Theoretical Orientation with a Case Study

Topics: African American, Family, Psychotherapy Pages: 11 (2641 words) Published: April 27, 2014

Theoretical Orientation with Case Study
Argosy University
Human Growth and Development - Final
December 15, 20XX

Theoretical Orientation with Case Study
The Clients
Danielle is a 30 year-old African American woman who presents with a well-maintained appearance. She is an only child who comes from a two-parent household. Danielle is college educated with a degree in English Literature from a well-respected state university. She has been teaching high school English for six years, and is an avid participant in her school’s community outreach program. She has been married to Richard for nine years, and regularly attends a Christian-based community church. Richard is a 30 year-old African American male who presents with a casual appearance. He is a high school graduate who has been in the work force for 10 years as a cable television installer. Richard comes from a single parent household. He was raised by his mother, and has two older brothers. Richard’s father has never participated in his upbringing. He has been married for nine years, and attends church every Sunday with his wife.

Presenting Problem
The couple was referred by a friend after learning that progress had stalled with their previous therapist. The couple initiated and entered therapy to navigate the challenges of their relationship. After two months of weekly sessions, the couple abandoned therapy due to what they deemed “a lack of results”. During the telephone intake and subsequent intake session, Danielle and Richard report that they have been experiencing an inability to communicate without conflict, having difficulty agreeing on financial issues, and have declined in both verbal and physical intimacy. Danielle reports that her marriage is deteriorating rapidly. She is no longer able to communicate with Richard without it ending in an argument or having him walk away in frustration. She wants him to understand her concerns about their financial future and his inability to advance at work. She relates a lack of ambition and effort to get ahead on his part and believes he does just enough to get by. She wants Richard to “step up and be the kind of provider she is used to.” Danielle reports that Richard is too dependent on his mother and brothers, and says that he prefers to spend time with them over her. In addition, she says she is “sick and tired of his family knowing all their business,” and doesn’t trust him anymore with their “secrets.” Richard claims Danielle is turning into her mother. “She has something to say about everything.” He reports that she is constantly nagging and criticizing him, and is only concerned about him making money and getting promotions so they can look good. Richard says Danielle is unsupportive and often disrespectful. He states that “she needs to recognize that she has a good man or someone else will.” Richard relates that Danielle is no longer interested in sex and has become cold. Richard describes his mother and brothers as an “outlet” for the pressures at home and work. He is loyal to his family, sees nothing wrong with their relationship, and relates that they are “grateful” to have him around.

Psychosocial History
Danielle comes from an intact family. Her parents are still married and live locally. Her father is a dominant personality whose main roles include provider, problem-solver and motivator. Danielle claims her feelings of security always came from her father. He is college educated, has been self-employed for 20 years, and has strong values rooted in hard work and traditional gender roles. Danielle’s mother is also college educated. She is a retired elementary school teacher who Danielle describes as having balanced family responsibilities with active social affiliations. Her mother conforms to traditional gender roles and takes pride in her family’s dynamic as well as their financial success and social standing. Danielle’s...

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