Estudos de caso

Maria is a student who was struggling to complete her assignment because she was unable to concentrate on reading. She described reading the same page over and over again without understanding or remembering what she’d just read, eventually giving up in despair. Maria described herself as someone who loved reading, who habitually read for pleasure and whose only real problems were on focusing on academic reading. She feared that this difficulty might be a symptom of her being “not clever enough” for her very competitive school. A discussion focused on how Maria organised her study time. She had lectures three mornings a week, so had got into the habit of using her afternoons for studying in the library. However, her lack of concentration was frustrating and depressing her; after a few hours attempting to read, she would just go home and spend the evening trying to cheer herself up by watching television or chatting with her friends. The adviser explained to Maria that some times of day can be better for focusing on difficult tasks. Maria agreed that (like most people) she found it easiest to focus in the mornings and most difficult after lunch: however, this was when she was attempting the study tasks that needed most concentration. It was suggested that Maria makes a timetable, committing herself to studying at her best times and that she kept time in the afternoons when she tended to lose focus for doing chores, answering emails, going to the gym etc. The adviser also explained how she could use active reading and note-making practices to make her reading more productive. Maria returned a week later, delighted and relieved to report that she had started to make sense of her reading and was well on the way to completing her assignment. She was using her early afternoons to take more exercise and socialise, and felt that this was helping her to clear her head before starting to work again in the late afternoon.