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What is a family?
For some, the family is blood-related kin For some, the family is psychologically connected. For some, the family is composed of people living in the same house or neighborhood For some, the family is a group of 2 or more people related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together in a household.

What is a family?
The family is more than a collection of individuals but instead it is a whole larger than (and different from) the sum of its parts!!!

.Family Facts and Forecasts • Half the marriages this year in the U. will probably end in divorce • Divorce rates are likely to be higher when a marriage is preceded by a premarital pregnancy • Age of the spouses at the time of first marriage is highly related to the divorce rate (those under 20 are two to three times more likely to divorce than those who marry in their 20s.S.

younger children are more and more likely to be affected by divorce. 50% within seven years) • Because of early divorces. .Family Facts and Forecasts • Married couples are divorcing earlier than ever before (38% within four years of marriage.

• Today’s unwed teenage mother is opting increasingly to keep her child.S. educated. • Never-married single women--especially those over 35. is now born to an unwed mother. The number of teenage unwed mothers in the US is at an all time high. and economically selfsufficient--are having children out of wedlock at an increasing rate .Family Facts and Forecasts • More than one out of four children in the U.

. • More than two of every three children under 6 has a mother who is employed outside the home.Family Facts and Forecasts • About one in four children live with a single parent. • More than half the people in the US have belonged or will belong to a stepfamily at some period in their lives.

. improving family possessions. • Development of a family value system: setting expectations for family member behavior--a hierarchy of goals. held by one person or shared over time • Cohesiveness-building functions: developing family rituals and traditions. repairing. 1996) • Daily living tasks: obtaining and preparing food. and rules for everyday living and coping with crises. stories.Family Tasks (Harvey & Wexler. child care and socialization of dependent children. secrets. care for the sick and elderly • Family leadership functions: giving direction to family development. cleaning.

of course this is stuff of TELEVISION!!! . it no longer makes sense to refer to a typical American family. children are educated at a neighborhood school and attend church with their family on Sunday. styles of living. plenty of money and supportive grandparents are available……. The idealized American nuclear family depicts a carefree.• From a contemporary perspective. and homemaker mother. white family with a suburban residence. sole provider father. Both parents are dedicated to child rearing and remain together for life. with diverse organizational patterns. We must consider various types of families. and living arrangements.

• Counselors working from a systemsperspective view clients’ disturbed behavior as representative of a system that is faulty and not due to individual deficit or deficiency. The client’s difficulties might then be viewed more accurately as signaling a social system in disequilibrium!!! .

problematic behavior results from mistaken or dysfunctional interaction patterns that develop between people in a mutually reinforcing manner and. • Circular causality emphasizes that problems are not the result of a linear. serve to maintain the problem rather than change it.Systems Theory • Family members are studied in terms of their interactions and not merely their intrinsic personal characteristics. thereby. • Every event within a family is multiply determined by all the forces operating within that system. Rather. cause-and-effect process brought about by some primary factor. .

• Family theories provide tools for expanding school counselors and other counselors expand their default thinking to include a family based framework. .

.Systems Theory • Family members are studied in terms of their interactions and not merely their intrinsic personal characteristics. • Every event within a family is multiply determined by all the forces operating within that system.

thereby.Systems Theory • Circular causality emphasizes that problems are not the result of a linear. Rather. . cause-and-effect process brought about by some primary factor. problematic behavior results from mistaken or dysfunctional interaction patterns that develop between people in a mutually reinforcing manner and. serve to maintain the problem rather than change it.

” . upon further exploration the counselor realized that the client’s parents have repeatedly indicated that she is not “as Systems Theory Example pretty as her older sister.• A female client indicated that her problem with shyness is that she simply is not attractive. However. At first the counselor decided to intervene with this client by implementing “typical” selfesteem exercises.

• An element of a system may be affected. • Subsystems refer to groupings of people who are within the system yet who have relational boundaries that set them apart.Properties of Systems • Movement in one component of a system has an effect on all other components of the system • Systems have subsystems or microsystems that are affected by the larger system and vice versa. . by beginning with any component of a system. or changed. This process is often referred to as equifinality. This means that individual problems have various pathways along which a solution may be sought.

Boundaries determine who participates and how. and where the authority lies. Enmeshment and disengagement are not healthy but are merely relationship styles .Properties of Systems • The boundaries within systems and subsystems are either enmeshed or disengaged.

Enmeshment and Disengagement • Enmeshment is when the boundaries are too permeable and family members become over-involved and entwined in one another’s lives (opening each other’s mail. knowing each other’s secrets. being continually attuned to each other feelings) .

concern. . Little support.Enmeshment and Disengagement • Disengagement involves overly rigid boundaries. with little interaction. or sense of connection to one another. or family loyalty is evident in disengaged families. exchange of feelings. with family members sharing a home but operating as separate units.

help families get “unstuck. Counselors. then.” . with the goal of problem resolution.Counselors who work from a “family counseling or systems perspective” explore dysfunctional family relationships and attempt to shift the balance so that new forms of relating become possible.

The counselor concludes that the more the parents focus on Bonnie. that she is not eating. Bonnie’s mom reports that she has come home with “pot” on her breath.Systems Theory and School Counseling A family is in crisis. The parents are very upset. who is a truck driver. Husband and wife are fighting a great deal. the less tension is felt by the parents’ fighting. Thus. . In this Italian family. however. Bonnie is a 14 year old girl who is referred to the school counselor because she is refusing to eat. The parents scolded her. the symptom (Bonnie’s eating) emerges as the point of family crisis and is maintained by the system. Her mom has just been promoted and now earns more than her husband. The school counselor finds out that Bonnie is also having trouble with her peers (even though her grades are very good). food is very important.

and that changes in the individual influence the family. .Bowen believed that changes in the family system impact the individual.

Types of Families
• Nuclear Family represents a two generation system consisting of a marital couple (i.e., parental subsystem) or a single parent/grandparent and their children (i.e., the sibling subsystem). • Extended Family is an extended system which includes other generations extended in at least two directions, upward or downward in the “family tree.” Extended families can include aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts, and second cousins. • Blended Family is one in which two different nuclear family systems join to form a new family system.

Carter and McGoldrick’s (1988) Six Stages of Family Life Development

1. Single young adults--leaving home 2. The new couple 3. Families with young children 4. Families with adolescents 5. Launching children and moving on 6. Families in later life

• There are developmental models for understanding how family units change over time. Although most development models have significant cultural and heterosexual biases, it is generally understood that families develop from a couple relationship to a family system that involves children.

Single Young Adults . • Striking a balance between a career and/or marriage ambitions • Desire for personal autonomy • Overcoming internal and external pressures to marry .Leaving Home • Disconnection and reconnection with one’s family on a different level while simultaneously establishing one’s self as a person.

too! • Financial and time constraints are the two main limitations.The New Couple • Idealization • Adjustment and adaptation • Most likely stage of divorce due to an inability of individuals to resolve differences • Greatest amount of satisfaction. .

. at least temporarily. physical. psychological. emotional) associated with the arrival of child.g. • The family becomes unbalanced. • Relationships with extended family are adjusted..Families with Young Children • Change (e. • Work/career and leisure demands are adjusted.

• Families often have trouble setting limits. and aging parents. defining relationships. • Most active and exciting times in the family cycle. . their teenagers. and taking adequate care of one another.Families with Adolescents • “Sandwich generation”: adults in these families often are “squeezed” in between taking care of themselves.

.Families with Adolescents • Tension between parents and adolescents is common. parental influence decreases • Parents too are experiencing change due to the aging process. influence of peer groups. desire for autonomy (adolescent). Reasons for tensions: distinction between what parents want for their youngsters and what youngsters want for themselves.

• The number of couples in this stage is increasing in the U. .Children Leave Home • “Empty nest syndrome”: couples without child rearing responsbilities. • Couples must rediscover each other and fun together.S. Some are unsuccessful and marriages end.

Children Leave Home • Women who have mainly defined themselves as mothers may experience depression. . and occupational aspirations. Research has not focused much on men during this period and therefore little data is available. • Men may focus on their physical bodies. and divorce may occur. marriages. despondency (depression).

and loss of spouse. . health.mental illness.The Family Later in Life • These families are composed of a couple who are in the final years of employment or who are in retirement (65 years and up) • Major concerns are finances.

Suicide also rises with age. with the highest rate among elderly white men. and paranoid states.The Family Later in Life • Psychopathology increases with age. particularly organic brain disease and functional disorders such as depression. . anxiety. • Grandparenting is an advantage of the aging family.

For instance. transitions from childhood to adulthood are symbolized differently among cultures.Variables that Affect Life Cycle • Ethnicity: culture and ethnic background can influence the life cycle and important milestones in a family’s development. .

• Substance Abuse: families of addicts are often stuck in a life cycle that promotes dependency of the young and a false sense of identity.Variables that Affect Life Cycle • Illness and/or Disability: the onset. They become competent within a framework of incompetence. duration and outcome of illness or disability can disrupt a family’s cycle. .

.Variables that Affect Life Cycle • Poverty: families in poverty are more dependent on kin and are maternal-headed. Continuing poverty some times pushes fathers away from their children.

• Degree of elasticity and adaptability in family roles. directly.Defining the Healthy Family • Family roles are known to all in the family and may change over the course of time. and honestly. . Mature families consist of parents/guardians who communicate clearly. • Healthy families are mature families (Satir).

but are subject to change (Satir) • Healthy families have well-defined hierarchies of power and status (Minuchin) • Healthy families consist of strong and satisfying marriages/adult relationships.Defining the Healthy Family • Healthy families develop flexible rules which govern family behavior. .

and so on) • Physical Safety (need for protection from physical attack and disease) • Love (need to be cherished. supported. air. to respect and value one’s self) • Self-Actualization (need to be creative and productive and to attain worthwhile objectives) . elimination of body wastes. water. warmth. aided by others) • Self-Esteem (need to have a sense of personal worth and value. sexual gratification.Family’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs • Physical and life sustaining needs (need for food.

Levels of Family Needs • Level I:  Families who need essential requisites for survival and well-being (food. health care.. protection from danger. job loss. shelter.g. and minimums of nurturance)  Families at this level have experienced crisis (e. major illness)  Families at this level lack leadership and structure  Families at this level have indistinct boundaries among members .

extended family) • Reframe and highlight meanings in stress and distress (“survivor’s pride”) • Be an advocate.. convener! . role model.Level I Intervention • Build on basic strengths and resilience • Focus on resources • Mobilize support for the parental system (e. church groups. community agencies.g.

Through the counselor’s discussions with teachers and Cassie. a sixth grader. she discovers that Cassie’s family is homeless and lives out of a station wagon parked at a nearby park. What would your first intervention be? Second intervention? Third? . Cassie has missed 20 of the last 40 days of school. came to the attention of the school counselor after she was identified for extensive absences.Cassie. Cassie’s father is an alcoholic and her mother is disabled.

acting out  Parents might be involved in substance abuse  Violence in the family may be present .Level of Family Need • Level II:  Issues related to maintaining authority and setting limits are prominent  Parental subsystem is unable to set and maintain sufficient limits for one or more family members  There is either a lack of clear expectations or a lack of power to enforce expectations  Children are often out of control.

.g. social learning skills. resilience. • Parent education (e. Modeling “structure” for parents is important. • Structure meetings with families. behavioral topics) and support groups could be helpful for these families (e.g. parents) . and resources. • Meet with parents consistently in order to develop a coalition of those in charge versus those in need of control. particularly parents.Level II Intervention • Focus on strengths..

The mother’s boyfriend is living temporarily with Joel and his mother..C. Joel has also been suspended from riding the bus because of his misbehavior. Joel is not supervised and the mother has refused to attend parent teacher conferences. After school.g. Joel’s mother is single and works in D. How should the counselor intervene? . not completing class work).Joel is a 10-year old 4th grader who was referred to the counselor for disruptive classroom behavior (e. not raising his hand to speak. pushing children.

Level III • Rich mixture of coping mechanisms are present. . but are often faulty or “unhealthy.” • Control in these families might be absolute. • Issues related to clear and appropriate boundaries are prevalent. with little or no negotiation.

• Family counseling and therapy are “real” options for these families . • Examination of communication and power structures around the presenting problem may be useful.Level III Interventions • Reshaping the internal processes of the family • Challenging the existing family structure and confront the family’s tendency to remain in current patterns of behavior.

George Sr. His parents fear that he is involved with drugs and a violent group of boys. George Sr. (dad) is a firefighter and is rarely at home and when he is at home. what might you do? . George Jr has become very negative at home and his grades are low.’s father and mother are overly involved with their son’s family.George and Hilary have two children. George Sr. and Hilary’s relationship is tension-ridden and George uses an authoritarian style of parenting. George Sr. There are no concerns about Tasha at this time. he has little contact with the children. George Jr. but appears to be bonded with George Jr. (17) and Tasha (12). As a counselor working with this family.’s parents live next door and use an authoritarian style of communication with their son and daughter in law. Hilary (the mom) is quiet and is overly involved with Tasha.

. insight. • Issues such as inner conflicts. • Goal is to live more fully and grow toward actualization of each member’s potential. intimacy. greater sense of self. or more autonomy. and spiritual yearnings are the focus.Level IV • Desire for greater intimacy. self-realization.

Level IV Interventions • Genograms extending over three or four (or more) generations are useful to highlight transgenerational patterns. . meanings. • Family sculpting • Narrative interventions and rewriting one’s story • Object relations therapy (psychoanalytic) for those who want more insight into patterns. • Focus on values. and spirituality. Referrals to church-related counseling centers might be appropriate.

She admits that she is afraid of her son leaving home for college and that she is in need of “restructuring” her life. . comes to your office to discuss her son’s college aspirations. a married mother of 2 children (10th and 12 grade) at your school. During your conference with the mother. you realize that she seems despondent and depressed. Discuss this client in terms of intervention strategies.” Reading between the lines.. she reports that her mother passed away last year and she has not been “herself.Kelly R.

Intervent ion Choic e Points Cont exts Orien tations Family/ Com munity Coupl e/ Parents Indiv idual / Studen t Beh avio ral/Interactiona l Experien tial Historical .

Focus on strengths rather than deficits and focus on solutions rather than problems!!! .

or family counseling may be used. their actions. affect. Social skills training and strategic/structural activities may be used. • Experiential Choices: makes use of cognition. Family of origin work and psychodynamic methods are used. group. Individual. etc. Psychotherapy may be used.Intervention Choices • Behavioral/Interactional Choices: what people do. . communication. and interpersonal relationships. • Historical Choices: what happened in the past.

Major Concepts of the Ecosystems Perspective (Germain & Gitterman. these transactions shape and influence each other over time • Life Stress: positive or negative personenvironment relationship • Coping: special adaptations that are made in a response to stress. . 1995) • Reciprocal Exchanges: transactions between the person and his/her environment.

refers to the status that is occupied by a member of the community • Relatedness: based on attachment theory. 1995) • Habitat: where a person or family lives • Niche: the result of one’s accommodation to the environment.Major Concepts of the Ecosystems Perspective (Germain & Gitterman. refers to emotional closeness or isolation • Adaptations: changing the environment to allow for meeting the physical and psychological needs of an individual or family .

.Family Systems View: Key Assumptions • Wholeness: change in one part of system will cause change in other parts • Feedback: families are regulated by feedback loops or inputs from family members • Equifinality: the same result may be reached from different beginnings • Circular Causality: systems are constantly modified by recursive circular feedback from multiple sources within and outside of the system.

from diagnosis to problems to mutual creation of solutions • Nonhierarchical relationships in family are OK.Social Constructionist Metatheory • Relativism regarding all meanings.meanings are constructed by participants • Emphasis is on meanings rather than actions. there is no “reality”. . from expertise to collaboration.

assess student progress and increase effectiveness. teachers. students. .Partnering with Families and Communities • Difference between professional learning community and school learning community. • Professional learning community emphasizes the teamwork of principals. parents. staff) to improve curriculum and instruction. (or agency director. counselors. staff. and community partners (stakeholders) who work together to improve the school and enhance students’ learning opportunities. • School learning community includes educators.

Partnering with Families and Communities • One component of a school learning community is an organized program of school. and improve schools. research shows. • These programs. increase student achievement. family. invigorate community support. strengthen families. and community partnerships with activities linked to school goals. .

Six Types of Involvement • • • • • • Parenting Communicating Volunteering Learning at Home Decision Making Collaborating with the Community .

Action Teams • • • • Create an Action Team Obtain funding and other supports Identify starting points Develop 3 year outline and a one year action plan • Continue planning and working .

Community Partners • • • • • • • • • Businesses/Corporations Universities Health Care Organizations Government and Military Agencies Volunteer Organizations Faith Based Organizations Senior Citizens Organizations Cultural Institutions Community Individuals .

and practices of all families. beliefs. . and cultural practices of families • The ability to respect and appreciate the values. 1989) • Knowledge of specific values. • The ability to be comfortable with difference in others and thus not to be trapped in anxiety about difference or defensive behavior.Mandatory Knowledge and Skills Necessary for Culturally Competent Work With Families (Pinderhughes. beliefs.

and stereotypes. • The ability to think flexibly and to recognize that one’s own way of thinking and behaving is not the only way. • The ability to behave flexibly.Mandatory Knowledge and Skills Necessary for Culturally Competent Work With Families (Pinderhughes. 1989) • The ability to control and even change false beliefs. assumptions. . Be ready to engage in the extra steps required to sort through general knowledge about a cultural group and to see the specific ways in which knowledge applies or does not apply to a given client.

Interventions for High Risk Families • • • • • • Engagement Support and Strengths Inventory Nurturing the Family Role Modeling Conflict Resolution Advocacy .

gather essential information (e. statement of problem).. counselor should be supportive. caring.Process of Family Intervention • Pre-Planning Tasks: initial contact made by counselor. email. name.g. talks in a manner that conveys respect and receptivity . phone number. address.

Process of Family Intervention Join the family: establish a sense of trust Inquire about members’ perceptions of the family and its problems .

.Process of Family Intervention Observe family patterns (i. family dance)  What is the outward appearance of the family?  What is the cognitive functioning in the family?  What repetitive. non-productive sequences do you notice? What individual roles reinforce family resistances?  What subsystems are operative in this family? Who carries the power? .e.

Process of Family Intervention Assess What Needs To Be Done Engender (provoke) Hope for Change and Overcome Resistance .

Types of Family Interventions • • • • • Structural Strategic Solution-Focused Narrative Systemic .