is a single parent of one child, age 4, and is financially stable.
She finds herself often questioned by friends and relatives about why
she is not married. Jill decides to attend counseling to discuss some
of the pressures and challenges she is facing from her family and
friends over her choice to raise her child alone.
Jill’s therapist/counselor, how would you work with her in
identifying strengths that she sees concerning being a single parent?
How would you assist her in working with her family and friends when
they question her decision? Reflect on your own family of origin in
relation to parenting. How would this impact your thinking as Jill’s
and Remarriage Case Study
and Phil are an interracial couple. They have been divorced for five
years after an eight-year marriage during which Phil was active
military and deployed two times. They have two children: Susie (12)
and Greg (10). After the second deployment, for support, Sherry moved
off base with the children to live closer to her parents. She did not
return to the base when Phil returned from his second deployment.
Phil was upset; however, he understood and requested reassignment to
an overseas post. He has since been discharged and has been
struggling to find steady employment. Sherry and Phil divorced soon
after Phil’s return to the United States and his military discharge.
and Phil attempt to co-parent their children and share equal custody
but live more than 50 miles from each other. This distance creates
transportation challenges for both parents around school activities,
sports, and time with friends for the children during visitations.
Sherry and Phil were single parents for several years and now each
has remarried people with their own children. Sherry and her husband,
Jim, who is Caucasian, have full custody of his 17-year-old twin
girls. The whereabouts of their mother has been unknown for at least
who is African American, and his wife, Jill, who is Caucasian, share
50 percent custody of Jill’s 5-year-old son with her ex-husband, who
is also remarried.
a stage of this family system—Sherry and Phil’s marriage while he
was active duty, Sherry and Phil’s divorce, Sherry and Phil’s single
parenthood, Sherry and Phil’s remarriages—and discuss the
challenges faced by both the adults and the children during this time
period. Pick one of these challenges, and use it as a presenting
problem for the family. As the family’s therapist or counselor,
choose a systemic family therapy model, and discuss how you would
approach your work with this family in the context of the clinical
the following in your response:
types of questions you will ask according to your model.
types of interventions you will develop according to your model.
cultural and diversity issues that might arise for the client family
and for you as the therapist or counselor.
Interventions for Families Facing Illness and Loss
what you observed and learned from the video Emotional
and Practical Responses to Chronic Illness and
the readings from this unit into a discussion about how factors such
as onset, course, outcome, and degree of incapacitation of an illness
may create differing stresses relating to the family’s stage of
life-cycle development. Address the following:
impact does illness, disability, or death of a family member have on
the social and emotional stability of the family?
impact might misemployment or unemployment of individuals
experiencing chronic illness or disability have on the family
relationships and sense of self for the individual?
could the expected or anticipated future of the family change, and
how might the family respond?
are some clinical interventions you could use as a counselor or
therapist to work with the emotional distress of the family system?
would you address issues of work and career for this client? Utilize
the career decision-making models in your response, as discussed in
for Assignment 3
With chronic illnesses, simple activities are often daunting. For
example, walking across a room can seem like a mile or driving to the
grocery store exhausting. Toni had to admit she had trouble with
routine tasks like turning the pages of a book, cooking, and even
styling her hair. And Beverly has had some trouble coping with the
limitations of her condition.
difficult at times not being able to do the normal everyday things –
take a shower, wash my hair – without being totally exhausted.”
Coping with a long-term illness is complex for both caregivers ad the
care receiver. An acute illness like appendicitis or pneumonia may be
serious but can be diagnosed, treated, and resolved. A chronic
illness is different. Receiving the diagnosis is only the beginning.
There is then a host of emotional and practical issues that need to
be addressed. Here are some of the most important. Is independent
living an option? Is there a family member or a loved one that can
act as a caregiver and assist in everyday activities? Are health care
providers, services, and facilities nearby and accessible? What
financial restraints are there? Is the home disabled-friendly? Are
there stairs to climb? Is there a walk-in shower? Is there public
transportation and nearby shopping? Family and other caregivers
should participate in tackling these issues and in development of a
realistic chronic care plan.
may mean moving into somewhere where there’s transportation because
your ability to drive may be impaired, going into a first floor
rather than a multiple story area is there is no elevator, things
like that which would affect the physical aspect of your function or
the person’s function. The other aspect of course is the mental
aspect. You would want to be able to live independently if you can
handle your own affairs, such as pay your bills, do your checking,
make decisions that would be reasonable. And you want to be able to
do that without having clouding on your mental status – either
clouding from an illness or clouding from some medications.”
For the McKinleys, the answers, though not simple, were clear. Ed
would take an early retirement to care for Toni and they would move
to Florida where the weather was better for the arthritis.
we settled on this particular location because it was close to
everything for her. She could walk to church. She could walk to her
bank. She could walk to shopping. There’s a pool on the premises
where she goes into that pool and the exercises that she can do in
that pool are as beneficial for her – is much more than she could
ever do just by walking or doing regular exercises.”
So while the diagnosis can indeed be devastating, living with a
chronic debilitating illness takes good communication, thorough
research, and a lot of patience. Host: That’s just it Julie. People
have to be patient in finding the right health care provider and
finding the appropriate support services. They’re out there. They
just need to find them.
Well, to add to that, Perry, patients aren’t as mobile. Plus they’re
often tired, so getting the help that they need can be really
But it’s really worth the effort. Thanks Julie. We’ll have some
advice about where to find help you need if you or a loved one has a
chronic debilitating illness after today’s Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
– many chronic pain sufferers have turned to what alternative
therapy? Answer – acupuncture. The National Institutes of Health
states that there is evidence that acupuncture can effectively treat
many pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome,