Client Case: Treatment Interventions
The purpose of this paper is to identify one family systems model and one non-systems model that can be applied to the Gallagher family’s treatment. The contents of this paper will describe the theoretical orientation of the models and their application to the Gallagher case. Included in the paper will be the basic concepts of each model and a description of interventions used within the model. The paper will also entail how parent–child attachment is viewed and assessed within the model. Another topic addressed in this paper will describe how culture can influence the therapeutic involvement and engagement of parents in interventions with children and adolescents, as well as the cultural considerations and possible limitations with each model.
Background of family systems Family systems theory emerged from the work of Ludwig Von Bertalanffy's work on general systems theory around the mid-twentieth century a different way of viewing science (International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family, 2003). Before Bertanlanffy theory emerged, the world used the mechanistic models of the time, which theorized that human processes and behaviors are similar to how a machine processes and works. However, Bertalanffy's general systems theory argued that organisms are not simple but complex, organized, and interactive (International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family, 2003). Toward the end of the twentieth century, family systems theory was adopted and became one the major theoretical foundations guiding empirical investigations into the study of families and from which clinical interventions and programmatic work with families were being developed (International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family, 2003). Several theorists have enhanced systems psychology in the past several decades to explore and understand behavior patterns and human experiences. Techniques used in systems therapy were integrated from Gregory Bateson, Roger Barker, Ludwig Bertalanffy, Anatol Rapoport, Kenneth Boulding, William Ashby, and Margaret Mead (Goodtherapy, 2015). The basic understanding of this theory is individuals and groups of individuals are seeking balance or homeostasis.
Family systems theory Family systems theory was developed by Dr. Murray Bowen to help individuals work together to solve individual issues (Goodtherapy, 2015). This method of theory is also seen in several environments, such as school and work. The basic concept of family systems theory is that family systems organize themselves to carry out the daily challenges and tasks of life, as well as to adjust to the developmental needs of its members (International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family, 2003). One must look and understand the family as a whole. A therapist is going to look at how the family functions, communicates, the hierarchy, history, what their rules and beliefs are as a whole. Family systems theory examines the subsystems within the family and what are the goals and tasks within the subsystems (International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family, 2003). If a subsystem becomes unbalanced then the whole system is affected, which leads to problems or difficulties within the family, the family then struggles with completing the goals and tasks. An easier way to look at this theory is using a recipe to make an omelet. To make an omelet, you need eggs, heat, and a pan. You cannot create an omelet, without any of these elements. Each element can be used by itself but together it creates an omelet, and you can add other ingredients to make it taste better or worse. A family consists of individuals but together they create a family system that can be healthy or unhealthy.
A non-systems theory approaches the therapy by viewing the family as several independent individuals. This approach is still helpful in assisting the individual in recognizing his or her goals, tasks, and