Family Therapy on Children’s Behavior

Mr. and Mrs. Richardson went to a therapist seeking help with Charles, their 15-year-old son, and Felicia, a 12-year-old honor student, and both had taken part in athletics. Complaints got to the social worker about Charles Jr, commonly known by the family as Chuck. He was involved in immoral behavior, which led to the disqualification of his school team due to his bad behavior and eating of sandwiches while in the classroom (Rasheed et al., 2009). His behavior followed a pattern that had made him expelled from two other high schools. In this instance, he acted carried himself in weird acts while in another public high school. He received expulsion from his previous school and was enrolled in a private school, where he graduated with honors while on probation. The therapists focused on hearing the different perspectives of the family members.

Here, the therapist spotted instances of human validation from the wife, who did not allow others to share their ideas by cutting them short when speaking. The therapist also learned that Mr. Richardson was retrenched a short period ago. As such, he spent the day sleeping and did not help with some of the housework. His wife described it as a family myth where their son does not have a role model to emulate. According to the therapist, Mr. Richardson felt downgraded and forced to give a weak statement, as he felt disrespected by his wife (Rasheed et al., 2009). She intruded into the conjugal system, referred to as a dysfunctional communication layout. The parents continued to argue on irrelevant sentiments and were later interrupted by Felicia telling them that their conflict was blameless regarding behavior of Chuck.

As the conversations trickled down, the therapist understood that the problem experienced in Chuck’s ill behavior grew from his rebellion with his father on the strictness of Mrs. Richardson. Chuck misbehaved since he took up the role of the “boy child.” During an earlier interview on his behavior, Chuck stated that he breaks the rules since he regards them as stupid. Chuck’s notion about breaking the rules was triggered by the instances when they would go together with his father and take meat as opposed to the directive of Mrs. Richardson. She had directed that no taking of meat in her house out of her paranoia that whoever took meat would contract cancer and eventually die as had happened to her mother. On the other hand, Felicia has learned to follow the rules from her mother to do so. From these instances, the therapist understood that it is necessary to correct the notion of the parents first as it would help Chuck change his behavior.

He also learned that the courtesy of the children was demanding. They had interrupted their mother while on a phone call with the therapist. The parents had come from different family backgrounds that influenced how they related with other family members. The wife disregarded her husband’s family as too composed in terms of social class. It caused instances of domestic violence, although Mrs. Richardson kept silent (Rasheed et al., 2009). The therapist offered a remedy to these problems by ensuring that everyone spoke their mind and listened. He got patient to avoid reprimanding Mrs. Richardson for micromanaging all situations and engaged every member present. Through this, members communicated what they felt was difficult to tell Mrs. Richardson on their own. The members managed to exercise congruence and learned how to avoid using dysfunctional communication styles.

The therapist worked to improve communication, understand, and handle specific problems from particular family instances and solve problems arising in the family. Hence, he would achieve his primary goal of uniting families, thus, reducing distress and disputes. These approaches are appropriate because they help family members to adjust to situations. In the therapy session with Mr. Richardson’s family, the therapist adopted several interventions that helped to address the problems between the family members. At first, he did not judge any member of the family as a tool to make the family return. The therapist and family collectively planned eight sessions for the family and two other private meetings with the couple. In so doing, the members would be united and could find a long-lasting solution to Chuck’s problem together.

The therapist outlined the strengths of the family, an important aspect of therapy. These were stable incomes, and they loved each other despite finding it hard to demonstrate to other members. The therapist increased the duration of each meeting, and the family members began to open up as the parents began to correct Felicia for her periodical references to their disagreements (Rasheed et al., 2009). At this point, the family therapist complimented the family for changing their communication style. Initially, their mode of communication was ineffective, but after adopting the new style, a notable difference was observed.

Toward the end, the therapist offered hope to the family members. He influenced them to desire to approach their challenges in another effective way. Here, Mr. Richardson managed to express himself better and improved his engagement with children like Charles. Mrs. Richardson was pleased by the response of her husband and minimized the criticisms towards him. In the end, Chuck became receptive to corrections on his behavior and began to adopt a positive mind about his mother. It reciprocated to a change in his behavior at school, thus reducing the cases of expulsion.

In the entire interview, the family exposed their weaknesses. The weaknesses varied from undertaking some roles based on their gender, parents arguing before them, and later their perceptions about adhering to the rules. Nonetheless, the session helped the therapist identify some of the factors influencing the behavior of the members. Some are intrinsic and triggered by the environment, and the setup in that individuals find themselves. I believe that it is significant to focus on extrinsic factors such as peer pressure and physical growth, amongst others. For instance, Charles might have acted weirdly due to the influence of his peers from decentralized families. He might have engaged in drug abuse, which might be a cause of schizophrenia.

Secondly, Charles has reached the adolescent stage, where a teenager becomes rebellious and fails to follow instructions. They are involved in several malpractices, which affect their behavior negatively. In considering the factors highlighted above, then we would have a clearer picture of the whole problem. Family therapy not only helped Charles but also helped the therapist address the family issues between the couple (Rasheed et al., 2009). He obtained details that helped him develop informed decisions on how to handle the matter efficiently. Nevertheless, the session was transformative for the members, and the therapist managed to find solutions to Charles’ ill behavior. Consequently, despite the commotion among the family members, the end was pleasing since the family obtained a remedy for what had bothered them for a long.


Rasheed, J. M., Rasheed, M. N., & Marley, J. A. (Eds.). (2009). Readings in family therapy: From theory to practice. SAGE.

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PsychologyWriting. "Family Therapy on Children’s Behavior." September 18, 2023.