What are the key dynamics of the family as a system?
This assignment provides the opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to apply the concepts covered throughout the course. This assignment MUST be typed, double-spaced, in APA style, and must be written at graduate level English. You must integrate the material presented in the text and cite your work according to APA format.
Culture and Legal/Ethical consideration are required. [This information can be found in Part I as well as in chapters throughout the course text]. You are also encouraged to use outside cultural resources to enhance your understanding.
Use the Case of Stan and Case of Gwen as a guide to theoretical application, referencing in APA style.
Your response to each vignette should be 1-2 pages per vignette for a total of 5-6 pages for the entire assignment plus a title and reference page.
Do not copy and paste the vignettes into your written response
Albert and Paula are an African-American couple seeking counseling. Albert and Paula have been living together for several years. Albert wants to either resolve certain problems or break up the relationship. Paula is very anxious about being deserted, and she agrees to come for counseling as a couple. Paula feels unappreciated, and she does not feel that Albert cares for her in “the way I would like.” She initially tells you the following: “I try so hard to do what I think Albert expects. It’s really important that I please him, because I’m afraid that if I don’t, he’ll get fed up and simply leave. And if he left, I imagine all sorts of terrible things happening. First of all, I feel the constant threat of being left. I need someone to rely on – someone who will listen to me, who I know cares for me and accepts me the way I am, who wants to be with me, and who will approve of what I do. I feel I must have this in the person I live with. If I don’t, this just proves that the other person doesn’t love me. I need to be loved. My parents didn’t love me, they never gave me the approval I needed to have, and I think that this alone is more than enough for me to bear.”
Albert responds with the following: “Frankly, I’m so tired of always feeling that I must prove myself and my constant love for Paula. No matter what I do or say, I typically end up feeling that I’m not enough and that regardless of what I do, it just won’t measure up. I’m tired of hearing that I don’t care. I’m sick of being made to feel that I’m insensitive. I hate being made to feel inadequate, and I don’t want to constantly feel that I have to weigh everything I say for fear that I’ll offend Paula and make her upset. I just can’t stand having people be upset at me – it makes me feel lousy and guilty – as if I should somehow be more than I am, that I ought to be better than I am. If I can’t get over being made to feel inadequate around Paula, I want out!”
Assume that Albert and Paula comes to you for personal therapy and that all you know about them is what they told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with this couple within a Cognitive-Behavioral frame of reference:
1. From the perspective of rational emotive behavior therapy, some of the following could be identified as Paula’s irrational beliefs. Show how you would demonstrate to her that they are self-defeating attitudes that are the direct cause of her misery:
• I must please Albert, and if I don’t he’ll leave, and the consequences will be horrible!
• I must have someone to rely on, or else I can’t make it on my own!
• I must have someone to show me caring, love, and approval, and if I don’t get this, life is hardly worth living!
• If I don’t get what I want from life, then life is damn unfair!
2. Again as an REBT therapist, how might you work with Albert’s irrational beliefs? How would you teach him to dispute them? How would you show him that these beliefs are at the root of his problems?
• I must prove myself, I must be able to meet another’s expectations of me – and if I don’t, I’ll feel inadequate, guilty, rotten, and deficient as a person!
• If I don’t meet Paula’s needs, I’m made to feel inadequate.
Fourteen-year-old Candy, her father, and her mother are sitting with you in your office for an initial counseling session. Her father begins: “I’m just at the end of my rope with my daughter! I’m sick and tired of what I see her doing to disrupt our family life. I’m constantly wondering what she’ll pull next in her long line of antics. She’s gone to the Colorado River with some guys who are older than she is, in outright defiance of my order not to go. She’s done any number of things she knows I disapprove of, and the result is that she’s suspended from school for three weeks or until she gets some counseling. This was the last straw. Candy knows what my values are, and she knows that what she’s doing is wrong. I just don’t know how to convince her that if she doesn’t change, she’ll come to a bad end.” Candy’s mother is rather quiet and does not list complaints against Candy. She generally agrees that Candy does seem defiant and says she does not know how to handle her. She says she becomes very upset at seeing her husband get angry and worried over the situation, and she hopes that counseling will help Candy see some of what they see. Candy appears very withdrawn, sullen, and not too eager to open up in this situation with her parents. She is in your office mainly because she was brought in by her parents.
Assume that Candy and her family comes to you for counseling and that all you know about them is what they told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with Candy and family within an Choice Theory/Reality Therapy frame of reference:
1. Assume that in an individual session with Candy she does open up with you, and you find out that her father’s presentation of the problems is correct. In fact, matters are worse than he imagined. Candy tells you that she has recently tried marijuana and is considering having sex with her 18 year-old boyfriend. Using the Choice/Reality Therapy framework, how might you proceed in working with her? What might you want to say to her? . What would you be inclined to tell the parents? What would you not tell the parents?
2. Your central task as a reality therapist is to guide Candy toward making an honest assessment of her current behavior and to help her evaluate the results of her behavior. Show how you will attempt to do this. How will you respond if she resists looking at her own behavior, insisting that her problems stem from her demanding and moralistic father, who is driving her to rebellion?
The Kline family consists of Gail and George, both in their early 40’s, their two daughters, Jessie, 10, Jaimi, 12 and their son Gary, age 16. Gary is on probation for using and selling drugs on campus. The court ordered him to undergo therapy. It was suggested that the entire family be involved in family therapy.
According to George, the one who is responsible for the family’s problems is his wife, who, he says, is an alcoholic. George, a businessman who does a great deal of traveling, is convinced that he is doing all he can to hold the family together. He comments that he is a good provider and that he does not understand why Gail insists on drinking. He feels that Gary has gotten everything that he ever wanted, and he maintains that the young people of today are “just spoiled rotten.” The father says that his eldest daughter, Jaimi, is the best one of the bunch, and he has no complaints about her. He sees her as being more responsible than his wife. He views his younger daughter, Jessie, as pampered and spoiled by her mother, and he has little hope for her.
George is willing to give family counseling a try and says he hopes that the therapist can straighten them all out. Jaimi doesn’t want to come, because she is not the problem. Gary is very reluctant to appear, even for one session, because he feels sure that the others in the family will see him as the source of their problems. To satisfy the conditions of his probation, Gary would rather see a therapist privately, regardless of what the court wants.
Assume that this family comes to you for counseling and that all you know about them is what they told you above. Answer the following questions on how you might proceed with this family within an Family Systems Therapy frame of reference:
1. If you believed in the value of seeing the family as a unit, how might you go about getting the entire family to come in? Assume that all agreed to attend one session. What would be your focus, and what would you most want to achieve in this family session?
2. What are the key dynamics of the family as a system? How you would work with this family, discussing any problems that you might expect to encounter?
Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. (10th ed.). Belmont, CA Cengage. ISBN: 9781305263727
Use sample vignette for reference if needed.
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