Social Work Practice with Families
Goal Set and Intervention
Need: Family needs a better way of communication
Goal: Family members will attend weekly family therapy sessions for the next 12 weeks. The father and mother will have a couples session once a week for six weeks. The goal is to assist the family members in developing better methods of communication and expressing themselves.
Intervention/Theory: Transformational Family Systems
Application to Family: Transformational family system is used within the family structure to improve communication and relationships (Sinan, 2020). The intervention addresses personal actions, perceptions, and emotions related to each persons dynamic in the family unit. For the Maxson family, transformational family systems will assist the family members in building better relationships with each other and improve their communications skills. Currently, the family members are not living together as a family unit because each person has their individual needs, and they ignore each other. None of the family members says exactly what they need to say, and they prefer to keep to themselves in certain matters. Troy does not communicate to his son Cory the reason he does not want him to play football. Instead, he is adamant that Cory should look for a job. However, had he expressed his fears based on what had happened to himself, they could have come up with a solution suitable for each other. Troy does not know how to communicate with his family members because of how he was raised. Troys father used to tell him what he needed to do, and he had to do it. With his family, Troy is using the same strategy, and it is not working. Therefore, he needs to go through family therapy to unlearn his current communication methods and learn new communication methods.
Rose and Troy do not have a cordial relationship, which results in them arguing most of the time. After discovering Troy has a child with another woman, Rose shuts him out completely, and she only speaks to him about what needs to be done in the house. Their communication can be rectified if they attend couples therapy to express their feelings and learn how to communicate with each other even when they are disappointed by the other person.
Need: Family needs a healthier way of dealing with emotions
Goal: The family members will attend individual therapy sessions once a week for eight weeks. The goal is to teach the family members how to cope with intense emotions.
Intervention/Theory: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Application to Family: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic treatment that assists people in learning how to discover and change destructive thought patterns (Carpenter et al., 2018). These destructive thought patterns will have a negative influence on the individuals emotions and behavior. Troy holds on to negative thoughts when told that Cory has been accepted to play college football. His thoughts go to the time when he was rejected from playing baseball, making him deny Cory the chance to play football. With CBT, Troy can learn how his thoughts impact his life and Cory by denying him a chance to play a sport he is good at and enjoys. The purpose of therapy will be to assist Troy in seeing how he is letting his emotions ruin a chance for his son. Cory does not understand why he is being denied the chance to play football and gets angry when his father goes to his school and tells the coach that Cory cannot play for the team anymore. While the angry outburst is justified for Cory, there is a better way he could have handled the situation instead of aggressively attacking Troy. The angry outburst demonstrates an underlying issue that should be dealt with during therapy.
When it is discovered that Troy has an affair that has resulted in a child, Rose is disappointed because she gave her all to Troy, and he has broken her loyalty by having an affair. The result is that Rose does not speak to Troy for almost six months. Rose is hurting, and she is dealing with her hurt by withholding communication from Troy. However, this will sort out their emotional issues. CBT can assist them in unlocking their emotions and deal with surprising news. Using CBT, the family members can learn healthier ways of coping with their emotional outbursts, which will allow them to express themselves without resulting in screaming or physical violence (Carpenter et al., 2018).
Need: Family needs healthier ways to resolve conflict
Goal: Family will attend and participate in family therapy once a week for 12 weeks. This intervention aims to assist the family members in developing healthier ways of communicating to reduce conflict.
Intervention/Theory: Structural Family Therapy
Application to Family: Structural family therapy (SFT) addresses the issues in functioning in a family (Byers et al., 2021). The subsystems and rules of the family are unclear for the Maxson family. Relationships between the subsystems are dysfunctional, as seen in the relationship between Troy and Rose. The couple subsystem should be intact, and Troy should not have gone and had an affair. However, his excuse was that he felt stuck in the relationship with Rose. Instead of having an affair, he should have worked towards rectifying and improving his relationship with Rose. SFT can address these issues because the therapist will enter into the family system to understand the relationships between family members. Conflict can be reduced if each family member respects the other. Tory and Cory have a tense relationship because Troy has an idea of what he wants Cory to do, which conflicts with what Cory himself wants. The conflict can be resolved if they both communicate and express their reasons for what they want. However, my way or the highway strategy employed by Troy increases the tensions between the family members.
SFT would assist Troy in seeing how his communication and desires are not favorable for the other family members, and he can learn how to handle conflict in the family (Byers et al., 2021). Understanding the different family subsystems allows the family members to know where they fit and their role in the family structure. Therefore, there will be less conflict, and roles will not overlap.
Byers, T., Newton, K., Whitman, T., & Jones, C. W. (2021). Prevalence of and Relationship Between Caregiver Adversity Scores and Child Client Eco-systemic Structural Family Therapy (ESFT) Outcome: Implications for Family Based Mental Health Services (FBMHS). Community Mental Health Journal, 1-12.
Carpenter, J. K., Andrews, L. A., Witcraft, S. M., Powers, M. B., Smits, J. A., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and related disorders: A meta?analysis of randomized placebo?controlled trials. Depression and anxiety, 35(6), 502-514.
Sinan, O. (2020). Satir transformational systemic therapy and spirituality. Spiritual Psychology and Counseling, 5(1), 45-64.
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