Family Conflict and Initial Treatment Plan

Initial information

Family Name: Millers.
List Family Members and Ages: Marisol 25, Anthony 33, Isabella 6, Stephanie 8, Josiah 7months.
Identified Patient (If any): Marisol and Anthony.
Reason for Referral / Presenting Problem(s): Family Conflict. Marisol faces a prejudiced attitude from Anthony’s mother and is jealous of her husband. The pair constantly has arguments.

Summary of information provided

This is the Millers’ first session; present in the session are Marisol and her husband, Anthony.

Family History

The Millers have been married for four years and have three children: Marisol’s daughter Isabella; Anthony’s daughter Stephanie, and their son Josiah. After Anthony lost his corporate job and became a local church minister, the Millers moved to his parents, Jill and Todd.

Description of Individual Family Members

Anthony changed his occupation and started drawing less attention to his family. Marisol is still a caring mother who cannot find a job because she wants to protect Isabella from Jill’s prejudice. Anthony’s parents show evident favoritism toward their two biological grandchildren and neglect Isabella. Juan, Isabella’s biological father, interferes with the Millers’ life, contributing to the problem.

Current Level of Family Functioning

The Millers currently have strained and negative relationships within the family. The grandparents are biased toward Isabella, and Marisol does not like it. Anthony minimizes the situation and sacrifices his family for the needs of the church. Marisol is jealous of her husband since he spends much time with women in the church.

Assessment of information provided

On the one hand, it is possible to conceptualize the case from the transgenerational theory perspective. According to Lee (2019), specific cultural differences exist between generations, and these discrepancies can lead to family problems and unresolved conflicts. It is believed that a family needs an inflow of new members through marriage or birth to survive, “but both marriage and birth introduce new elements that may challenge the existing family culture” (Lee, 2019, p. 500). Older generations try to protect their clan from outside influences, but the highest threat to family dynamics comes from internal processes.

According to this perspective, it is possible to claim that the clash between the generations contributes to the problem for the Millers. It seems that Marisol having a child does not fit Jill and Todd’s vision of life. Since they evidently demonstrate their neglect of Isabella, it is only possible to imagine what they say to Anthony about his wife and her daughter when alone. Thus, it seems likely that Jill and Todd’s influence on their son contributes to the family conflict for the Millers.

On the other hand, it is possible to interpret the case from the perspective of narrative theory. This theoretical approach is helpful since it allows clients to present their problems in a detached manner. In particular, Marisol and Anthony should be asked to explain their issue as if it were a story that happened to other people. This approach is necessary to help the clients focus on the problem rather than on the feelings and emotions it brings. According to this approach, the case hypothesis stipulates that Anthony’s new work in the church and the family’s inability to hire a separate house may contribute to the problem. Self-awareness and caring for all the children are Marisol’s strengths, while Anthony can rely on the idea that he is responsible for providing his wife and children with the necessary support and resources.

Ethical or Cultural Factors of Concern

The examiner should be mindful of certain factors that can affect the case. Ethical factors include that the patients can oppose suggested treatment, the examiner can include personal judgments in the counseling session, providing care to the children can be necessary, and others. Simultaneously, a significant cultural factor refers to the fact that Marisol is a Hispanic female and this ethnic group values family that promotes loyalty and obedience within the family (Ayón et al., 2017). This issue may explain why Marisol cannot express her dissatisfaction to Jill and Todd.

Initial Treatment Plan

When it comes to treatment options, it is rational to offer some interventions according to the narrative theory principles. Firstly, it seems reasonable to make Marisol and Anthony participate in narrative family therapy. According to Rajaei and Jensen (2020), this approach denotes that the patients should rewrite their stories to demonstrate how they want to live. Suddeath et al. (2017) also admit that this therapy can highlight the preferred narratives of the clients. These new narratives will demonstrate the patients’ goals and whether they can achieve them. Secondly, role-playing can be considered an appropriate intervention for Anthony. This approach stipulates that the patient should simulate specific case scenarios to predict his feelings and behavior under those circumstances (Fulton et al., 2019). Anthony should be asked to imagine Marisol’s and Isabella’s feelings following Jill’s actions.

The transgenerational theory can also offer some suitable interventions to the case. Firstly, transgenerational family therapy is appropriate, and it implies measuring Marisol’s heart rate and peripheral temperatures while she is describing Jill’s attitude toward Isabella. After that, the obtained results should be interpreted to Anthony to make him understand what and why his wife feels (Lee, 2019). Secondly, education sessions are considered an effective intervention because they can help the clients comprehend that the generation gap is possible, and they should learn how to respond to it. Successful outcomes can arise if both Marisol and Anthony are equally interested in developing a suitable course of action to solve the existing problem.


Ayón, C., Valencia-Garcia, D., & Kim, S. H. (2017). Latino immigrant families and restrictive immigration climate: Perceived experiences with discrimination, a threat to the family, social exclusion, children’s vulnerability, and related factors. Race and Social Problems, 9(4), 300-312. Web.

Fulton, A. E., Dimitropoulos, G., Ayala, J., McLaughlin, A. M., Baynton, M., Blaug, C., Collins, T., Elliot, G., Judge-Stasiak, A., Letkemann, L., & Ragan, E. (2019). Role-playing: A strategy for practicum preparation for foundation year MSW students. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 39(2), 163-180. Web.

Lee, W. Y. (2020). Working transgenerationally: A clinical discussion on family dynamics and treatment. Journal of Family Therapy, 42(4), 499-517. Web.

Rajaei, A., & Jensen, J. F. (2020). Empowering patients in integrated behavioral health-care settings: A narrative approach to medical family therapy. The Family Journal, 28(1), 48-55. Web.

Suddeath, E. G., Kerwin, A. K., & Dugger, S. M. (2017). Narrative family therapy: Practical techniques for more effective work with couples and families. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 39(2), 116-131. Web.

Case Study Family Timeline Template

The timeline will be replaced with the family map for case study #3

Student Name: ___________________ Family Name: ________the Millers_______________ Case Study #:________1_____________

Start → A → B → C → D → E → F End



l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l


Code: Describe event or milestone below

Event A: Marisol (21) and Anthony (29) married.
EventB: Josiah, a common son, was born.
EventC: The family moves to Anthony’s parents.
EventD: Anthony’s parents show explicit favoritism to Anthony and his biological parents, neglecting Marison and her daughter, Isabella.
EventE: Anthony starts sacrificing his family for the needs of the church.
EventF: The pair decided to seek therapy.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Family Conflict and Initial Treatment Plan'. 11 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Family Conflict and Initial Treatment Plan." September 11, 2023.

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PsychologyWriting. "Family Conflict and Initial Treatment Plan." September 11, 2023.