While completing practicum one I witnessed quite a bit of, “Differentiation of Self”, most of the boys were placed in a detention facility because they were seeking approval of others and most often it was their father or father figure. One youth in particular stands out to me, he was raised by his father who was a known gang member and his mother was estranged. He believed the other boys were inferior to him and would actively try to manipulate those that were either new to the program or differed in any of his opinions. In contrast to him a young man was brought in on my first day, he knew he didn’t want to be there and from the moment he arrived. He asked two questions during his intake assessment, what rules do I have to follow and what date can be released? This youth kept his distance from the other boy throughout my time at the facility showing me that he was well-differentiated. He remained calm in escalated situations, remained true to his goals and I assume he completed his six months and was released on-time.
Family triangles were something I haven’t witnessed much in practicum, but have in my personal life. There is a triangular situation between my husband, our oldest son and myself. For many years there has been tension between my husband and son, as parents, we differ in teaching and discipline techniques and I can’t understand “guy banter”. For a short period of time I maintained uninvolved, a...
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...h this brother and sister, I witnessed a mild emotional cut off with this boy and his family as he rarely speaks about his father, to anyone. I also met a young girl who had lost her mother, she showed no emotion toward her family. She never spoke about her mom during my observation and family members advised that she does not at home either. Her custodial grandmother never explained death to her; she just stated that her mother was away. There is good reason to believe the child is aware that this is not true, it was advised that she shows little affection toward her family and only expresses her needs for survival and never emotional. It is disappointing that I will not be able to see them evolve through therapy; the grandmother is showing signs of acknowledging her daughter’s death. I hope they continue to heal and not allow this emotional divide to grow larger.
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