Working with families and couples can be very challenging for a number of reasons. As a counselor, you will be faced with many clients who experience problems related to family or marital/partner issues. If you decide to work with children and adolescents, you will also need to know and understand how to use these skills to deal with the unique nature of these populations. Your focus will be on understanding the system of relationships in these interactions and assessing and intervening when dysfunctional patterns emerge. In working on these systems, a counselor can help restructure dysfunctional patterns so that healthy patterns can emerge.
In this module, we will apply what we have learned to Maria’s case. We know that Maria is estranged from her family and does not have friends. She has described her immediate family during the assessment process. Let’s assume Maria has contacted her family while she has been living in the domestic violence shelter. Maria’s parents have agreed to enter family counseling.
Maria’s father, Pablo, is described as the “head of the household”. He expects the family to abide by his rules. He maintains a full-time job as a city maintenance worker. Maria’s mother, Alma, is a homemaker. She has very few friends. She attends church almost daily. She makes very few decisions regarding the family and spends very little time with her husband. She wishes they were closer and could talk more about their family.
Maria has three younger siblings at home. The youngest is a 13-year-old boy, Juan, who Maria believes is starting to associate with known gang members. He fights with both of his parents and does not get along with his sisters. Maria also has 15-year-old and 17-year-old sisters (Luisa and Soledad) living at home. Both are described as very good students. They are not allowed to date or go out with friends, as their father is fearful they will make the wrong choices. The two girls are very close to one another. Maria has a 19-year-old brother (Manny) who is estranged from the family. His whereabouts are not known. Maria stated he left the home at the age of 17 due to the “stormy” relationship he had with his father.
Directions: Consider the additional information provided about Marias family in the Module Introduction and complete this assignment as follows:
Create a structural map of Maria’s family
Based on this map, assess the family symptomatology
Next plan your initial therapeutic intervention
Finally assess the unique cultural differences you will need to be aware of when working with this family
Your assignment should be created using in a PowerPoint or similar presentation software (i.e. Google docs Presentations). Your presentation should be a minimum of 10-12 slides with notes. You should use and cite a minimum of three sources to support your assessment and plan. Use APA formatting for this presentation.
This presentation must:
have a thesis statement (statement of purpose/intent), must indicate the topics to be covered
use ONLY professional, objective language. Use objective, formal, not conversational tone/style
use APA style
use direct quotes sparingly – work on paraphrasing and appropriate citations for the paraphrased information
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