Ethical Dilemmas In Family Therapy

1312 Words 6 Pages
Michael was referred to Dr. Kirkland by his parents, who are concerned about their son’s anxiety and depression. Dr. Kirkland is a practicing family therapy psychologist with an office in Fredericton. Family systems therapy is Dr. Kirkland’s specialty, therefore he will perform his therapy sessions and treatment in this manner.
Ethical Dilemmas During the therapy process several ethical dilemmas may become present. For instance, family systems therapy involves delving and reexperiencing events of the past, which could bring on negative feelings and anxiety to Michael. Furthermore, Michael gets anxious when there is a deviation in his usual routine, therapy sessions may also cause him increased anxiety. It has been mentioned that Michael has
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The goal of family systems therapy is to have the clients develop insight on their generational problems and to make changes to their maladaptive patterns of dealing with family stress. Dr. Kirkland will seek to assess Michael and his parent’s family history, to find patterns within the family that was passed down the family tree, and to indicate if there is a pattern of differentiation or fusion. Differentiation and fusion have to do with an individual’s ability to distinguish between their own emotional and rational processes. To be differentiated is to be able to have a good sense of self and understand various alternatives in thinking over a situation, to be fused is to either have all emotional or all rational, there is no distinction between the processes and this way of dealing with problems creates more stress. Triangulation, a term for when family members experiencing stress pull on another family member to try to remain stabilized or to provide escape from the tension, will be a pattern Dr. Kirkland will look for also, especially between Michael and his parents. Locating these patterns will help Dr. Kirkland to interpret the Ford’s intergenerational patterns that have been carried down and to plan out how to have the family …show more content…
Kirkland will first conduct an interview of Michael and his parents, he will seek to find out their family history, where everyone comes from, their patterns and their roles in the family. A family’s emotional system can be traced back through the family dynamics of previous generations. Creating a genogram for the Ford family may be a way for Dr. Kirkland to keep track of their family tree, he will also make note of the patterns each family member possessed in terms of differentiation and fusion, triangles between the relationships, and the roles that are played in their subsystems. Subsystems are the rules, power and relationships each family member has a role in and lives by. Michael would be in a parent-child subsystem with Sara and Kyle, and in a sibling subsystem with his older brothers John and Stephen. The latter, Dr. Kirkland will find Michael does not get along with, as Michael gets into a lot of arguments with Stephen. Furthermore, Dr. Kirkland will find Michael’s material grandmother seemed to have agoraphobia or a social anxiety, which would be noteworthy. This finding may indicate a pattern of intergenerational fusion on Michael’s mother’s side of the family. Developing this insight Dr. Kirkland can share his interpretation of intergenerational issues with the family, noting the fusion relationship with Sara’s mother that has carried on into the Ford family currently. Examples again with Michael’s parents pushing him to

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