Case Study 3
Mr. Boyle is a 55-year-old high school principal who has come in for an assessment. He reports that this is due to his wife’s concern after he had a heated interaction with the school board recently. This interaction has put his job as a principal in jeopardy. Mr. Boyle reports that his wife states that their marriage is unbearable due to Mr. Boyle’s difficulty in getting along with others, and that if it does not improve, she will have to leave him. During the interview Mr. Boyle states that although he has always been a suspicious person, this has lately increased. Despite this admission, he goes on to explain that he believes members of the school board are conspiring with some of the faculty at his school and bitter parents of former students to have him removed from his position as principal. He reports that 1 of the school board administrators recently shared with Mr. Boyle that since his appointment as principal 2 years ago, he has been driving everyone “nuts” because he is too structured. Mr. Boyle reports that he has been doing the best job he can and that he believes this statement stems from jealousy, as the board member’s friend also wanted the principal position. When questioned in more detail, Mr. Boyle shares that he may be overreacting and that he may be at fault for some of these issues. However, he reports that he spends a significant amount of time thinking about how he is being mistreated by the school board. He admits that this is causing him to not perform as well as he could at work.
When Mr. Boyle’s wife is questioned separately, she reports that Mr. Boyle has always had a difficult time making friends and trusting in others. She reports that recently he has become more irritable and argumentative with her, his friends, and the faculty at his school. She shared that the recent fight with the school board was over Mr. Boyle’s insistence that he had been passed over for an adequate yearly raise. Although the school board explained to Mr. Boyle that the all of the principals’ yearly raises had been reduced this year due to budget cuts, he insisted on presenting his case to the school board. She reports that after he was still refused the raise he has been sullen, has told her he feels helpless and hopeless, and has lost interest in most of the things that previously interested him. She reports that this began the same week he was refused the raise.
Mr. Boyle’s 2 children are also interviewed—a boy, 15 years old, and a girl, 17 years old. They both report that Mr. Boyle is very strict and runs the household like a drill sergeant. He monitors every expense, where they go, and who they are with. Mr. Boyle’s daughter even reports that he will check her gas gauge in her car to see if the gas used matches the distance she told him she went. She believes he is just a “penny-pincher.”
When asked to describe himself, Mr. Boyle says he is very proud of the fact that he is a person who cannot be taken advantage of, as he can spot a con from a mile away. He reports that he came from a very poor family and worked his way to where he is today. He reports that although he had to endure a lot of adverse situations and jealous people, he has made his way to the top on his own abilities.