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Theoretical Comparison and Rationale

What theories would you compare, analyze, and apply to the following chosen case study.

Case Study: Shayla is a four-year-old African American girl, a fraternal twin (one boy and one girl), whose parents are in the midst of a contentious divorce in its eighth month of litigation. Child custody is being contested. The mother announced her plans to marry a Latino American man after the divorce is final. The court assigned a family counselor to provide counseling for the children, because they are exhibiting aggressive behaviors toward other children at their daycare.

- Provide a brief foundational description of the two theories that would be most suitable for you in addressing the case.
- Provide a rationale for why you selected the theories.
- Include an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen theories as they apply to the case.

Solution Preview

Two theories that would be appropriate to address Shayla's case are based on: (1) The Object Relations theory and (2) Play Therapy theory. Relative to Object Relations theory (ORT), a child who lives in a disturbing and/or unhealthy environment can look to the community for a "continuity of care" (Axeline, 1947 as cited in Bratton, Ray, Edwards, & Landroth, 2009)). This continuity of care refers to the continued care that a child may receive in the absence of maternal care [mental and physical]. ORT indicates a contemporary understanding of the psychoanalysis or Freud's (1926; 1962) theory on the unconscious and individual mind. For instance, as Zornig and Levy (2011) note, Freud's theory on psychoanalysis primarily focused on unconscious feelings, and/or events as they were perceived by the individual. They offer a theoretical explanation of Freudian psychoanalysis, as an "emphasis on "singularity" that deals with human beings one by one" (p. 27).

Play therapy demonstrates the positive impact of play in addressing general behavioral problems. (e. g. Subbakrishna, 1999 as cited in Bratton et al., 2009). According to Bratton et al., both Melanie Klein (1932) and Anna Freud (1928) developed techniques of play therapy, which also has roots in psychoanalysis. For instance, Klein's work was with infants who she believed had an inborn desire for gratification related to ORT was adopted in her play therapy with children. Thus, her theoretical account of ORT is that the gratification if children was related to the object (e.g., mother's breast). However, contemporary play therapy theorists abandoned psychoanalysis and adopted play therapy within other theoretical orientations to treat emotionally-troubled children. For example, Levy's (1939 as cited in Bratton et al., 2009) Release therapy was based on Roger's person-centered theory. The person-centered approach was based on a Humanism orientation.

(2) Provide a brief foundational description of the two theories that would be most suitable for you in addressing the case.

Objects Relations

The ORT theory is a contemporary understanding of the psychoanalysis or Freud's (1926; 1962) theory on the unconscious and individual mind. Moreover, Freud's theory on psychoanalysis primarily focused on unconscious. Zornig and Levy (2011) presents a contemporary view of psychoanalysis in which the child is placed in a "holding" environment that offers the love ...

Solution Summary

This solution compares the theories underlying Object Relation and Play Therapy for potential intervention for a child custody case.

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