Case Study and Therapy Plan for Olivia Benson

Fallon Marie
10 min readApr 29, 2022

Author’s Note: This is my final paper for my Therapeutic Techniques and Counseling class. We had to write a case study on a fictional character and then create a realistic treatment plan for them. This piece contains in-depth descriptions of PTSD, its symptomology, Olivia Benson’s symptoms, and her trauma. Trigger warnings abound for abuse, alcoholism, sexual assault, and kidnapping. If you need something lighter from me, my Disney publication is here:

SVU is available on both Hulu and Peacock streaming platforms.

Case Study

Olivia “Liv” Margaret Benson is a 54-year-old single mother from New York City. She was raised as an only child by her mother, Serena, in New York City. However, she later discovered she had a half-brother, named Simon. Olivia and her mother had a toxic and abusive relationship. She is a product of rape. The circumstances of her birth both meant that her mother’s rapist was not in her life and that Serena was traumatized. Serena’s trauma led to her becoming an alcoholic and being physically and verbally abusive to her only child. This trauma affected Olivia in the beginning of her career. As a teenager, Olivia was deeply in love with and engaged to one of her mother’s students. When Serena found out, she attacked her daughter with a broken liquor bottle, forcing Olivia to flee the apartment. Despite her addiction and abusive behavior, Serena maintained a successful career as an English professor for much of her adult life and was extremely intelligent. So too is her daughter. Olivia speaks five languages-Hungarian, English, French, Spanish, and Italian. She uses this skill frequently at work. Ms. Benson is a highly decorated and passionate police captain at the New York City Police Department (NYPD), She has been a police officer for 22 years. In that time, Ms. Benson has worked her way up from detective to squad captain (“Olivia Benson, 2022).

After college, Olivia trained at the NYPD police academy. She was hired onto the force in 1992. In 1999, she began working as part of Manhattan’s Special Victims Unit (SVU), dealing specifically with violent personal crimes such as rape, child abuse, domestic violence, and incest. This is her passion, and she is…

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Fallon Marie

She/her ♿️🇺🇸🏳️‍🌈🤘🏻🦋✝️If you can’t stand up, stand out Writer, cat mom, future therapist, Disney nerd. advocate Hebrews 4:15-16.