HBSE Term Paper: Parenthood

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Abstract

Gill Buckman came to my office on a referral from his children's school. Client says that he wants to try to process some concerned he has for the way his family is functioning at this time. Client stated that he sometimes feels disconnected with other members of his household and extended family and would like to be able to connect on a deeper level than he is right now. He is also very concerned that his older child, Kevin, is having some problems in school and is very anxious most of the time. The School called in a psychiatrist to observe him and they suggested placing him in an alternative school where he can have more specialized attention. This is upsetting for the client because he thinks that a stigma would follow him if he was removed from his current school.

Client also has questions about his parenting skills. He stated that if he could be a better parent or person than his children would be well adjusted. Client has taken all the responsibility of his children's problems and internalized them as his failure. When asked about his childhood he was very willing to talk about his father's inattention, harshness, and drinking and that this is why he wanted so much more for his children. Client stated that he has been more anxious than normal for about a year and doesn't want to continue this way. On a scale from 1-10, client stated that most of the time he would be a 5 but he can spike to an 8 or 9 when things are bad. Client is concerned that if he doesn't do something to help him calm down he will mess up the new baby also.

 

HBSE Term Paper: Parenthood

 Identifying information: Gil Buckman, 34 years old, Male, Caucasian, Married

Presenting or Identified Problem: Gill Buckman came to my office on a referral from his children's school. Client says that he wants to try to process some concerned he has for the way his family is functioning at this time. Client stated that he sometimes feels disconnected with other members of his household and extended family and would like to be able to connect on a deeper level than he is right now. He is also very concerned that his older child, Kevin, is having some problems in school and is very anxious most of the time. The School called in a psychiatrist to observe him and they suggested placing him in an alternative school where he can have more specialized attention. This is upsetting for the client because he thinks that a stigma would follow him if he was removed from his current school.

Client also has questions about his parenting skills. He stated that if he could be a better parent or person than his children would be well adjusted. Client has taken all the responsibility of his children's problems and internalized them as his failure. When asked about his childhood he was very willing to talk about his father's inattention, harshness, and drinking and that this is why he wanted so much more for his children. Client stated that he has been more anxious than normal for about a year and doesn't want to continue this way. On a scale from 1-10, client stated that most of the time he would be a 5 but he can spike to an 8 or 9 when things are bad. Client is concerned that if he doesn't do something to help him calm down he will mess up the new baby also.

Medical History: Client stated that his doctor is very concerned about his blood pressure being too high. He has been taking Levatol for the last 6 months and it has brought it down. He reported no other medical or mental health concerns.

Immediate Family System: Client reported being married for eleven years to Karen. Karen is a 33 year old Caucasian female. Currently she is a stay at home mother but was thinking about going back to work before she found out the she was expecting their fourth child. She loves being a mother and client reports that she is very good at it. Her role in the family is to take care of the children and the home but client reports that this is what she loves to do. She was only going to go back to work because she felt that is what others wanted from her and it would have relieved some of the pressure from the family finances. Karen also appears to get along well with the extended family and is able to get out and do things she likes to do when client is home to watch the children.

The eldest is Kevin; he is a 9 year old Caucasian male. He is having problems in school and is expected to go to alternative school next year. It appears that he is overly emotional and anxious and tends to blow things out of proportion often. He has also been displaying the need to always do things perfectly and not wanting to try if he doesn't think he can. As the oldest he is expected to help out with the younger children but he doesn't seem to mind. His father is his baseball coach and he feels a lot of pressure to be perfect and never wants to disappoint his father or team mates.

The oldest daughter is Taylor. She is a 6 year old Caucasian female. Client reports that she is doing well other than an incident last year. The school called and reported that she was chasing the boys and kissing them. After talking to her about that it was not allowed she didn't do it anymore. She gets along well with her siblings but has the normal disagreements.

The youngest boy is Justin. He is a 4 year old Caucasian male. He likes to play buy himself and thinks that hitting his head on things is fun. The preschool reports that he is doing well and has no problems. He is the youngest at this time but the new baby has changed that and he may have some adjustment problems.

The youngest is suspect to be a girl. She is due in about two months.

The spouse/partner subsystem seems to be well defined and there is love and intimacy. There seems to be a since of friendship present and they do find time to be alone. Client reported that it has been strained lately due to his over obsessing about the children and his job. He reports that Karen is a more laid back, go with the flow, type which sometime upsets him. He doesn't want to be the only one stressing out but he likes the fact that she is strong and dependable. They are mutually supportive of each other but not dependent. They are each an individual but bound together.

Client reports that the parental subsystem is working well. Karen takes care of most of the basic caretaking and structure of the children and client gets to be involved in the nurturing, fun, and discipline of the children. Client reports that most of the time they do a good job working together in this but have had more problems in adjusting to the problems with their oldest child. The clients since of failure have put a strain on this subsystem and the extra stress is showing some signs of weakness in this area. The one thing that is not in question is that they set limits and are in a place of authority in the children's lives.

The Parent-Child subsystem has been strained of late due to the anxiety over the problems with Kevin. The client describes the relationship as having clear boundaries that sometimes get a little blurred. They have set rules and consequences but allow their children to be kids. It has only been lately that the children have been acting out a little. The client thinks that the stresses in the home and between him and Karen have disrupted the flow of things. The one thing that is not in question is that there is a lot of love in the family even with the added stress. Recreation and fun also seem to be present which helps lighten the tension.

Client reports that the sibling subsystem is strong. There is reported to be a companionship between the children. Client reports that they are protective of each other but have a good time playing and having fun. There are some competition and fighting but that they work most of it out between themselves. (Becvar, 2006) See genogram Appendix A (Ashford, 2006)

Extended Family System: Client has a large extended family. Both his Father and Mother are living and have been married for almost four five years. His father's name is Frank and he is a 64 year old Caucasian male. Client reports that he drinks too much and was never very emotionally or physically there for him when growing up. It is an unspoken rule that they don't talk about the fact that he drinks too much or that client didn't think he was a very good father.  Clients Mother is a 62 year old Caucasian female named Marilynn. Client said that she was always there for her children but was pretty passive where his father was concerned.

The oldest child is Helen. She is 39 year old Caucasian female who has been divorced from her children's father, eddy, for about 7 years. She has two children Julie and Gary. Helen has just married Gary's biology teacher, Mr. Bowman, and just found out that they will be having a child. Her role has been to be strong for everyone in the family even when her life has been hard. Living in her home is Julie age 17 how just married Todd age 19, and Gary age 13.

Julie and Todd are expecting the first child in about two months.

The client's younger sister is Susan who is a 30 year old Caucasian female. She is married to Nathan. They have one child, Patty that is four. Susan's role has been a bit passive in her home but when the spousal subsystem broke down a while back, they separated for a short time. After they got back together they have been working on a more balanced life.

The youngest child is Larry. He is a 27 year old Caucasian male. He is not married but has a son, Cool who is 4. Larry doesn't think he should have to work like everyone else but is always looking for a quick way to get rich. He also has a gambling problem that recently got him in trouble with some bookies. He left to go on another trip to find his riches and left Cool with his parents.

Peer Relationships and Impairment: Client stated that he hates the fact that parents on his son's baseball team talk bad to his son when he doesn't do well in the game. He has said a little to the parents but hasn't done that much about it.

Environmental Factors: Client reports that he lives in a nice neighborhood. He likes his home and in joy's living there. He has lived there for about 9 years and has room for his growing family. They have four bedrooms but the boys like to share a room. The furniture is nice and their family is comfortable there. His favorite part of the home is the yard. He can have big get together's with family and neighbors without being crowded. He did say that the utilities were somewhat high but they are trying to teach the children to turn off the lights when they leave the room. See eco-map Appendix B (Ashford, 2006)

Educational/Vocational/Employment History and Impairment: Client reported being a salesman. He said that due to his focusing so much on his family that he was turned down for a promotion. He turned in his notice and the boss called him into his office and offered his a raise and a bigger office. He was ok with that but wished that he had gotten the promotion. He said that he was not willing to do what the other guy did to get it.

Legal History: Client does not report that the presenting problem has caused any legal problems. He did not report any pending or past legal issues.

Resources: Client appears to have potential energies that are focused on failures instead of the successes in his life. He has shown that he has the capacity to turn his intrinsic energies to kinetic energy with some readjustment to his focus. He has the mental capacity to worry about failing his children it is only when he is able to use this energy to more positive uses that he will see his outlook change. He is showing extrinsic energy in doing his job well, coaching his son's baseball team, and keeping up the home. Using his potential energies and focusing them on things that he can change and let go of the things he can't will help him feel more fulfilled in life. Client also uses his energy in proving he is a better father than his was. If the focus was more on just being a good, not perfect, father his family would be able to shift to a more positive energy flow. (Pellebon, 2009)

Special Circumstances: Client doesn't report any special circumstances. No substance abuse, physical or sexual abuse. No health or mental health issues that relate to the presenting problem. The only added circumstances is that he was passed over for a promotion because he focused on his family and not spent all his time at work.

Life Area Impairments: Changes in behavior has been noted that he is having daydreams about his son turning out either valedictorian or a tower shooter. No one has reported if this is a new thing or something that he has always done.

Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Functioning: Client's reality orientation is unsure. He is having daydreams of his oldest child. He has seen him becoming the valedictorian or tower shooter. He has also said that he is daydreams about his life as a child. His judgment, memory, and intelligence seem to be normal and sustained since onset of the problems with the family. Client's self esteem, fatigue, and concentration seem to be somewhat hindered. No suicidal ideation has been revealed.

There are several examples of how this family is functioning at this time. They have had positive reinforcement like the time when Kevin caught the ball that one the game all the team celebrated, but the client danced around holding Kevin high. Client also showed Negative reinforcement by taking away the homework for the night after the big catch. (Funder, 2001)

Punishment in the family have been positive when client had Kevin do chores to help pay for the lost retainer. Negative punishment for the client would be when he didn't get the promotion due to not living at the office and giving up time with his family. (Funder, 2001)

Respondent conditioning was displayed when Patty freaked out about Gil's finger trick because she has never been allowed to be a child. Habituation was displayed by Justin. His banging his head on stuff has to have some form of reward for him or he would not continue to display the behavior. (Funder, 2001)

Two forms of learning have been talked about, modeling and vicarious learning. A loose form of modeling was displayed when Karen got pregnant late in life and the other women in the family followed her into parenthood late in life. Kevin's obsessive and anxious behavior was learned vicariously by watching his father and the way he handled situations. (Funder, 2001)

Strengths and Weaknesses: Client has displayed a strong attitude toward change. He has had a breakthrough of sorts where he realized that he had to loosen up and just ride the roller coaster of life. His primary motivation is his family. His desire to be the best he can be for them. He is showing insight and openness even at this early stage of counseling.

Multidimensional Assessment: Client presented with a strong desire to get help processing some concerns about his family function. He felt disconnected and wanted help to process his obsessiveness in being perfect and to have his family be perfect. He has strong motivation and a good support system. One of his strengths is his love for his family and his desire for Kevin to learn to not be so anxious. His subsystems are strong and after dealing with the few break downs there is a good prognoses for this client to achieve his goals.

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