Assessment and Intervention Paper
In this family there is a mother and her 13-year-old son. The father was never involved in the son’s life, nor did the mother ever marry. The presenting problem is the son’s behaviors and attitude. The mother had to deal with her son going to court several times because of his behavior. This has been costly and time consuming for her. In addition to this, he has not been doing well at school at all due to his behavior problems. Moreover, his drug and alcohol use has resulted in him to be ordered to attend an out-patient drug treatment once a week. This is also because of his bad behavior at school. The Presenting Problem
The major problem is that the mother cannot get her son to listen to her to change his maladaptive behavior. She struggles to put herself to confront her son, and his physical and emotional manipulation over her is making the situation more difficult. The situation is challenging for the mother because she is completely alone. Also, despite the fact that she has been loving and caring, the son’s behavior continues to behave badly, even though sometimes he might randomly apologize and reflect on his behavior. Hypothesis
It is hypothesized that there is a problem with the mother’s parenting techniques that enabled the boy to be a nuisance and misbehave towards her. The mother has not managed to be strict enough so as to set certain boundaries for her son to follow because when he crossed them, she would be very lenient and afraid to react and most likely the son would then do whatever he wanted in the first place. It is assumed that the mother has been like this because she is afraid of losing him, as she has been disconnected from her biological family and he is the only one she has. Family Systems Therapies for Intervention
Three therapeutic techniques were chosen to help this family: Strategic, Structural and Solution-Focused Brief therapy (SFBT). Strategic therapy speculates on certain techniques that can be used to change the family’s interaction cycles. It focuses on replacing the previous methods the family has been using when attempting to solve their problem (Hayley, 1976; Piercy, Sprenkle, & McDaniel, 1996). The therapist is actively involved in assisting the family to strategically plan and help them realise when they have arrived at their goal or are heading towards it. Structural therapy is similar to Strategic therapy. It supports that family dysfunction is created when the family is stuck, and their current patterns of behavior do not improve the situation (Minuchin & Nichols, 1993). Structuralists believe the therapist should look for alternative behaviors the family can adopt and apply them indirectly. Thus, the therapist decentralizes themselves in order to observe the family interact and see the recurring patterns (Minuchin & Fishman, 1981). Strategic and Structural therapy has been chosen because they can help to change the family’s interaction patterns, discipline children who are difficult to deal with (Such as the son) (Haley, 1976; Madanes, 1981), and also help to develop a hierarchical structure (Friesen, 1995). In turn, the mother can be a more effective parental system (Friesen, 1995), and they can both learn to do something different from what they are already doing (Asen, 2002). SFBT only focuses on the client’s strengths and what they had previously done that was successful rather than previous failings and issues (de Shazer, Berg, Lipchik, Nunnally, Molnar, Gingerich, et al., 1986; de Shazer, Dolan, Korman, Trepper, McCollum, & Berg, 2006). The aim is to build from the client’s understandings of their situation and what the client wants to be different. SFBT was chosen because it explores problematic feelings and behaviors, providing an analysis, confrontation and education to the client (Corey, 1985; Cotton, 2010). It also helps the family to create a desired vision of the future, thinking of when the problem is solved.
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