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Family System Therapy

Need assistance with the following scenario from a different perspective: Sherry and Phil are the divorced parents of three children--Susie (12), Greg (10), and Bridgette (6). They have been divorced for five years after an eight-year marriage. Sherry and Phil attempt to co-parent their children and share equal custody but live over 50 miles from each other, which involves transportation challenges for both parents around school activities, sports, and time with friends for the children during visitations. Both Sherry and Phil were single parents for several years and have each remarried spouses with children. Sherry and her husband, Jim, have full custody of his 17-year-old twin girls. The whereabouts of their mother has been unknown for at least ten years. Phil and his wife, Jill, share 50% custody of Jill's 5-year-old son with her ex-husband, who is also remarried.

Choose a stage of this family system (Sherry and Phil's divorce, Sherry and Phil's single parenthood, Sherry and Phil's remarriage) and discuss the challenges faced by both the adults and the children during this time period. Pick one of these challenges and use it as a presenting problem for the family. As their counselor, choose a systemic family therapy model and discuss how you would approach your work with this family in the context of the clinical model.

Solution Preview

Family System therapy as a counseling treatment modality became popular in the l960's and 1970 (Bartle-Haring, Lal & Probst, 2004).From this perspective, the family is viewed as a functioning unit in the therapeutic process. Based on this process, the therapist seeks to understand how individuals function in relation to each other. The role of the Family therapist is to create an environment by which all members of the family feel secure in the intervention process.

Case Study Scenario:

In choosing a stage of this family focused on remarriage, this family faces several challenges including: (1) transportation problems around children' activities, sports, etc., and (2) visitation schedules. In addition, there are children in the family system from previous marriages, now operating as a family unit. For example, three-age groups of children are involved in the family relationship along with different parents (which would suggest different parenting styles, values, habits, behaviors, attitudes, etc.) that could bring conflicts to the family. The potential problem as presented in this case study appears to be focused primarily on the children. As a choice of therapeutic intervention, the Bowen model of Family system therapy can be utilized to aid this family in efforts at achieving more effective communication and encouraging the family members to search for ways to co-exist as a family unit.

Bowen developed a theory that points to the family operating as an ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines a case study from the perspective of Family System Therapy

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