Family Conflict: A Case Conceptualization

Initial information

  • Family Name: Sabrina Watson’s and Jason Taylor’s families.
  • List Family Members and Ages: Sabrina Watson, Claudine Watson, Greg Watson, Geneva, Jason Taylor, Pam Taylor.
  • Their ages are not available.
  • Identified Patient (If any): Not available.
  • Reason for Referral / Presenting Problem(s): Family conflict.

Summary of information provided

Family History

Sabrina Watson and Jason Taylor love each other and want to marry. This event was an opportunity to get their families acquainted, but the couple could not imagine that this fact would result in some problems. Claudine, Sabrina’s mother, and Pam, Jason’s mother, did not like each other at first glance, and their first meeting resulted in an argument. Sabrina and Jason also fought because Pam wanted them to jump the broom. Claudine suspected that her husband Greg had an affair with his associate Amanda.

Description of Individual Family Members

Sabrina was tired of one-night stands and wanted to find true love. She met Jason when she accidentally hit him in a car, and five months later, the guy asked Sabrina to marry him. Sabrina’s parents, Claudine and Greg, are an affluent family living on Martha’s Vineyard in a luxurious house. Pam is a postal worker in Brooklyn, meaning that she represents the middle class.

Current Level of Family Functioning

Pam tapped the conversation between Claudine and Geneva, Sabrina’s aunt, revealing that Geneva is Sabrina’s birth mother. Pam made Sabrina ask her parents about this fact, and Claudine and Greg told the truth. Sabrina escaped, but Jason managed to find her, and the wedding took place.

Assessment of information provided (Case conceptualization)

Now, it is reasonable to conceptualize the case under analysis from a structural model perspective. To begin with, one should explain the basics of this approach and what assumptions it offers. According to Carillo and O’Grady (2018), the structural model focuses on the fact that “social systems are intentionally designed to oppress marginalized populations” (p. 704). Chan (2018) shares a similar opinion and adds that the selected approach considers personal troubles against the background of social determinants. This model focuses on what issues affect immigrants, people with disabilities, representatives of racial minorities, economically disadvantaged people, and others groups that can face social stigma and discrimination.

The theoretical details above can help conceptualize the case of the Watsons and Taylors. Firstly, it is possible to suggest that the conflict between Sabrina’s and Taylor’s parents occurred because they were representatives of different social groups. On the one hand, Claudine and Greg were from the upper class, which could make them prejudiced against Taylor’s family. On the other hand, Pam might have a biased attitude toward Claudine and Greg because they are more affluent. The rationale behind this suggestion is that less wealthy people typically have a negative opinion about more prosperous individuals. The social difference between the two families became evident in relation to the jumping-the-broom custom that came from the slavery days. The two families were African-Americans, but Mrs. Watson opposed the tradition and mentioned: “Our family weren’t slaves. We owned slaves” (Akil, 2011). It is possible to suggest that these facts contributed to the family conflict.

Secondly, one can mention that the structural model does not only refer to marginalized individuals, and the conflict between Greg and Claudine Watson justifies it. It is a widespread stereotype that wealthy men are often subject to adultery. That is why the structural model shows that Greg’s position in society makes his wife accuse him of this improper behavior. Thirdly, the selected theoretical approach might also explain an argument between Sabrina and Jason. Even though the two are adults, they are still influenced by their parent’s beliefs. Consequently, fighting between Claudine and Pam resulted in the fact that their children also had an argument about jumping the broom custom.

In conclusion, it is necessary to present the family member’s strengths that can contribute to better outcomes. In particular, Jason and Sabrina are caring for each other and their own parents. As for older adults, self-awareness can be considered their strength.

Ethical and Cultural Factors of Concern

The examiner should be aware of certain ethical and cultural factors that can affect the case. On the one hand, it is reasonable to comment on what ethical aspects deserve attention. The examiner can face difficulties working with the families because they can oppose treatment. Furthermore, counseling sessions can be challenging because the parents seem aggressive and subjective. This information denotes that the patients can be aggressive toward the examiner. It is also worth admitting that the examiner should ensure that their personal beliefs and attitude will not affect the case. It is a significant ethical issue to stay distant from the clients and their problems and offer objective comments on the presented events.

On the other hand, the case under consideration can be subject to some cultural issues. It is worth admitting that all the family members are African Americans, meaning that they represent a minority. According to Allen (2019), this cultural group often faces discrimination, which can contribute to mental and physical health issues. Facing discrimination can explain why the Watsons and the Taylors are aggressive. This information demonstrates that the investigator should address the cultural component while providing care to the patients.

Initial Treatment Plan

Four intervention strategies include narrative family therapy, role-playing, transgenerational family therapy, and education sessions. These interventions represented the narrative and transgenerational models and offered to address the identified issues from the case. A comprehensive treatment approach is necessary to ensure that the investigator can address the problem from different angles, which can contribute to overall better outcomes.

Four additional intervention strategies should be considered in relation to Case Report 2. Firstly, the social environment issues result in the fact that it is necessary to make patients feel safe and empowered. According to Carrillo and O’Grady (2018), structural social work therapy is helpful because this approach implies collaboration between the service providers and clients to make the latter advocate for their rights. Secondly, an appropriate strategy is to build personal courage and raise consciousness among patients (Chan, 2018). It is possible to achieve this result through collective and individual sessions, which can also result in the fact that the participants will become less aggressive.

Thirdly, sufficient evidence demonstrates that the investigator can benefit from group and individual education. This multi-faceted approach can result in the fact that greater social equality can be promoted (Ornellas et al., 2018). It could be reasonable to include Geneva, Sabrina’s birth mother, in this intervention to help the patients understand how they should interact. Fourthly, Sawyer and Brady (2020) admit that narrative therapy can be applied in relation to the structural model because this intervention allows the clients to express their vision of the problem. Such a strategy can reveal what solutions can be appropriate for the clients.


Akil, S. (2011). Jumping the broom [Film]. TriStar Pictures, Our Stories Films, & Stage 6 Films.

Allen, E. (2019). Perceived discrimination and health: Paradigms and prospects. Sociology Compass, 13(8), e12720. Web.

Carrillo, A., & O’Grady, C. L. (2018). Using structural social work theory to drive anti-oppressive practice with Latino immigrants. Advances in Social Work, 18(3), 704-726. Web.

Chan, W. W. T. (2018). Solidarity and heart – The development of structural social work: A critical analysis. Critical Social Work, 19(1), 21-41.

Ornellas, A., Spolander, G., & Engelbrecht, L. K. (2018). The global social work definition: Ontology, implications, and challenges. Journal of Social Work, 18(2), 222-240. Web.

Sawyer, J. M., & Brady, S. R. (2020). A framework for analyzing, developing, and applying community practice interventions. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 47(3), 113-141.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Family Conflict: A Case Conceptualization'. 11 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Family Conflict: A Case Conceptualization." September 11, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Family Conflict: A Case Conceptualization." September 11, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Family Conflict: A Case Conceptualization." September 11, 2023.