn of a single parent together with his younger brother. Being thefirst born in his family, Marcus is usually a responsible child intheir household chores and takes care of his siblings when his motheris out to work. They are a middle-lower class family, and theyendeavor to shift their social status to a middle class or middleupper class. Marcus is in his eighth grade in his education that isthe final grade before he joins the high school. Indeed, his life ischaracterized by fear due to constant harassment from his classmates.
Infact, Marcus interest in education has been adversely affected, andhis chances of joining a high school are very lean. Emotionally he iswithdrawn, and his absenteeism in school is alarming. His dream of abetter future has been dimmed by constant harassment from hisAmerican-American peers. The harassment usually is based upon hisskin color and family background which is not as stable compared tomost of his peers. He is usually harassed on his way from and to theschool, in their estate and on the playing grounds. The aim for thiscoursework is to devise ways through psychosocial theory that willassist Marcus with his situation and development of identity amidconfusion and fortify his self confidence among his peers.
Reasonfor the services
Accordingto Farrington (1993), bullying highlights some key elements, verbal,physical, or psychological attack or any form of intimidation aimedat causing fear, harm, or distress to the victim. Obviously, the morepowerful child may oppress the less powerful and repeat thoseincidences over a prolonged period. Notably, school bullying usuallytakes place in school on the way to or from school. In fact, Marcusis a clear definition of a child undergoing bullying, his academicperformance is affected and continually misses school. According tohim, he does not feel to be part of his peers and would prefer tostay away from them. Therefore, he requires assistance that willredeem his image due to the impact of bullying that he is goingthrough.
Accordingto Erickson theory of the Psychosocial crisis, Marcus is inadolescence, and he is torn between identity and role confusion. Heis concerned about how other peers perceive him, and since he isundergoing bullying, his superego identity will lack the confidenceto continue in the future. In addition, he lacks the same meaning ofhimself and does not have the ability to settle in the school settingsince the environment is unpleasant. Marcus must receive this servicesince if the problem is not checked and solved, the following outcomemay occur loneliness, depression, low self-esteem, socialwithdrawal, poor social individual competence, alcohol and substanceabuse, physical health complaints, running away from school and home,poor academic performance and suicide.
Themain treatment goals
Oneof the fundamental treatment goals for Marcus is to improve his selfesteem and develop his identity and understand his body image.Firstly, Marcus would like to achieve self-esteem, which is anopinion an individual had towards himself and shaped by his/herrelationship with others, accomplishment and experiences in life.Self esteem will be important for Marcus positive self-concept andhis mental well being. The goals will be achieved by settingreachable goals and accomplishing those goals successfully. Theoutcome will be an increased assertiveness, and feeling valued andself-confidence. Indeed, according to Mayo Clinic (2009), self-esteemhas a holistic impact on all aspects of life and establishing arealistic and healthy view of oneself is important. If self-esteem islow, an individual has got a little value on their accomplishment andthemselves. Notably, Martcus is experiencing the same, as a result,of being bullied. He has a low regard for himself to the extent ofhaving little interest in education.
Secondly,Marcus needs to develop his identity by being conscious of himselfand who he is. If this goal is achieved, he will be comfortable withhis identity and will use positive self-description that will exhibita self-identity that is healthy. Identity will yield self-awarenessthat will assist Marcus to feel, believe, think, and behaveconsciously at any given time (Burkhardt and Nathaniel, 2008).
Thirdly,Marcus must acquire the body image, which is an individual perceptionof self, including the appearance, ability and function. During thegrowth, there are developmental changes that alter and influence thebody image such as hormonal and physical changes, more so, duringadolescence and puberty. Therefore, Marcus need to perceive himselfhighly, and this will improve his self-concept that will counter theharassment.
Erikson’sPsychosocial Theory may be relevant in dealing with this client whois struggling to develop a sense of self amid peer pressure. In theparticular stage of identity versus role confusion comes in handy inthis case study, because our client is struggling with his self imagedue to peer pressure. The discussion in this part will tackle themain points of the theory and the relevant stage that will be used toassist Marcus from the spreading tentacles of bullying.
Thereare many theories that explain the human behavior and thought.Psychosocial theory by Eric Erickson is the best in this case sinceit will explain those behaviors, as a result, of a person social andbiological growth usually recorded over a certain period of anindividual’s life. The development stages are divided into eightstages from the birth to death, indicating the major crisis of everystage. According to the Marcus age the stage, which encompassesidentity versus role confusion will be discussed.
Identityversus role confusion takes place in the 5th stage of psychosocialdevelopment. It falls under the age of 13 and 18 years. In fact, theinitial four stages refer to the earlier conflicts which are expectedto build a sense of self-confidence and a degree of independence tothe party involved. Therefore, building on that, the identity versusrole confusion stage corresponds with a duration of drastic maturitymore so physically, and the person begins to understand his role inthe adulthood. Chiefly, if an individual has a strong idea of his/hersexual orientation, occupational and educational goals he/she willsuccessfully resolve the conflicting experience in this stage.
Significantly,in this stage the developing child desire to become more independentand feels that they can tackle their life without their parentintervention. It is through this stage that the child discovers theirgoals and hobbies that differ from the one imposed by their guardiansand parents. In addition, the role of their sexuality is understood,and the relationships with their peers assist them to develop theirsocial identity when they are away from their family unit.Consequently, after the development of a strong sense of identitytakes place, the nascent adults form intimate and meaningfulrelationships with non-family individuals. Through their socialefforts and careers, they integrated into the society
Marcusrequires this psychosocial approach since he is on the verge oftransition from childhood to adulthood. He must be assisted to becomeindependent and concentrate on his career, family and relationships.
Marcusrequire to fit in the society and belong to it without beingthreatened by his peers. Through this intervention, he will learn theroles he will occupy when he becomes an adult and re-examine his realidentity and find out who he is. According to Erickson, the twoidentities involved are occupational and sexual.
Significantly,the body image of those individual changes during this stage. Bee(1992) avers that at this stage the focus should be on finding waysto reintegrate their sense of self, together with what they wouldlike to be and do, and their appropriate sex role. In addition,adolescent experience feelings that make them uncomfortable withtheir body changes until they adapt and take charge of the changes.Therefore, successful graduation from this stage will guarantee to avirtue of fidelity.
Underthose circumstances, the acquired fidelity assists the adolescent tocommit themselves to others and accepts their peers’ regardless ofideological differences. They explore the available possibilities andform their own identity about their exploration outcome. On thecontrary, if the sense of identity is not established the adolescentexperiences role confusion. Specifically, if a child is under roleconfusion, their effort shifts to other different lifestyles. Inaddition, if the adolescent is pressurized into a certain identity,they end up being rebellious and identify a negative identity whichleads to unhappiness.
Toachieve the set goals, there are intervention strategies that assistthe child in dealing with Identity versus Role Confusion.Expressively, Marcus require empowerment to improve his low-esteem.According to Burkhardt and Nathaniel (2008), empowerment is apartnership and a helping process endorsed in the context of respectand love for self. The subject is assisted to change situationsthrough the given resources, skills and opportunity. In addition,Chamberlin (2008) avers that the empowerment is a vital part inself-esteem and self-efficacy. Additionally, another interventionmethod to assist Marcus is to have him indicate all hisaccomplishments that he feels proud of, this will assist him inbuilding his self-confidence. Therefore, when he experiences sadness,he can go back to his list, and this will cheer him up.
Significantly,there are cultural consideration that will take place in this case.Marcus is a male child of an African- American origin. Theirsocioeconomic status is unstable and requires specialized attention.The first consideration, when using the Erikson psychosocial theory,is the age. Marcus age falls under stage five which is between theage of 13-18. Under this stage, we understand the changes that takeplace and devise ways on how to tackle them according to the Eriksontheory. Being an African America, Marcus is liable for bullying dueto his skin color and presence anchored on the evil of racism.
Technologyplays a fundamental role in the counseling process. Data collectedfrom the client need to be handled with utmost confidentiality. Aclient must be assured that their information is only between themand their counselor. In fact, the use of the password protecteddevices in this case will ensure the safety of Marcus` information.In addition, the use of video conferencing and emails will beintegrated into the follow up of the client. Screening for symptomsof psychological disorder will take place in a private institutionand a controlled situation.
Accordingly,use of technology in counseling will guarantee accuracy,confidentiality and saves time. However, there are disadvantagesinvolved in technology. Firstly, technology can fail in the processof counseling. This can be demonstrated when the data storagecrashes, failure of communication networks, hacking of data store andsometimes it becomes expensive to integrate technology approaches incounseling.
Inconclusion, there is no single theory of human behavior that can beconsidered perfect. However, despite those weaknesses, Erikson theoryof psychotherapy is still essential in creating a general picture oflife development and incorporating the fundamental social approachesin personal development.
Bee,H. L. (1992). Thedeveloping child.London: HarperCollins.
Burkhardt,M., & Nathaniel, A. (2008). Ethicsand issues.Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage
Chamberlin,J. (2008). A working definition of empowerment. Retrieved from
Erikson,E. H. (1968). Identity:Youth and Crisis.New York: Norton
Farrington,D.P. (1993). Understanding and preventing bullying. In M. Tonry(Ed.), Crime
andJustice,vol. 17 (pp. 381-458). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
MayoClinic. (2009). Self-esteem check: Too low, too high or just right?Retrieved from