The situation tells about complicated relationships in the family. A 30-year-old African-American lady is seeking assistance because her American husband is physically and emotionally abusive. She is an alcoholic who is currently depressed and has AIDS. Her husband has her under control by threatening to retain their three children, ages 7, 6, and 5 if she divorces him.
Meeting with Family Members
First of all, I need to meet with the couple separately, with the husband and wife. The man should be asked about the reasons for causing physical and emotional harm to his wife. The woman should be asked about the cause of her alcohol addiction and depression. It will be done to find a specific relationship between the wife’s illness and the man’s mood. The point of view of both will be heard, and it will be possible to understand where their opinions differ and try to create hypothetical points of contact. You can also conduct a joint survey, where disagreements between them will be raised, which will allow the family members to speak out and build a further plan for the development of their relationship.
Determining who the clients are
The 30-year-old woman represents African American culture; she migrated from Africa to the United States. Her husband is a representative of American culture. By religion, they are representatives of the Baptist Church. They have Medicaid that will cover some of the costs, but there may be additional medical costs that insurance cannot cover. The wife needs a complete DSM-5 diagnosis, as this study is directly related to her depression. When seeking help, a woman should go through the suggested tests and treatment options to be cured as soon as possible.
First of all, I should ask the woman if she feels safe with her husband. The answer will show the state of safety of the family as a whole since if she does not feel protected, this will put the whole family’s safety at risk. The next question is to ask the children if they feel safe. Children do not always understand what is happening since they are still small and not experienced; however, only experienced ones do not feel secure. If the children live in constant fear, then there is no security in the family. The man should be asked if he feels that his family is under his protection, that his children and wife consider him to be the protector of the family. A lot can depend on this issue since if a man does not consider himself the protector of his family, there is no security.
Family’s Strengths and Resources
Each member of the family makes a particular contribution to it; it can be material or spiritual. The husband and wife should be asked about their material condition: how do you assess your well-being? This question covers many material aspects of a person’s life, such as what house he or she lives in, where he or she works, how he or she spends his or her free time, and his or her hobbies. The children should be asked if they feel happy living in the conditions provided by their parents. In the end, each family member can express his or her opinion about each family’s strength; of course, adults’ answers will be more factual and objective, but the children’s answers show the family’s mood from the inside.
Cultural, Ethnic and Religious Beliefs
Cultural, ethnic, and religious beliefs can often be the engines of conflict if these beliefs do not coincide. The wife should be asked about her origin and where she was born since she is an African migrant. She should also be asked about her husband’s beliefs. In turn, the husband should be asked the same questions about his wife. It will show how well they know each other. Although their culture and ethnicity are different, knowledge of the characteristics of each shows mutual understanding and respect for each other. Since their religious beliefs coincide, the only thing I can ask them is how much they follow the canons of religion, why they attend church, and how often.
Social Work Ethics
This situation should take into account several social work ethics and related issues. The dignity and values of a person are related to this situation in this way: by causing emotional and physical harm to his wife, the husband violates the values and dignity of a person. The question to the husband should be: what values do you pursue in your life? The next problem stems from this – the importance of human relations. In a marriage, the relationship between the couple is very poorly superimposed, and the question should be asked about what needs to change to improve the couple’s relationship. Furthermore, the last is social justice and the relevant question: for what purposes does a husband harm his wife?
In order to obtain informed consent, first of all, the written consent of all interviewed family members, namely the husband and wife, is required. They will need to explain that the treatment process may take a certain amount of time, and at first, it will not be so practical and obvious. The couple must make a voluntary decision; otherwise, the procedure will not be able to start. It should be explained to the couple that the DSM-5 diagnosis is a high-end product that most experts use to assure them.
Possible Countertransference Issues
Complications may arise in the development of treatment and elimination of problems in the family. The husband can be against any outside interference since apparently everything suits him. He may think that the incoming service or people may endanger his children and personal freedom. This problem can be solved if I initially provide a goal that must be achieved, introduce myself, and clarify that people want to help him. On the part of the wife, there may be a problem of fear of the husband. Carrying out any radical measures, the husband may move even more aggressively towards his wife in the end, but all this will not happen if both parties are informed on time to avoid misunderstandings.
Information You Might Self-disclose
By conducting an initial survey of family members, one can understand the attitude of each towards a particular family member. Internal relationships, problems, and hostility can be noticed by interviewing this family. Similarities and differences can be emphasized when family members express their thoughts. After analyzing all the statements, building a plan and setting a goal to strive for will be possible. The purpose of this investigation is to eliminate diseases and disorders in the family in order to improve relationships within the family.
Questions to Social Work Supervisor
Questions to the social work supervisor about a specific case will be essential. Most often, these questions are identical for all cases, as they are familiar. The first question is what problem is being investigated in this case. It will help to determine the correct vector of further decisions immediately. The second question will be about what the goal is. It will help determine which resources should be touched and which should not. The third question is how predisposed the parties to the conflict are to improve the situation. It will make it clear in which areas more determination is needed to improve customer relationships.
Theory of Intervention
As for the theory of intervention, Planned Behavior Theory fits in this case. The theory identifies subjective norms, attitudes toward behavior, and perceived behavioral control as predictors of intention, directly related to the relationship between husband and wife. The man’s behavior negatively affects the woman; an abusive relationship manifests depression. These factors are determined by this theory, and possible ways to solve the problem should be found.
Psychoeducation or psychoeducational interventions include various activities that combine education and other counseling and supportive interventions. It is worth including this intervention in the course of treatment as both sides have some problems. The woman has depression, which must be treated with the consequence of the course of treatment, and the man must eliminate the abusive approach to communication with the help of other similar psychiatric sessions.
Resources for Family
Resources, in this case, should describe the problems of an individual or the whole family. Through reading specific literature, the couple’s view of certain things may change as they are informed more about the problem in their family. First of all, the wife can be recommended What to Do When Love Turns Violent by Marian Betancourt. It is a book about “how to protect women and get away from the violence as safely as possible” (Betancourt 2016). Further, the woman can familiarize herself with the possible options for treating depression in the United States with the help of the Treatment of Adult Depression in the United States by Mark Olfson and Carlos Blanco. This study describes how adult depression is treated in the United States (Olfson et al., 2016). I can also suggest something to read for both, for example, Family Relationships and Well-Being by Patricia Thomas and Hiu Liu. The authors tell in this study about the quality of family relationships and diversity of family relationships in explaining their impact on well-being across the adult life course (Thomas et al., 2017). These resources will help the couple understand the situation more thoroughly.
A treatment plan can be drawn up based on what goal is expected at the end of treatment and what should be asked. First of all, I need to understand whether the couple is ready for treatment. Then I will conduct separate conversations to identify the features of their relationship and build an idea of the problem in more detail. It would help to ask what is preventing the couple from improving their relationship. The husband and wife will take treatment courses separately as they have different problems. After the course of treatment, there will be several more sessions as the first conversation, and the result of the treatment will be checked.
Homework for Family
After the completed treatment, the problem of misunderstanding of the couple will not disappear quickly. It takes time to accept each other again. To do this, I can hold regular conversations and discuss the relationship, the vector of improvement, and their stability. In the event of new problems, services for help should be contacted if the conflict cannot be resolved independently.
Betancourt, M. (2016). What to do when love turns violent: A practical resource for women in abusive relationships. Open Road Media.
Olfson, M., Blanco, C., & Marcus, S. C. (2016). Treatment of adult depression in the United States. JAMA internal medicine, 176(10), 1482-1491.
Thomas, P. A., Liu, H., & Umberson, D. (2017). Family relationships and well-being. Innovation in aging, 1(3), igx025.