Vargas Family Case Study: Fifth Session
Vargas Family Case Study: Fifth Session
Structural family therapy approaches can be used in the counseling process to address issues affecting clients. These approaches focus on the interaction patterns between family members. This is because a failure in these relationships is the main contributing factor in family issues (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013). The approaches aim to change negative behaviors in a particular family by improving the communication and interaction patterns in the family. For an effective implementation of the structural family therapy approaches, the family must be willing to allow the counselor to take charge in implementing strategies, which will lead to positive behavior change (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013). From information collected from the Vargas family, there are communication problems between the family which has led to the problems currently experienced. A counselor can apply Strategic Family Therapy theories to analyze the current issues in the Vargas family and come up with appropriate interventions (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013).
The Jay Haley or Chloe Madanes Approach and Interventions
These approaches explain on why families are continuously stuck and unable to solve certain issues affecting them. According to Haley and Madanes perspective on the family strategic therapy, the counselor is solely responsible for enacting change since the client is deemed stuck in determining a solution for his/her issues (Lebow, 2013). Haley and Madanes based their diagnosis on family interactions and other social associations, which may be contributing to the presenting issues (Lebow, 2013). Haley/Madanes would approach the current presenting problem by first making contact and engaging with the family. This will help the counselor in collecting information related to the development of the family issues (Lebow, 2013).
This information will also help the counselor in making an accurate diagnosis which will enable the counselor in coming up with the best strategy to use (Lebow, 2013). Bob and Elizabeth are having a dysfunctional family due to poor communication, which has led to ruined relationships in the family (Lebow, 2013). Bob and Elizabeth have failed to agree and find a solution for their presenting problems. One of the interventions to use is the paradoxical intervention, which involves helping clients in changing their perspectives and views in relation to the presenting problems. The counselor uses the same symptoms, which the client intends to address (Gehart, 2018).
This intervention is based on the fact that people engage in certain behaviors for a reason which may be to meet a particular need or to achieve a certain outcome. However, this intervention is basically meant to be used by counselors since there is some training associated with the technique (Gehart, 2018). The second intervention is to emphasize the positive while neglecting the negative, which is achieved by relabeling a previous dysfunctional behavior as understandable (Gehart, 2018). Views and opinions given by different parties may be relabeled to give a very different meaning. This intervention will identify the efforts made by either parties in trying to resolve the current issues affecting their family (Gehart, 2018).
MRI Style Approach
This approach is based n the assumption that families make misguided decisions in trying to address their issues. How a family makes their decisions is governed by the implemented family rules (Bitter, 2014). The misguided decisions have a negative effect on the family by worsening the current problems. The MRI style approach provides guidelines to therapists on how to address such a situation (Bitter, 2014). An MRI-style therapist would identify any loop in the provision of feedback in the family, find the rules governing the family system, and then proceed to change the loops and the rules. This is meant to bring a behavioral change in the family, which is important in addressing the family problems (Bitter, 2014).
Bob has tried to implement strategies to address Frankie’s behavior, which have failed. Elizabeth expects Bob to take up the responsibility of correcting Frankie from the negative behavior, which has not achieved as Bob engages Frank in plays instead of punishing him for his wrong behavior. However, this has not worked and an MRI therapist should focus on shifting the solutions currently implemented which are not working (Bitter, 2014). One of the interventions that would be used is reframing which involves providing the Vargas family with a reason for the treatment, which is aimed at bringing the family into compliance with the treatment process (Bitter, 2014).
The counselor helping each one understand that there is a problem in their family, which needs to be addressed, can achieve this (Bitter, 2014). The second intervention that a counselor can use is out positioning which involves exchanging the family roles and placing them on the extreme (Bitter, 2014). This is meant to help the other family members to understand the burden and responsibilities that other members of the family go through (Bitter, 2014). This will help the members to change their perspective in relation to the presenting problems. In the Vargas family, this can be achieved by switching roles between Bob and Elizabeth and between their two children (Bitter, 2014).
Milan Style Approach
The Milan style approach borrows heavily from the Haley and Madanes approach. This approach believes that families should have clear boundaries with the therapy not placing expectations on the families (Williams, Patterson, ; Edwards, 2014). This will help the family in analyzing its own family system and structure. This examination will help the family in identifying any negative structures and redesign its own family structure. This is important since the family is responsible and plays a large role in addressing some of the loopholes in its own structure (Williams, Patterson, ; Edwards, 2014). A Milan-style therapist can approach the current presenting problem by helping the Vargas family in examining their own family structure, which will help them to identify any areas, which need to be addressed. This will help the family in setting up clear boundaries, which are important in addressing the presenting problems (Williams, Patterson, ; Edwards, 2014).
One of the interventions that a therapist can use is positive connotation, which involves reframing the problem to avoid blaming certain family members, which would make the members to feel bad (Williams, Patterson, ; Edwards, 2014). This intervention can be applied in the Vargas family to prevent blaming certain family members for the current presenting problems rather address the problems as a whole family issue (Williams, Patterson, ; Edwards, 2014). The second intervention involves rituals which are directives meant to engage the whole family in certain behavior and responsibilities. This intervention will help the Vargas family to appreciate each other and the roles performed by different members as members are able to alternate their responsibilities in certain days (Williams, Patterson, ; Edwards, 2014).
Bitter, J. R. (2014). Theory and practice of family therapy and counseling. Australia: Brooks Cole.
Gehart, D. R. (2018). Mastering Competencies in Family Therapy: A practical approach to theories and clinical case documentation. Australia: Cengage Learning.
Goldenberg, I., ; Goldenberg, H. (2013). Family therapy: An overview. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
Lebow, J. L. (2013). Handbook of Clinical Family Therapy. New York, NY: John Wiley ; Sons.
Williams, L., Patterson, J. E., ; Edwards, T. M. (2014). Clinicians’ guide to research methods in family therapy: Foundations of evidence-based practice. New York: Guilford Press.