Rita is a 35-year-old businesswoman. She is a graduate of high school and a post–high school
vocational-technical institute. She holds a certificate in auto mechanics. She has never been to a counselor before, and has come to the crisis worker at the suggestion of a close friend who is a school counselor. Rita owns and operates an automobile tune-up and service shop. She employs and supervises a crew of mechanics, tune-up specialists, and helpers. She works very hard and keeps long hours but maintains some flexibility by employing a manager. Rita’s husband, Jake, is a college-educated accountant. They have two children: a daughter who is 13, and a son who is 8. The family rarely attends church, and they don’t consider themselves religious, but they are church members. Their close friends are neither from their church nor from their work.
Rita’s problem is complex. She constantly feels depressed and unfulfilled. She craves attention
but has difficulty getting it in appropriate ways. For diversion, she participates in a dance group
that practices three nights a week and performs on many Friday and Saturday evenings. Rita,
Jake, and their children spend most Sundays at their lake cottage, which is an hour-long drive
from their home. Their circle of friends is mainly their neighbors at the lake.
Rita’s marriage has been going downhill for several years. She has become sexually involved with Sam, a wealthy wholesaler of used automobiles. She met him through a business deal in which she contracted to do the tune-up and service work on a large number of cars for Sam’s
company. Sam’s contracts enable Rita’s business to be very successful. Rita states that the
“chemistry” between her and Sam is unique and electrifying. She says she and Sam are “head
over heels in love with each other.” While she still lives with Jake, she no longer feels any love