Sample Essay Paper on The essentials of family therapy

Case Analyzing- Strategic Family Theory

The essentials of family therapy

Therapy is the careful treatment and handling of patients when they visit healthcare centers. It would be very important to note that families or couples often have their favorite therapists who help in treating their chronic or abrupt illnesses (Gehart, 2014). It would be worth noting that most therapists who are beginners in their various sectors often experience a host of anxious feelings when they commence or rather start their clinical works (Nichols, 2011). Besides, most of the beginning therapists are always aware of the inadequacies they are likely to face and that they require help in order for them to learn how to acquire skills, knowledge and sense of competency that is important in doing a good clinical work.  Various therapists use various approaches when dealing with patients. For instance, in the book Essential Skills in Family Therapy by JoEllen Patterson and others, a therapist describes his first experience with a client. He says that it was his first session with a client and that he was afraid and his heart was racing fast. The therapist adds that he had no idea of what to do with the family of his client and he kept wondering why the members of the family were there. In this scenario, the therapist used the theoretical approach managing anxiety and issues of confidence.

To read/study the clinical practice models to a couple/family

To start with, he recognized that the feelings of anxiety are always normal and that he had to overcome them before dealing with the client.  The problem is that the intensity of the feelings and the way of coping with the intensities often varies from therapist to therapist. The therapist thus struggled to some degree with the feelings of anxiety without the family members realizing. Secondly, the therapist had to share his experience with other therapists and supervisors with the aim of normalizing the experience (Nichols, 2011). It would be worth noting that the theoretical approach used by the therapist in this scenario works very well as it does away with the unease, anxiety and anxiousness that therapist often experience with clients. In the theoretical approach used in the scenario, the most interesting fact is that together with the knowledge and skills that therapists always have, they are often anxious and uneasy when dealing with clients. Thus, they often go to miles of communicating with other therapists and specialists about how to reduce anxiety. The most useful aspect in the therapeutic intervention is that knowledge and skills can be obtained from other therapists at the same workplace and this often helps reduce cases of anxiety among therapists.

Applying the clinical practice models

The therapeutic approach of consulting other therapists at the workplace fits well with my own intrinsic model of treatment applied in my healthcare organization. This is because, in my workplace, there several and common cases of therapists having no idea of what and how to handle their clients. Thus, applying the approach of consulting other therapists will be helpful as they will be provided with the relevant skills and knowledge on how to handle such situations. Couples or families in such situations when the therapist is anxious and uneasy should try to avoid the situation as much as possible and leave the therapist to be in control of every situation. Besides, they should not be concerned with the anxiety of the nurse of the doctor in control but work together to ensure the safe treatment of the client (Colapinto, 1982, jounal). The theoretic approach of consulting with other therapists can be adapted to my present practice setting as I often work closely with supervisors and other specialized therapist with the knowledge and skills. Basing on personal opinion, I would agree with the fact that nurses and doctors should try as much as possible to do away with the anxiety that they often experience when treating patients (Shapiro et al, 2007). Moreover, the families and couples should keep off the treatment scene and leave everything to the doctor as this will help reduce the anxiety among the doctors.


Stuck in Love- Movie

Presenting the problem

The family in this case is disjointed as the members do not live together. For instance, the father and mother of the family in this case are found to live separately. The members of the family in contention have various signs and symptoms or rather feelings towards the situation of the family. The chief complaint in the scenario is Bill Borgens who is found to be struggling to keep after his wife. Instead of forgetting about in his wife, he keeps doing everything possible to meet the wife. It is very important to note that amidst all troubles and challenges, no member of the family being studied is sick.

Biopsychsocial assessment

It is also important to study the members of the family in contention in terms of age, life stage and the major life transitions in the lives of the members of the family.


To start with, Erica, the wife of Bill Borgens is a middle aged woman who left husband for a younger man three years ago. Rusty, who is their son, is sixteen years old and still has a long way to go in life. Sam is the other member of the family. She is known to be industrious as her first novel has been accepted for publication. Though not an issue of concern, the members of the family being focused on in the film; are all Christians.

Social history- cultural decay

Besides, it would be worth noting that there is cultural decay in the society where the family comes from. For instance, cultural decay is indicated by the scene where a middle aged woman (Bill’s wife), is married by a man who is three years younger than her (Shapiro et al, 2007). This is quite not acceptable in the normal society. The members of the family do not think on the same line, rather they think differently. Besides, it is correct to say that their negative emotions have affected the way they judge one another, for instance, the children judge their mother to be on the wrong because of their emotions towards her. Others focus more on development and creativity by writing of novels while others only concentrate on divorcing and remarriage. The members of the family being focused on are different in a number of ways: in terms of thought, appearance, behavior, engagement and judgment. For instance, there is great hatred between Sam and his mother, because his mother divorced his father. This makes Sam hate his mother so much to the extent of constructing a wall between love and her. The other member of the family known as Rusty has a different way of live. He is romantic, needy and he hopes to rescue damsel in distress. The other member of the family is Kate who is into drug addiction and is very troubled because of that. Kate really rejects her mother and this was shown when Erica went to attend the launch of her son’s book. Basing on a therapist’s impression, there are several problems that the family faces. One of the problems is separation. Besides, there is no love among the members of the family. The other problem is that their behavior of some members of the family is not appealing as some are drug addicts. As a therapist, the major objectives in the family would have been to ensure a healthy communication between the couples, that is, Erica and Bill, though this proves very hard to achieve. The other objective of a therapist in this case would be to focus on changing the couple’s behavior and this would be achieved through determining the bad behavior of the couple and helping them understand what is wrong by looking to the past. The other objectives of a therapist in trying to salvage the situation were to increase the emotions or expressions between the couple and training the couple to see the paradox on the communication every day.














Gehart, D. R. (2014). Mastering competencies in family therapy: A practical approach to theories and clinical case documentation. Belmont, Calif: Brooks/Cole Pub.

Nichols, M. P. (2011). The essentials of family therapy. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Shapiro, F., Kaslow, F. W., & Maxfield, L. (2007). Handbook of EMDR and family therapy processes. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.

Colapinto, J. (1982). “Structural Family Therapy” Journal