Park University Family with A Son in Trouble Integrative Perspective Case Study

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Group 4 Case Study- Psychonauts

Family with a son in trouble Integrative Perspective

1. What are your initial reactions after reading the intake interview? What are the themes that interest you the most in this case from an Integrative perspective? Why?

The initial response is that it seems each person does not want to take responsibility for their actions. Though the father may be the major breadwinner in the family, there is still the factor of him being away on business trips and not being present with the family. Gary may be acting out because he feels he is not receiving the attention he needs, especially during his adolescence.

Gary’s father, George, mentions his wife’s alcoholism that would also contribute to the possible loneliness of the children. George also felt that Gary had everything he could ever want, but perhaps Gary has everything but the proper love and attention from his family.

Jaimi concludes that she does not feel she needs to attend the therapy session because she does not see anything wrong with the situation, and Jaimi’s does not think that she needs therapy for herself. This could be her main problem. Though Jaimi tends to her father, she is thinking of herself when it comes to helping her family as a whole. Perhaps there may be something she can take from the session and apply to the family unit, such is the need in family therapy (Corey, 2017, p. 432).

These are all important themes as it shows each member contributes to the problems that arise or get resolved within the family. As choice theory suggests, an individual should be aware of how his or her actions affect their relationships (Corey, 2017, p. 318). Each member of the family has a choice to make, and they can each have the ability to bring about a more functioning family dynamic.

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy 10th Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning.

2. From an integrative perspective what different therapies that we have studied would you find useful? Support for the models selected is needed.

The father thinks he is doing everything to provide the family. But since he is out traveling so much he is neglecting his family because he is always on the road and taking care of business. He is taking care of them financially but not emotionally. The real issue is that he can provide them real emotion. The mother is not doing her job as a real mom because she is been an alcoholic. But there has to be a reason why the mother is an alcoholic? Could it be that the father never home, to be with them, to guide them as family? One suggestion is to use Family Systems Therapy In the textbook of (Corey 2017, P. 450). Limitations include problems in being to involve all the members of the family in the therapy. Some family members may be resistant to changing the structure, of the system. Therapists’ self knowledge and willingness to work on their own family of origin issues, is crucial, for the potential for countertransference is high. It is essential that the therapists be well trained receive quality supervision and be competent in assessing and treating individuals in a family context. Also a family systems perspective holds that individuals are best understood through assessing the interactions between and among family members. Using the Family system would help the family to do better because with support, guidance, and advising their life paths would change radically.

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy 10th Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning

3. George does not seem very open to looking at his role in contributing to the problems within his family. If you were to see him as your client, how would you go about establishing a relationship with him? Would there be another member of the family that it would be more effective to work with? Why? What about the couple? How would you go about establishing a relationship with them? What Integrative models concepts and techniques would be useful and why?

“Because no one theory contains all the truth, and because no single set of counseling techniques is always effective in working with diverse client populations, integrative approaches hold promise for counseling practice” (Corey,2017 p.431)

For George I think that Person-centered therapy and Adlerian therapy would be the best way to develop a relationship with him. This would help him understand about the family constellation and him to find the meaning of life and give direction to behavior.
Just like for his son Gary they both need more direction and guidance. I still believe that seeing the family a as a whole would be best to see together. Like this I would have a true understanding how they work as a unit. If I had to choose another person from the family it would be Gary. Gary is the main person to be talking to since he is the one constantly getting into trouble . “The challenge is to find practical strategies for adapting the techniques you have developed to enable clients to examine the impact their culture continues to have on their lives and to make decisions about what, if anything, they want to change” (Corey,2017p.435).Existential therapy would be a great way to get to know how Gary would work on developing that capability to understand self-awareness. Gestalt therapy would be another great therapy to help Gary find out why he is feeling and behaving the way he is and helps him to create boundaries with certain family members.

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Enhanced. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from

Question 4: Select a particular individual (or the couple) in this family and discuss how you would work with this individual. Discuss any problems that you might expect to encounter. Say how you would deal with these problems from an integrative perspective.

I would do a couple discussion with Gail and George. Reason for this is that both parents seem to struggle with balance and structure. George blames Gail for her drinking but he is not home enough to help. In order for this family to be able to function they are both having to accept they are the cause to the unbalance. Gail seems to be suppressing her depression when drinking and George is consuming his time with his job. He is providing, but is he emotionally not providing? Blaming Gail for the failures of the family is not conducive and it is causing harm. Working with both of them and making them both aware that neither one of them are to blame for the imbalance. Facilitating a change is what is needed to be addressed. Creating goals also “understanding the patterns we enact in face-to-face relationships” (Corey, 2017, p. 415). Gail and George are coping with the same matter, but handling differently due to the “flow of life” (Corey, 2017 p. 415).

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy 10th Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning

5. If an integrative approach is taken what specific models and techniques would be the most effective in working with this individual? Show how you would work with this family, and discuss any problems that you might expect to encounter. Say how you would deal with these problems.

Family Systems therapy would be way to begin. The therapist can start with a genogram to better understand what is going on in this family (Corey, 2017, p. 412). During their initial interview, the therapist can gather the perception of each individual regarding the issues they are having. The therapist and counselor can hypothesize and form a plan to get the family to work together and facilitate change (Corey, 2017, pp. 414-415).

Adlerian therapy would be an effective addition because this approach has been successful in treating substance abuse (Gail’s alcoholism), child guidance, parent-child counseling, family constellation, and the attitude of each family member towards life (Corey, 2017, p. 117). They are all contributing to the struggles they are having, including Jaimi, who feels that she has nothing to do with it.

Since Gary wants individual counseling, it would be wise to initiate a session with just him to establish the counselor-client relationship. He feels that he is the source of the problem and needs to feel heard and accepted and encouraged to change his current behavior (Corey, 2017, p. 109). After he is feeling more at ease, the subjective and objective interviews to try to figure out how his and his family’s problems began. According to Adler’s birth order, since Gary is the oldest, he may have had the limelight and felt that Jaimi came and took that from him. Being that the father states that Jaimi is the best child, it stands to reason why Gary feels ousted.

Through Adlerian group counseling and sharing, the family may begin to feel a sense of closeness and hope. Their relationship will benefit because “from a series of early memories, individuals can get a clear sense of their mistaken notions, current attitudes, social interests, and possible future behavior” (Corey, 2017, p. 118). They will get a clearer picture why there is so much turmoil in their family.

The counselor can now integrate Cognitive Behavior therapy, specifically REBT to teach clients to “change their dysfunctional emotions and behaviors into healthy ones” (Corey, 2017, p. 274). They are all experiencing distress because of their actions; they don’t realize how their behaviors are affecting each other. No one thinks that it is their fault, except for Gary, who thinks it is all on him; they all have faulty information processing (Corey, 2017, p. 283). Therapy may take a while because they will need to trust the therapist and they will all have to take responsibility for their maladaptive behavior. That may be a challenge, though, because they may all blame Gary for this situation.

Finally, the counselor may also add the “WDEP” System (Corey, 2017, p. 322). Asking each individual family member what they way, what does the family want to do about this situation, the therapist and group will evaluate each other’s responses and make a plan for how they plan to become a cohesive family.

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy 10th Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Prof. Angela


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