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Case Analysis: Nick in An American Heart

Nick presents as a 15-year-old white male who lives in America. His stature is a bit small when compared to others his age, though he is not unusually slender or slight. Nick has not done well in school and when asked about his educational history Nick shrugs his shoulders and states simply that "he doesn't like books". Nick does not remember ever going through an assessment to determine whether he has learning disabilities and believes he just isn't "cut out" to attend a structured school setting.
Nick reports that he did attend an alternative school setting for a short time and while there he excelled in math and science but was kicked out when they found him smoking on campus. From there Nick reports he decided to drop out and now sells papers to make spending money.
Nick reports that he was living with his father's sister until he got word that his father was out of prison. At that point, Nick reports he ran away and found his father and remains in his care today. Nick reported that his father initially tried to get Nick to go back to his aunt's house where he believed Nick would have a more financially secure life but Nick refused to go.
Nick reports that his mother died several years earlier of cancer and that he feels he did not do enough for her when she was alive. While he denies any guilt about that situation it was obvious to the assessor that Nick is not willing to discuss his mother or their relationship at this time other than to say that he loved her.
Presenting Problem
The problem presenting at this time are three fold. Nick has unresolved grief issues that have not been addressed. Because his father was incarcerated and he was forced to live with a paternal aunt who did not view Nick's mother with respect before she died Nick has learned to keep his feelings of loss to himself and not to show any grief or emotion with that regard.
In addition Nick is dealing with a…

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