Topic 6 – Case Study part 1

1. Read this case study demonstrating the emotional brain (fight/flight) in action.

After being robbed several years ago whilst on holiday overseas, Paul has been anxious and nervous about it happening again. One night while out at a bar with friends, Paul feels somebody brush against his back pocket where he keeps his wallet and phone. Immediately Paul’s emotional brain thinks there is a threat (robbery) to his safety, and begins to go into a ‘fight or flight response’. Paul can feel his blood pressure rise, and his heart start racing. Sweat begins to form on his body and his muscles tense up ready to fight. Turning around quickly, Paul immediately swings a punch at the person.

In this example, rather than ‘flight’, Paul’s body has chosen the ‘fight’ option.

Pen and paperNow here are some reflective questions that you can answer in the workbook or alternatively, a pad or device of your own.

a) What were some of the signs that Paul’s body was in ‘fight’ mode?

b) Can you think of any other ways Paul could have responded to the situation?