Your assignment is to develop a treatment strategy for the Williams family bases on the case study provided. This paper should not be a treatment plan with DSM diagnoses. Neither should it be a verbatim report of a counseling session.
Jeff and Sandy Williams present themselves in your counseling agency. Sandy Williams has called for an appointment and cited family issues along with couple conflict between her and her husband. The office receptionist makes an appointment for the entire family of four.
Jeff and Sandy have been married 21 years. Jeff owns his own used car business, but the downturn in the economy has created financial difficulty for him and Sandy. Sandy has been employed as a teacher’s aide at a local elementary school for 10 years. Their oldest son, Jacob (18) was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome several years ago. The youngest son, Leo (15) is having trouble at school.
You have seen the family for two sessions; thus far, the issues presented are that Jeff has a drinking problem. He drinks each day when he arrives home from work and continues until he goes to bed. The next day he remembers little of his late night behaviors or conversations. This has created conflict between him and Sandy.
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Due to slow business at the car lot, financial pressure has added to family anxieties. You sense that spending behaviors and lack of financial management are areas that may need some skill building.
Over the last 4–5 years, Jacob’s awkwardness has alienated him socially. Jacob suffers from depression and overall sadness. He feels alone, misunderstood, and struggles with any kind of social engagement. Although Jacob is present during the family counseling sessions, he is both disengaging and silent. He sits, looking at the floor and rocking back and forth. A couple of times when you attempted to draw him into the conversation, he became agitated and began screaming.
Both Sandy and Jeff are perplexed about Jacobs’s behavior, lack of social skills, and lack of empathy; however, Jeff reacts with anger toward Jacob more so than Sandy. This results in Sandy being angry with Jeff for his reaction toward Jacob. The couple also suffers from loneliness and believes that this may be connected to Jacob’s disorder. They both voice that they feel that no one really understands Jacob or what they go through as a family. Due to Jacob’s disorder, the family seldom visits with friends or extended family. Many times when they have attempted to do things socially, Jacob either acts out or wants to return home early. This, again, angers Jeff and saddens Sandy.
Sandy and Jeff are also extremely frustrated with various individuals connected with the school system. They indicated that the school is not doing enough to help either of their two sons.
Leo has not contributed much to the conversation while in counseling and seems distant and disengaged from his family. When you have made attempts to draw Leo into the conversation, he has responded with comments like, “I guess so,” or “whatever.” Leo’s grades have been slipping from a B average to a D average over the last couple of years. Leo has few close friends, stays home if he can when the family goes on an outing. He seldom goes out with the family anymore. He reported being increasingly frustrated over the last few years.
Your assignment is to develop a treatment strategy for the Williams family bases on the case study provided. This paper should not be a treatment plan with DSM diagnoses. Neither should it be a verbatim report of a counseling session. Rather, this paper must articulate a plan of intervention for the family that uses a community counseling approach. Imagine that you are the community counselor, that you have conducted two counseling sessions, and now you want to develop a cohesive treatment strategy for the entire family (Jeff, Sandy, Jacob and Leo). Your job is to provide a plan of action that will assist them in moving toward healing and recovery. The community counseling model will serve you well and enable you to assist the family with the multiple issues that you will see in the case. You need to hypothesize and critically assess what is going on within the family. Consider the following questions when planning your paper:
- Based upon what you are able to deduct from the case study and assessment of issues that may have gone unsaid, where would you–as the community mental health counselor–begin?
- What are the various, obvious, or hidden issues that you believe this family experience?
- What are the best practices for addressing their needs and issues?
- What services might you be able to provide?
- What additional services would you need to find for the family?
Your paper must be 10-12 pages (not including title page, abstract, or reference page; however, these are required as well). You must use current APA style (write in third person) and integrate references to at least 10 recent scholarly sources. Ideally, include both June & Black and Scott & Wolfe in a meaningful way. You must also use scholarly journal articles to support your assessment and various treatment recommendations. Include the following content, using appropriate headings:
- Introduce the Williams family and provide a brief case conceptualization.
- Describe the services that you/your community counseling agency will provide.
- Identify services that you feel could be better provided by other agencies or organizations. These need to be actual services that are offered in your community. You need to disclose the organization, its location, the cost involved, the criteria needed for referral/approval, and contact information. If some of the needed services are not available in your local community, you have to find the closest ones that the family may, realistically, use.