Which Family Therapy Technique Is It?
Read the scenarios below and identify which family therapy is being used and how you as the therapist would treat the individuals.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been having trouble with their teenage daughter. The daughter never seems to do her chores and throws a tantrum when she isn’t allowed to go out with her friends to an unsupervised party. The daughter is constantly yelling at her parents and telling them they aren’t fair and that she hates them. The therapist listens to the daughter’s complaints and says he understands what she is saying. The therapist tells the daughter that it sure must be difficult not to be allowed to go over to her friend’s house for a party.
Mrs. Johnson is tired of her son threatening her when he doesn’t want to listen to her ask him to do something. She gets so frustrated because he sleeps until noon, gets up and makes breakfast and leaves a mess in the kitchen, and then sits around most of the afternoon watching TV and snacking on junk food. She repeatedly asks him to clean up his messes and help out around the house. He just yells at her and says it is her job and that if she doesn’t stop nagging him he is going to knock her around. She is so fed up that the family goes to a therapist. The therapist asks Mr. Johnson if he does any disciplining of the son and he answers that he is away at work all day and doesn’t want to deal with it when he gets home. The therapist suggests that Mr. Johnson help with the son. She also suggests that maybe one or two nights a week, they (Mr. and Mrs. Johnson) could go out to dinner by themselves and maybe to a movie to spend some quality time together.
Mr. and Mrs. Gomez have three small children and find that lately they are arguing over everything concerning their children. They argue about when the children should go to bed, what foods they should eat, and what TV shows they should watch. They finally break down and go to see a therapist. The children say that their parents are accommodating and just enforce the rules. The therapist asks the parents about their relationship with each other. Mr. and Mrs. Gomez insist their relationship is fine, but they argue about the children and the children are the problem.
James has been missing a lot of school in the past two months. Both his mother and father work full-time jobs and leave the house before he does in the morning and get home after him in the evening. They weren’t even aware of his delinquency until the school called the father at work the other day to say that if James missed any more classes he wouldn’t pass the school year and would have to repeat the same grade again next year. The parents feel as though James is out of control and are at their wit’s end. They all go into family therapy. The therapist tries to explain that what is occurring is not only James’ fault, but it is a “family” problem. She asks each parent if there is anything they could have done differently in their parenting to change the problem.