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The Changing Goals in the Family

Consider the perspectives of multiple family members from the movie Parenthood in relation to one another, and think about the changing goals of these family members through a developmental life-cycle perspective.

Pick at least 2 family members from a family unit, or two members of the entire family, from the film who you believe may have reason to attend therapy. For example, you could choose Gil, Karen, and their son Kevin, if you want to focus on members within a family unit. You could also select other intergenerational or interfamilial dyads or subsystems to examine, such as: Gil and his brother Larry; Gil and his father; Gil, Larry, and their father; Marylin, Helen, and Julie; and so on.

Considering Family Members' Perspectives

Write in first-person about each family member's perspective as if it were occurring in the context of a family therapy session. For each family member you have selected, address the following:

Present the challenges you are currently facing in your relationships or in the family.

Discuss the issues related to life-cycle stages for yourself and for the family system.

Clinical Appraisal of the Family and Relationships

Writing in proper third-person, address the following:

Given what the respective family members have shared about their experiences in their relationships, connect this information to each family member's life-cycle stage as well as to the family's life-cycle stage.

Identify any horizontal and vertical stressors that may be interacting with the clients' reported issues as well as the individual and familial life-cycle stages.

Discuss the relationships between the clients' reported issues, the respective individual and family life-cycle stages, the horizontal and vertical stressors, and how these factors interact to help a clinician better understand the presenting problems.

Use the DSM-IV to determine an appropriate relational V code diagnosis (Ch. 17) for Axis I.

An individual diagnosis should not be offered.

Applicable V code diagnoses regarding Additional Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention (Ch. 17) can be considered in addition to the relational V codes.

Solution Preview

See the attached file.

To give you an example on how to answer the questions, I will use the father, Gil, as an example to guide you in answering the questions. This should help you with finishing the 1st one and completing the 2nd one.

Present the challenges you are currently facing in your relationships or in the family.

Current challenges I am facing are:

- Obsessed (slightly neurotic) sales executive - Question: What skills does it take to be in a leadership position?
- I am having a hard time balancing my family and career. Question: What stage in the life cycle is this?
- My eldest son, Kevin, has emotional problems and needs therapy, and my daughter Taylor and youngest son Justin, both have issues as well. I feel as if I am to blame and I'm questioning my abilities as a father.
- My wife, Karen announces she is pregnant with our fourth child and I don't know if I can handle it. Question: What additional emotions can this create-emotionally, financially career and systemically within the family?
- I'm going to have to work harder (workaholic) and I feel as if I'm turning into the one person I despise - my father. However, I have no one else to talk to and I finally break down ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the changing goals in the family.