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Therapeutic Treatment for Couples: Case Studies of John and Susan, Anna and Brian


Students will be given a case study of a couple to which they will choose a theory discussed in the textbook: Bowenian, Experiental, Strategic, Structural, Gottman Method, Cognitive Behavioral, or Social Constructionist. Each student will write a conceptualization of how this couple should be treated. The paper will include a treatment plan, theory of choice (based on those listed above), and synopsis of how treatm Overview of the theory that you want to use and those theories in the syllabus are just examples The reason this is the best therapy to use for this couple/family based on the presenting issues Treatment plan:

How you will use the chosen theory to treat the couple/family, to include goals for the couple/family, techniques for achieving those goals, outcomes you expect, treatment time, potential homework assignments, etc  APA format :), as many references are appropriate (you will see that much of this is drawn directly from theory to use with the couple/family so you will likely have several in text citations.

John and Susan have been married for 7 years. They have two children, aged 5 and 3. John is a computer technician and Susan has been a homemaker since the birth of their first child. They live in a nice neighborhood in one of the suburbs of a big city in Canada.

John and Susan were introduced to each other in college. They fell in love immediately and after dating for about four months, moved in together. They got married a year later. John liked Susan’s openness and sensitivity. He used to describe her as a “free spirit”, someone who could do the wildest thing on a whim. He loved her spontaneity and genuineness. Susan admired John’s brain and the way he made her laugh. She felt safe with him and believed he was very dependable. In the beginning of their relationship they got along really well and were very happy.

The first time they both started feeling that the relationship was not working well was after the birth of their first child. Initially, both wanted to have a baby and both were thrilled when their first daughter, Charlotte, was born. However, in the months following the birth they started arguing a lot about small things. Soon after, they started blaming one another for various things. Susan blamed John for not taking on a fair share of the baby’s care and house chores, and John blamed Susan for criticizing him and for always nagging him about “stupid little things”. Things had gotten so bad that they started thinking about separating. However, they still wanted to give it a try and in an attempt to mend things, they went away on a holiday, only to discover a couple of weeks after their return that Susan was pregnant again.

Case Study: John and Susan

At first they were both overwhelmed by the news, but then they talked it through and agreed that it had probably been a sign that they should stick together and raise their family. The next few months went fairly well. Susan felt that John was taking care of her and making sure she was comfortable and safe. Susan was mostly in a good mood and tried to minimize her requests from John. Things were looking up.

However, shortly after the birth of their son, Sean, they started fighting again. The tension in the house was getting worse every day. They were both very tired and drained. Susan was feeling overwhelmed with taking care of two children and she felt abandoned by John. She started begging him to come home early, or not to go to work at all. For his part, John was working more hours than ever. He often missed dinner and when he did not, he would often say he was exhausted and go to bed immediately after dinner. The bitterness and anger in the relationship grew more and more until John told Susan one day that he had rented an apartment, and was moving out. Susan was devastated. Even though she was very unhappy in the relationship, she did not expect that John would leave her. She was desperate and begged him to reconsider. They came to therapy as a “last resort”.

In therapy, it became clear that both Susan and John were not taking care of their own needs. They were both exhausted and were feeling completely tied down. Neither of them, especially Susan, was getting any breathers. One of the first things that Susan and John learned in therapy was to give each other some space and enable each other to take care of themselves. They have worked out a plan whereby each of them gets some time for themselves, 3 times a week. After 3 sessions, the fighting has diminished but the couple was still feeling alienated from one another.

Anna felt that she was doing everything to keep the relationship going, and that Brian took her for granted. Brian felt isolated and neglected, and often found himself lacking the motivation to do the things he felt Anna nagged him to do.

Anna was thirty and worked full time as a personal assistant while completing a Master’s degree part-time in the evenings. Brian was also thirty and had completed his degree. Since graduating five years ago, he had held a variety of temporary jobs and was unemployed when the couple first scheduled an appointment with Linsey. Although she wished Brian would put efforts into finding a job, Anna noticed that he spent most of his day playing video games.

The couple had not had sex for over four months; Anna would attempt to initiate sex, but Brian did not have the desire. The couple were engaged to be married, and had set a date for their wedding six months from when they first contacted evidenced based therapy Anna would like children, but she was now feeling that Brian would not be a fit husband or father.

Anna was the eldest of four children. Her father died suddenly of a heart attack when Anna was twelve, and her mother became depressed following his death. Anna looked after her younger siblings, and was responsible for completing the majority of the household chores. She worked very hard academically because she saw this as a way to eventually support her family financially.

Brian was raised by a single mother. He had no ongoing relationship with his father, who left when Brian was one. He was close to his mother when he was little, but as he grew up his mother had to spend more time working outside of their home in order to support them both. She trained as a nurse and did shift work. Brian was often left to fend for himself in the house while his mother was working.

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