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Model and Application, Outline Example

Pages: 2

Words: 435

Outline

Examine the impact of historical and philosophical underpinnings on the components and framework of marital and family counseling therapy.

  • Systems theory marks departure from linear causation to circular causation, with many interdependent elements producing a complex system with emergent properties.
  • Bowenian therapy is built on systems theory: Bowen believed in viewing the family as a system of interacting individuals. Healthier individuals are better at differentiating thoughts from feelings and self from others; many dysfunctions come from poor differentiation.
  • The Wilkerson family in Malcolm in the Middle provide many examples: weak-willed father and husband Hal leaves discipline to authoritarian mother and wife Lois. The boys resent Lois and misbehave anyway, and the cycle goes on.

Conceptualize the role of the therapist, theory of change, and view of health or pathology in the context of a counseling model or approach.

  • The role of the therapist is that of a facilitator, one who helps the couple/family to unpack their personal and familial baggage. The therapist leads by example, modeling high differentiation of thoughts and feelings and self from others.
  • Change occurs as the couple/family realize how and why they are enacting the harmful patterns of behavior in question. In Bowenian therapy much behavior is believed to be at least partially the result of intergenerational conduits of transmission, with subsequent generations either copying or rebelling against parents’ behavior.
  • Health means achieving differentiation and being able to relate to each other in a supportive, nurturing way.
  • We know Lois comes from a family where her parents were harsh, angry, cruel, neglectful, and favored her sister Susan. Hal’s family coddled him and tried to control him; his marriage to Lois was a severe disappointment for them. By looking at how both Lois and Hal have inherited a great deal of behavioral and emotional baggage from their parents, we can see how their own parenting has suffered as a result: Lois is harsh with her sons, who resent her, while Hal is weak-willed, flighty, and impulsive, with an anger streak that sometimes emerges.

Outline an approach to diagnosis, assessment, and intervention that addresses the underlying assumptions of a counseling model or approach.

  • The genogram is one of the main tools in Bowenian therapy. Part assessment tool and part roadmap to change, it serves as a means of allowing families to map out events, personality types, and behavior (such as parenting styles) in their family history. This in turn helps them to see how they can and should change.
  • Using this approach with the Wilkerson family would help them to recognize the reasons for their dysfunctional behavior, and hopefully point them toward some better ways to go about being a family.
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