Social Work

you will focus on various family therapy models. Remember, communication is the key. People are always communicating because all behavior is communicative; it is impossible for you to avoid communicating with others! All messages have a report (content) and command (a statement about the relationship) functions. Based on Bateson’s communication theory, the exchange of multilayered messages between people defines their relationship. Families perpetuate their problems by their own actions to try to solve the problem; therefore, if you can tailor the directive or intervention to a problem with a particular family, a sudden change may occur.

There are many core concepts in working with families to remember. One of the most important is family rules that maintain homeostasis for the family. Rules are often unspoken but serve to resist change, to keep things as they are. They focus on circular causality, not linear causality. Social workers must look for feedback loops that exacerbate the problem by maintaining it, thus moving the focus away from underlying problems. This is the reason for the continued communication or behavior. Your goal as the social worker is to help to change the feedback loops.

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Three critical theories in working with families are Bowen, Structural, and Strategic.

Each is based on a different set of assumptions about family problems and how to help families make changes. Pick one of the following nine case examples that fit within your area of interest. Then, prepare a critical analysis in response to the following in the form of a case study:

Identify the family members you would initially meet with, and then indicate which questions would help with this decision. (three minimum)
Determine who your clients would be. If third party insurance must be billed, indicate how you would explain the need to complete a DSM-5 diagnosis. (Express the way you would say it to the clients.)
Illustrate how you would assess safety for the family and yourself. Include a minimum of three questions you would ask.
Indicate how you would ask about the family’s strengths and resources. (word it the way you would ask the clients)
Analyze the cultural/ethnic/religious beliefs that must be considered. Include a minimum of three questions you would ask to help clarify this.
Confirm which social work ethics must be considered. Include a minimum of three questions you would ask to help clarify this.
Briefly explain what you would need to cover for informed consent.
Explain any possible countertransference issues that may need to be addressed. In general terms, document what sensitive personal experiences and/or issues these raise.
Reveal the type of information you might self-disclose. Explain your purpose with this self-disclosure and what you would hope to accomplish. Would you return hugs from children, from mother, from father? Why or why not?
Provide three questions you would ask social work supervisor about your case.
Explore the theory(s) of intervention you would use and be sure to support your decision.
Indicate a possible psycho-educational intervention you could include.
Provide a minimum of three possible resources for the client/family.
Outline a rough draft of your proposed treatment plan and provide at least three questions that would help determine this.
Select a possible homework assignment for your client/family.
Case Examples
A 35-year-old woman learned she has breast cancer and likely has only 1 year to live. She is married, is a second-grade teacher, and has twin 14-year-old girls and twin 10-year- old boys. She is upset, but doesn’t want to show her emotions to her family; so, she is trying to be strong. Within her strong religious faith, God controls everything. It troubles her that God would take her away from her children. This situation challenges her faith, which has been a major source of support and invaluable resources. She hasn’t shared these feelings with anyone because she is ashamed of her lack of faith.
A 50-year-old woman, who has been married 30 years, just learned that her husband has been having an affair for 20 years and fathered two children by this woman. The 50-year-old and her husband have four grown children, all of whom knew of this affair.
A 16-year-old African-American male told his very religious parents that he is gay. They want to convince him that he is not gay and that this new lifestyle is the devil’s work.
A woman who was a support staff member at an office where you previously worked called in a crisis. She asked you to come to her parent’s home to meet with her, her mother, and adult brothers and sisters because their father used a shotgun to commit suicide last night. They had no idea that he was suicidal.
A 30-year-old woman, who migrated to the United States from Africa, wants your help because her American husband is physically and emotionally abusive. She is a current alcoholic, suffers from depression, and has AIDS. Her husband controls her by threatening to keep their three children, who are 7, 6, and 5 years old if she attempts to divorce him.
A 9-year-old girl has come to school crying every day for a week. Her fourth-grade teacher referred her for counseling. Her parents have been divorced for 4 years, both have remarried, both have new babies, and her parents hate each other. They fight every time they interact, whether it is by phone or in person. They communicate through her, but constantly use offensive language and demeaning names when discussing the other parent with her. They have been to court five times over child support and visitation.
You have been assigned to provide family therapy to reintegrate a 6-year-old Hispanic girl and her parents as safety and the treatment process allows. It was determined that she was sexually abused by her father and likely other men in exchange for drugs. Both of her parents reportedly are meth addicts with a reputation for dealing drugs. Her father has been in prison for robbery. Her mother, who has previously been in therapy for PTSD for early childhood sexual abuse, suffers from depression and dissociates frequently. The girl is staying with her maternal grandmother who only speaks Spanish.
Parents of a 9-year-old girl are confused, exhausted, and worried. She has been treated with stimulants for ADHD by a child psychiatrist for a year because of school learning and behavioral problems. She has become increasingly aggressive at home to the point that her 11 -year-old brother and 9-year-old sister are afraid of her. They are also complaining that the parents mostly spend time with her, which is unfortunately true. She won’t sleep. The father worries that he may lose his temper and hurt her. Also, the doctor is now thinking she might be bipolar and has recommended a trial on lithium, which will require weekly blood tests. They don’t like the idea of their child on psychotropic medications.
Parents of a 19-year-old male want a second opinion. Their son was psychiatrically hospitalized while away for college. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The parents are devastated because he is their only child and has always been very stable and loving. They question the accuracy of the diagnosis and wonder if the hospital was just taking advantage of the fact that he has good insurance coverage.
Support your assignment with at least three scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including seminal articles, may be included.

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