Explore BrainMass


Read and analyze the case study below wearing the hat of a marriage family therapist.

A female, age 19, Marceline (M), is in your office. She has a friend, who is waiting for her with her 26-month-old male child, Michael Jr. (referred to as Junior). The child is quite disruptive and the friend is trying very hard to keep him quiet and interested in a toy, but they are really very frustrated with each other to all appearances.

M has requested that you speak to her current boyfriend, Leon, about several things right now. She wants him to be more patient with Michael Jr., and to be more attentive to her like he used to be. M is complaining about Leon's increased drinking after a recent job loss, and some threatening behavior when he gets upset. This is usually at night when M and Leon both drink to calm their nerves. M perceives things are getting worse at home. They live together in a one-room studio apartment since M had her hours at the grocery store cut and Leon got laid off from the same store. They have lived in the studio for 4 months and previously in a home that they thought they could buy but walked away from because of escalating expenses and job cuts. To be truthful, says M, "I am miserable and so is he. What can we do? Junior is so hyper that I take him to my mother-in-law Grace's house -- she runs a day care -- whenever I can.

Living arrangements:

The studio apartment is not good; the landlord is not very receptive to complaints about the peeling paint, the toilet that won't stop running and the heater that does not work. M and Leon are often late with the rent check. The landlord lets them go as long as they pay the same month and pay a late fee. Bill collectors are calling but the phone number has been changed now.

Marital status:

M is still married to her high-school sweetheart, Michael. They married in Las Vegas after learning she was pregnant with his baby. He was her first romantic involvement. Elopement seemed great and things were okay for the first year, but he left about a year later for another woman. Now he is back and wants to get together again and live with M and his son.

Present mental status:

M states that she is confused. Should she stay with Leon or should she go back with Michael? She's pretty angry at Michael for his affair and leaving her and Junior, and has not really talked to him much except when M leaves the baby with Grace. You soon learn that they have done a bit more than talk, and she admits she has been intimate with Michael recently. Marceline says she is depressed, has suicidal thoughts, but overcomes them with alcohol and some other stuff now and then. She only drinks to calm down. Since they cut back her hours at the grocery store, she is really drinking more than usual. But, she says, she is always up with Jr. and gets him to Grace for day care by 9:00 A.M. She and Leon both wait until five before they drink and then it's just a few. After she gets the baby back and starts dinner for the family, she will drink to calm her nerves. "I should have never had a kid, she comments. M adds, "And this kid just isn't normal. I swear he hates me. It isn;t easy to love the kid when he won't talk and just screams and runs around like crazy. I just sit and stare at him sometimes. Right now, Michael seems nicer to me than Leon. Well, I do sort of see more of Michael now at my mother-in-law's. We talk a lot."

Child's status:

Michael Jr. is not doing well at all. He is extremely avoidant of people, won't try to talk, cries, and throws tantrums when he cannot get his way. Both M and Leon are ready to give the child to Michael and his mother, Grace, who want him. Michael Jr. is with his grandmother, Grace, a great deal of the time. She runs a small day care for 3 children to help pay for the house she inherited through the family. The house is overall suitable but needs some plumbing work and a new refrigerator. Overall, M eventually lets you know that she wants to end her relationship with Leon and move in with Grace.

Current status:

The phone rings into your office, and M's mother-in-law, Grace, is calling to tell you, the therapist, some things that she believes will assist you in helping M and Junior. She would like to see Michael and M get together again. In fact, Michael is on another phone extension and can speak with you right now. Grace and Michael also want to see you about helping Junior.

Begin your final project with the essay section and address the following questions:

Whom do you want to interview and why?
What paperwork should be on file?
Based on the material on ethics you learned in this course, what are the ethical issues to be considered? How do these ethical considerations influence the work you will do with M and her family? Remember to explain the type of ethics (consequential, non-consequential, virtue) that supports your ideas
What type of assessment/testing would you perform? For whom? Be sure to name the person, explain the specific assessment/testing you are doing, and why you are performing it.
What other screening may assist your assessment of the people in this case? Would you refer any one of these hypothetical clients? To whom might you refer? For what?

Solution Summary

This solution presents an assessment for a specific case study