Family: Case Study Of Alcoholism And The Family

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The scenario I picked is the first one, involving Mrs. W., who has traits of an alcoholic. Her mother is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Mrs. W.’s family has a history of alcoholism; Mrs. W’s husband is also an alcoholic. Mrs. W. has a history of struggling to control her drinking. This is not a good situation for their daughter, who is 6 years old. The daughter will see her parent’s out of control drinking, and it will mentally and emotionally affect her. I feel this family needs family therapy, along with individual therapy for both parents. Alcoholism effects the family as a unit, and every individual in the family. Per the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), “addiction has the power to destroy a family”…show more content…
The AAMFT also states that “it is often difficult to determine whether the problems a child is having are directly linked to parental alcoholism, separate, or a combination” ( Therefore, my therapeutic approach with this family would be eclectic, taking from 3 different theories for the therapeutic experience: Bowenian family systems theory and therapy, reality therapy, and existential therapy. To begin the process of healing for this family, therapy is essential. The first ideal I would consider effective for this family would be the Bowenian theory about family systems therapy. There are 8 core concepts of his theory, with 2 anecdotes that relate to the theory. The core concepts are: differentiation of self from the family system, the emotional triangle (smallest stable relationship), family projection process (transmission of parents’ anxiety onto offspring), multigenerational transmission process (individuals seek out mates of the same differentiation level), emotional cutoff (distancing oneself family members increases anxiety levels), sibling position (sibling roles and birth order are vital in a family), societal…show more content…
Bowen also believed that there are patterns that can be identified throughout generations, related to the multigenerational transmission process. As it states in the scenario with Mrs. W, there is a family history of alcoholism, so I believe the Bowenian technique would be applicable. In another aspect of his theory, Bowen said the management of anxiety is a factor in everyone’s life. This may or may not be a contributing factor to the stress of Mrs. W’s family, but should be taken into consideration. Bowenian theory also has a good concept I would pay attention to: societal emotional process. This concept takes into brings up that outside effectors that may be producing anxiety in Mrs. W’s family; this may or may not be applicable. The final concept of Bowenian theory I would take into consideration is the nuclear family emotional process. This process tackles the idea that a “nuclear” family has problems in 4 areas: intimate partner conflict, problem behaviors in one partner, emotional distance, and impaired functionality in children. The last issue, impaired functionality in
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