Student’s Response is required after this reading.
Student 1. Tiffani Policastro.
One of the first perspectives that came to mind when thinking about family structures is the family systems perspective. I feel that I utilize this perspective quite often in my agency. The family systems perspective looks at the family as a whole unit and the relationships within that unit (Hutchinson, 2015). The family is a system that works together through roles. Each family member may have a separate task they complete within the family unit that allows for the family to function properly. The family systems perspective also focuses on the how the members in the family are affected by one another. For example, I currently have a client who is dealing with his parents getting divorced and the problems stemming from it such as anxiety and the over burden of task. According to the family systems perspective “when change occurs for one, all are affected” (Hutchinson, 2015). In the case of my client, the change of relationship status between the mom and dad is now affecting their child and the rest of the family. The family systems perspective also focuses on how within the family roles are crucial and so are relationships. The dad and mom divorcing is now causing a change in the family roles. Since dad has moved out my client is now responsible for tasks that were once his father’s tasks. My client now feels the burden on taking the trash out, helping his younger brother get ready for school, helping mom go grocery shopping. These are all tasks his father use to do. My client also feels that his older brother does not help out as much as he should. Using the family systems perspective an intervention in this case may be focus on opening up the communication amongst the parents and siblings. Focusing on communication can help open up to the changes occurring in roles and tasks within the family. I think that using an ecomap will also be useful for my client. Allowing the client to account for relationships that he views as stressful versus support relationships and resources he can turn to.
There are many different types of family structures. There is the nuclear structure, where there are two parents and their offspring (Hutchinson, 2015). There are extended families, which is a nuclear family living along with other relatives (Hutchinson, 2015). These relatives could be aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, or grown children with their own families. There are cohabitating couples, which is when a couple lives together in a romantic relationship without marriage (Hutchinson, 2015). There are couples with no children. Couples may have no children either by choice or involuntarily (Hutchinson, 2015). There are lone parent families, when it is one parent living with their offspring (Hutchinson, 2015). This family structure is usually associated with single mothers, although there are lone parent families with fathers as well. Stepfamilies are defined as two adults and children, when one adult is not the biological parent (Hutchinson, 2015). Same sex families are either a gay or lesbian relationship. Military families are when an adult in the family is either an active duty military member or in the reserves (Hutchinson, 2015).
The approach that would be most useful in my field placement is the psychodynamic perspectives. I work at a Substance Abuse Service Center. It is highly likely that many of my clients substance abuse issues could have resulted from unresolved problems within their families, and that they coped with those issues by using substances like alcohol or drugs. It is important when conducting their biopsychosocial assessment to find out their family history, if possible, to see the impact that the family relationship has on current behaviors. I have heard stories of clients also acting out problems within their families in their current romantic relationships. I have a client whom I will refer to as C. C divulged during a group session that he was having issues with his girlfriend, who is Schizophrenic and stopped taking her medication. He said that his girlfriend would not leave him alone because she was paranoid, and that an argument ended up getting physical. C said that he felt stuck and was unsure what to do, because he did not want to get the police involved. C then revealed that he his mother was Schizophrenic and she also would not take her meds. When his mother wouldn’t take her meds she would hit him. C is re-enacting his relationship with his mother in his relationship with his current girlfriend.