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Reality Therapy

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Name: Lois R. Gender: Female Age: 41

Ethnicity: Hispanic Religion: Catholic

Relationship Status: Married

Description of Presenting Issue:
Lois heard you give a talk on abuse and called for an appointment the next day. She said your talk made her realize that she may be experiencing abuse, and she would like your help in improving her behavior so that her husband won't be so angry with her. Lois has been married to her second husband for three years. When she married, she brought her mother and teenage daughter to live with her new husband. Lois expresses great gratitude toward her husband for allowing her to bring her family with her into his home, and states that he deserves to have the best possible wife because he is so good to her.
Since childhood, Lois has always looked to others to help her and make decisions for her. She cannot tolerate being alone and feels overwhelmed and without direction when she is alone. The focus of her life has always been pleasing and caring for others, asking them to tell her what to do because she feels unable to determine her own direction.

Two major changes occurred in Lois's life a few months after she married. Her daughter left for college and her mother was diagnosed with dementia. Since then, Lois has felt very sad and lonely. Although she has continued her daily activities and responsibilities, she reports having little energy, having even more than her usual difficulty in making even simple decisions, feeling hopeless, and having little interest in eating. Her husband has responded to this by yelling at both Lois and her mother and demanding that they change. Lois has tried to appease him, but his anger has only escalated and she is now afraid that he might hit her.

Occupation History: Lois is currently a homemaker and caretaker to her mother.

Education History: Lois completed high school and two years of college. She wanted to complete her college education, but was unable to due to financial hardship.

Medical History: Lois did not report any medical problems, but she appears to have a curvature of the spine.

Family History: Lois has two sisters, age 44 and 49. Lois's father passed away when she was 11 as a result of a massive heart attack.

Alcohol / Substance Use: During high school, Lois tried a variety of prescription medications and illegal substances (marijuana). She became a heavy drinker during her mid twenties, consuming upwards of 6+ drinks per evening, 4-5 times per week. At age 29, Lois joined Alcoholics Anonymous. She remains active and sober in the program, attending one meeting per week.

Give a brief summary of the strengths and weaknesses of using either reality or family system approaches presented in working with Lois. Be sure to provide evidence to support your decision.

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*Give a brief summary of the strengths and weaknesses of using either reality or family system approaches presented in working with Lois. Be sure to provide evidence to support your decision

I would consider using a Reality Therapy approach with Lois. The rationale for taking this approach is that Reality Therapy is designed to help people take charge of their lives, which if feel that Lois needs. Additionally, one of the goals of the psychotherapeutic approach with someone who has an alcoholic problem is to help the client make more positive choices. Ward & Bendel (1982) used Reality Therapy in a study with a group of alcoholic patients. They utilized two interventions in which Reality Therapy was one approach. Relative to the Reality Therapy approach, clients were asked to sign a contract specifying long-term goals and a behavioral plan. The objective was to make intention choices regarding the behavior (p. 311). The ...

Solution Summary

This solution evaluates a specific case study from the perspecitve of Reality Therapy.