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Marriage and Family Therapy

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The present case study is about Jack, who has recently lost his job and is under severe financial constraints. Jack is succeeded by his spouse Terry and three children. Recently Jack has been abusive and alcoholic, due to his professional status. The loss of his job has created financial stress for the family. Apart from financial stress, the case study reflects that the family is also going through mental stress. This is due to jack’s behavior towards himself and towards his children. The issue has aggravated to such an extent, that Jack fears his elder daughter might leave the home.

Jack is very anxious and is depressed, due to such a situation. To cope with this situation, he has become an alcoholic and exhibited rude behavior towards his children. The case study reflects that Jack needs to be treated for his anxiety and depression. Further, the safety of Jack’s children needs to be ensured, in the context of Jack’s behavior.

Initial Assessment

My initial assessment reflected that Jack was depressed due to professional and personal issues. Upon my first interaction with Jack, he transparently briefed me about his condition. He was aware of his alcoholism and acknowledges being rude to his children. The situation reflected the impact of a professional hazard on the personal life of an individual.

Jack was the solely employed person in the family. Hence, his family was dependent on him for the financial needful. Therefore, the loss of job put Jack into distress. Moreover, Jack was very self-sufficient and exactly knew his role in the family.

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He believed that he would take care of the financial needful while Terry should take care of the children back at home. Terry wanted to help out Jack, in this situation. She expressed her desire to search for a job for herself. However, Jack was reluctant to such propositions. This is because Jack did not want Terry to go out for work. There might be two reasons for such behavior. Firstly, Jack might have thought that under any circumstances Terry should work outside. Secondly, he might have apprehensions regarding his unpredictable behavior towards his children. Therefore, he wanted the support of Terry.

Being a father of three children, he should provide the necessary affection and care for his children. However, under the present situation Jack’s family and children were affected. The children were deprived of care and were neglected. The normal life cycle of the family was disturbed, and the children would have been the affected the most. The family life cycle is dependent upon the internal and external factors, which impacts a family. Experiences such as loss of a job can disturb the family cycle. This type of situation affects the individual in question and his family members who are dependent on that person.
Being life partners, Jack and Terry need to support each other in grooming their children. They should also exhibit a healthy relationship amongst themselves. Exhibiting aggressive behavior and reverting to alcoholism would create a negative image of Jack to his children. The loss of a job has put stress and anxiety on Jack. Therefore, the therapeutic approach must be extended to Jack in a compassionate way. I should also ensure the safety of his children
When the family members or parents suffer from anxiety, the children are also affected. They do not understand the reasons for the negative behavior, exhibited by their near and dear ones. Such negative perceptions may lead to emotional, mental and physical setbacks in a child. Considering the threat on Jack’s children, I believe that they should also be evaluated for any physical, mental or emotional abuse. The youngest child of Jack should be evaluated with extreme care.
When to call Child Protective Services
Child abuse is defined as the physical, mental and emotional maltreatment that are imposed on a child (Herrenkohl, 2005). It is important that the Child Protective services must be appraised of the situation of Jack and his family. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1 million children suffer from abuse in a particular year. Under situations of child abuse, appropriate authorities must extend their support, for providing care to the affected. Kids are attached and dependent on their parents. An issue of abuse decreases their confidence and puts them under stress (Carlson, 1998). Child Protection services ensure safety in such children.
It is apparent that Jack is apologetic, for his behavior towards his family. Further, Jack expressed his fear regarding his elder daughter. He feared that she might run away due to his repulsive behavior. Such feelings of Jack clearly exhibits that Jack wants to return to the normal life. Although he is abusive, he loves his children too. If Jack is rehabilitated appropriately, the threat and abuse on his children will also decrease (O’Leary et al, 2012).
Studies have indicated a negative impact in a child due to their parent’s repulsive behavior. It is important that during the periods of family crisis, attention is paid to the physical and mental well-being of a child. Children are often inexpressive, and cannot share the impact of such negative behavior. Most episodes of depression in adolescents occur due to conflicts in the family. Hence, the objective of my therapy will be to rehabilitate Jack, and ensure safety for his children.
Carlson EA (1998). “A prospective longitudinal study of attachment disorganization/
disorientation”.  Child Development 69 (4), 1107–28
Herrenkohl RC. (2005). “The definition of child maltreatment: from case study to
construct”. Child Abuse and Neglect 29 (5), 413–24
O’Leary, K., Acevedo, B. P., Aron, A., Huddy, L., & Mashek, D. (2012). Is long-term love more
than a rare phenomenon? If so, what are its correlates?. Social Psychological and
Personality Science, 3(2), 241-249.

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