Sample Essay Paper on How Families Should Work

How Families Should Work

Healthy Family

            My perspective of a healthy family is a family union where individuals show genuine commitment to one another, hence able to live in unity and loyal support for one another. I also understand a healthy family as a type of family that engages in frequent communication to allow every individual to express his/her mind, opinion, feelings, and preferences.

Unhealthy family

On the other hand, my understanding of an unhealthy family is a union in which members are not committed to each other, and they often abandon or turn against each other during times of crisis. They as well do not engage in healthy communication and they only scold and blame one another for various challenges that disintegrate family unions (Pinsof, 2005).

How healthy families are created, disbanded, structured, boundaries, players, roles, expectations

I believe a healthy family can be created through learning how to love and respect one another, listening to others’ concerns, interacting, and caring for one another. Healthy families can however be disbanded when members cannot learn to love and respect one another. Failure to pay attention to each other’s concerns further inhibits individuals from showing any sense of love and care for one another. According to my perspective, healthy families are structured around a strong union with a father, mother, and children. An unhealthy family is however the reverse in that parents may be separated or divorced hence forcing children to live away from one parent (Rodney, 2013). I believe that strong boundaries should be maintained between members of a nuclear family and outsiders that mainly include friends and members of the extended family. I also believe that the major players within a healthy family include both parents and their children, while unhealthy families are characterized by other players that include friends and members of the extended family. I think parents within a healthy family are expected to care and support their children while the children are expected to honor, obey, and respect their parents (Pinsof, 2005). ‘

How families are supposed to work

From my point of view, healthy families should learn to work out their issues without including third parties. I believe that everyone is responsible for respecting, caring, and loving the other. I think that the key ingredients that constitute a strong family system include love, care, support, respect, and healthy communication.

The do’s and don’ts for a family

I believe that members of a healthy family should love, protect, respect, and support one another. I feel that members of a healthy family should however not scold, intimidate, disrespect, betray, abuse or abandon each other as this would ruin a potentially strong and healthy union.



Common challenges

I suppose some of the common challenges that can affect a healthy family include extramarital affairs, alcoholism, unemployment, pregnancies out of wedlock, and economic constraints (Pinsof, 2005).


Members intending to establish a healthy family should work together to address the challenges that violate their efforts to attain this objective. They can for example work together to help any of their members get over alcohol abuse. Parents can also become role models in teaching good morals to their children to ensure that they avoid sexual relationships and early pregnancies.

How families can be fixed

I suppose unhealthy families can be fixed by adopting positive attributes constituting to a healthy family. This may include engaging in healthy communication, creating time for entertainment, listening to others’ opinions, ideas, and concerns and correcting those violating rules of a healthy family. I think developing a healthy family structure that should comprise both parents and children can also play an important role in enhancing positive interaction. This is because both parents can easily assume their respective roles in supporting, guiding, and nurturing their children to build positive characters that can contribute to a healthy family (Rodney, 2013).

The Blue Valentine

            Blue Valentine is a romantic film that portrays a married couple that goes through significant challenges in marriage, and these ultimately results in dissolution on its union.

Biopsychsocial history


            The couple does not have any medical implications and they appear to be in good health. There are no cases of disabilities, surgeries or genetic concerns. Cindy is pregnant and she undergoes maternal delivery at a medical facility.


            The couple is at an adult stage of development as they are both at the age of marriage. Both appear to have a high degree of emotional reaction as they get irritated by small things. Dean is for example unhappy upon hearing that Cindy has spotted Bobby at the liquor bar. Bobby is also emotional as he attacks Dean at his place of work. Cindy has portrayed a significant level of emotional distress, which explains why she could not give their marriage a second chance. Alcoholism is common for this couple as they can easily arrange to out drink without any problem. Dean cannot control his emotions as he goes to raise conflict at Cindy’s place of work.



Dean is a young man that dropped out of high school and Cindy is a medical student working as a nurse for a medical doctor. Cindy comes from an unhappy family since it is evident that her parents do not enjoy the union. Cindy and her parents are living at a nursing home caring for Cindy’s grandmother. Dean drooped out of high school and is currently working in a New York transport company. Dean’s love life is not told but Cindy has previously been in another relationship. The two barely know each other but they rush into a marriage union. Cindy is already pregnant, and it is possible she got this from her former boyfriend. Five years in marriage, the couple relocates into a rural area where the wife works as a nurse while the husband paints houses. The couple takes time to make merry away from home, which mainly includes getting drunk at a liquor store and engaging in sexual relations. Bobby, who is Cindy’s former boyfriend, is a common figure to this couple. This can be evidenced from the way he finds Dean at his place of work and beats him up. He also approaches Cindy at the liquor bar and asks her question relating to promiscuity. The couple has one daughter that has grown to a point that she can hold a conversation with her father. Cindy has lost her job after Dean raises commotion at her place of work. The two are ultimately separated and Dean walks away from home.

Signs for a problematic union

The couple presented in the film seems to have complex problems that result in the dissolution of their marriage. Rushing into marriage while barely knowing each other as well as overlooking the fact that the lady’s pregnancy was likely to belong to a former boyfriend is a sign of a potentially problematic marriage. Dean’s lack of stable employment and sufficient income is another sign of a problematic couple. Drinking alcohol is another sign for a problematic union.

Symptoms for possible problems with the couple

            Dean’s lack of innovativeness and ambition is a major symptom of an unhealthy relationship. The fact that their daughter belongs to a former boyfriend could also be a symptom of an unhealthy couple. Dean’s economic status and alcoholism is another symptom of an unhealthy couple.

Mental status

The couple’s mental status further indicates that the two individuals have an unhealthy union. The couple engages in constant arguments over alcoholism and relationship with Cindy’s boyfriend. Cindy constantly scolds Dean for lack of ambition and constant engagement in alcohol. This shows that the couple has a high degree of violence, with limited capacity to control their emotions. Cindy is well groomed compared to Dean, which shows that she has high economic resources than her husband. They appear to have mood swings as they exhibit a high degree of happiness at certain instances while they scold each other in other instances. Cindy portrays good behavior at work as she cannot exchange words with Dean at her place of work. Conversely, Dean is not able to control his mannerism as he raises his voice in his wives office and even exchanges words with her boss.


Social work impression

My social work impression tells me that I should work with this couple to help salvage their marriage. I will thus employ a task oriented approach where I will need to engage in a participatory partnership with the couple. Employing this model will enable me to assign each of the couple a role intended to create a healthy relationship. Such roles will for example include using money earned for constructive activities for the family rather than drinking. The couple will also be required to create time for family entertainment, which will allow for the couple to bond.


The plan for achieving this objective will include planning regular meetings to review achievements made by the couple as well as identify areas that need improvement. Lack of sufficient time for the couple to attend meetings may however become a challenge, especially because both parties are working.




















Pinsof, W. (2005). Family Psychology, New York: Oxford University Press.

Rodney, B. et al. (2013). Exploring the Psychological Topography of Self-Sacrifice, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 32(2), 81-99. 46345084