Case: Smith Family
The Smithâ€™s presented due to their 16 year oldâ€™s issues at school. John has been disruptive, walking out of class on a whim, not doing homework, not studying for tests and failing them, basically â€œrunning his own programâ€. He was taken out of several schools so far and is only passing now because of the efforts of his tutors and parents pushing him and the school giving him a break. Upon deeper examination, it is discovered that there is a lot of turmoil in the family. His mother and father are high up in the Community and in their church. They put on a â€œHave it Togetherâ€ front for the outside world. At home mom does her best to help make the family work and tries to help her friends and family as well. Dad is highly anxious and controlling. He is jealous of everything he canâ€™t control in his wifeâ€™s life. He rails on her openly in the home, berating her constantly. He makes threats about how he will no longer participate in: the household, at community or family events, in therapy, heâ€™s moving out, etcâ€¦ He throws these tantrums regularly which derail the family and make all of its members feel bad about themselves and what they bring to the family picture.
Obviously John is the identified patient for the family. Please use any or multiple Family Systems theories to assess this case. Please discuss the same elements from this weekâ€™s post:
- Boundaries: What are they, and why are they important?
- Symptom maintenance: What is symptom maintenance, and why is it important to consider in counseling children?
- Attribution of meaning: What is meant by attributing meaning to a child’s or an adolescent’s behavior?
- Family rules: How would you define this, and why is it important when working with children and adolescents?
- How would you begin in treating this family and what would your goals be in proceeding?