Conceptualization of the Familys Situation Using System Theory – Case Study Example

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The paper "Conceptualization of the Family’ s Situation Using System Theory" is a good example of a case study on psychology.   The case in question revolves around Walton’ s family of whom I am the family therapist. Paul and Mary are the heads of the home but are on verge of a divorce. Their firstborn son John has developed a habit stealing things from his mother and classmates while his brother Mark has been getting in trouble in class for indiscipline. Paul and Mary have neglected the emotional needs of their children. Paul is an absentee father with Mary effectively shouldering all responsibilities.

He is socially rigid, a workaholic, and has Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder while Mary is emotionally distant from the children. Paul has resorted to dealing with his problem by finding comfort in guns, motorcycles, and work. Both parents do not discipline their children and have shirked this important responsibility to the children's maternal grandparents who pamper them instead. In addition, there is an abject lack of communication amongst all family members. In essence, the Walton family is a family on the brink of a breakdown and without any intervention, the total disintegration is inevitable.

To prevent this, I shall use the Cognitive Theory and Family System Theory during my therapy sessions with them. Conceptualization of the family’ s situation using system theory For Walton’ s case, I would use the general system theory and cognitive therapy as a way of restructuring the family. The general family system theory is a metatheory capable of describing the nature of the relationship between the family members (Heywood, 2001). On the other hand, Cognitive theory according to Cunningham (1995) is “ nested” within the family system theory and seeks to make sense of human behavior by obtaining an understanding of the thought processes that take place inside the human brain.

My decision to use family system theory and cognitive theory comes after a close assessment of the nature of the family in question. The relationship between cognitive theory and family system theory can be conceptualized in such a way that there are respect and clarity in the nature of a relationship, including the capability to recognize the differences and similarities between these theories.

Having conceptualized the family situation, as a therapist I come to the conclusion that the problem in Walton’ s Family lies in the parents since Paul and Mary are not bringing up their children together with Paul’ s absenteeism. If they had taken their roles in the family seriously, their problems would not have occurred. Cognitive theory Cognitive Behavioral therapy takes a psychotherapeutic advance, which is often referred to as talking therapy. According to Arthur (2006), this type of therapy aims at solving problems which concern behaviors, cognitions, and dysfunctional emotions through a systematic and goal-oriented procedure as has been expounded further upon in Chapter 8 of Cognitive Behavioral therapy.

In reference to my case study, I will consider using systematic desensitization as one of the treatments for Walton’ s family. John has a habit of stealing things and his brother has a disruptive behavior in class. Therefore, systematic desensitization will be the best treatment for both of them, since it is treated under the Cognitive-behavioral theory that is used for phobias therapeutic conditions as Chapter 8 of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy notes.

I will expose these individuals to the anxiety-provoking stimulus in steps. At each step, John and Billy will practice relaxation and other responses that will counteract the anxiety response. After this, I will take the individuals to a higher hierarchy when they have deconditioned the anxiety step.


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