Vargas Family Case Study 5
Read Vargas Family Case Study: Module 5. Write a 750-1,000-word paper in which you demonstrate how therapists apply Strategic Family Therapy theories to analyze the
presenting problems and choose appropriate interventions.
Be sure to answer the following questions in your paper:
How would Jay Haley or Chloe Madanes approach the current presenting problem? Identify and describe two interventions that he/she may use and why.
How would an MRI-style therapist approach the current presenting problem? Identify and describe two interventions that would be used and why.
How would a Milan-style therapist approach the current presenting problem? Identify and describe two interventions that would be used and why.
How would Milton Erickson approach the current presenting problem? Identify and describe two interventions that he may use and why.
Cite at least three academic sources (peer-reviewed journal articles, books, etc.).
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to Turnitin. Refer to the directions in the Student Success Center.
Must be done in APA and must have at least 4 professional resources
PAPER MUST BE BASED ON ALL THE CASE STUDIES OF 1-5
Vargas Case Study
Vargas Case Study: Module 1
Bob and Elizabeth Vargas have been married for 10 years. They have two children, Frank (8) and Heidi (6). Bob teaches high school PE and coaches football, wrestling,
and baseball. Elizabeth recently quit her job where she was an attorney in a law firm that specializes in Family Law. She enjoyed her work, had a passion for adoption
cases, but decided to stay home for a few years while the kids were young. Elizabeth believes that Frank might have ADHD. She complains that he cannot sit still, does
not listen, is forgetful, and is always getting hurt. She believes that much of these injuries are due to Frankâ€™s impulsivity. Elizabeth suggests you talk to Frankâ€™s
teachers who have noticed that he has trouble waiting his turn, will often blurt out answers without raising his hand, and frequently loses things. Elizabeth
acknowledges that Frank has always been an active child, but believes these behaviors, including picking on his little sister, are getting worse. Bob seems to be
amused by these anecdotes and accuses Elizabeth of â€œoverreacting,â€ stating that, â€œBoys will be boys.â€ Bob suggests you talk to his parents, both retired teachers, who
agree with him and donâ€™t think thereâ€™s anything wrong with Frankie. You notice Heidi sitting close to Elizabeth, playing on her motherâ€™s cell phone. She glances up
occasionally when her brother approaches, but is otherwise engrossed with the game. Frankie began the meeting sitting between his parents, but noticed Legos in the
corner and was immediately attracted to them. He interrupts several times to share stories about his teacher, classmates, and his grandparents, despite numerous
reprimands from his mother. After a few minutes, Frank asks to use his Dadâ€™s phone (in a hurry, Bob had left it in the car), wanders around the office, looks out the
window and comments on a squirrel, then grabs the phone from his sister who, of course, protests. After Elizabeth had quieted the commotion, you question any recent
changes. Bob and Elizabeth both acknowledge an increase in marital tension and admit to having several arguments a week, some in front of the children. Bob blames
Elizabeth for being â€œtoo high-strungâ€ and says she just needs to relax. Elizabeth says she is unable to relax, fearing Frankie will end up damaging things or hurting
himself or Heidi. She says that if Frankie would be able to control his behaviors, their marriage would improve dramatically. This, they report, is the reason for
seeking therapy for Frankie.
Vargas Case Study: Module 2
Elizabeth arrives on time with Frank and Heidi for the second session. Elizabeth appears somewhat frazzled and tells you that she had just heard from Bob who said he
would be â€œa little lateâ€ because he â€œlost track of time.â€ You note Elizabethâ€™s frustration which she confirms by saying this is â€œtypical.â€ She proceeds to share that
she feels â€œcompletely disregarded,â€ especially after having shared with Bob the night before how important these sessions are to her. You notice that Heidi seems upset
as well and looks as if she has been crying. You ask her how her day is going and she tearfully tells you that Frankie tore up her school paper with the gold star on
it. Elizabeth elaborates that Frank had become angry and ripped up the picture that Heidi was proudly sharing with her. Frank, who had gone directly to the Legos,
appears oblivious to the others in the room. When you ask him about his sisterâ€™s sadness, he replies, â€œWho cares? She always gets gold stars!â€
As you were about to further explore these feelings, Bob arrives stating, â€œShe probably told you Iâ€™m always late, but hey, at least Iâ€™m consistent.â€ You notice
Elizabethâ€™s eye rolling and direct your attention to the children, asking them about what brought them to your office. Heidi says, â€œIâ€™m good but Frankieâ€™s bad at
school, and it makes Mommy and Daddy fight.â€ Frank, who had helped himself to one of your books to use as a car ramp argues, â€œI hate school. Itâ€™s boring and my teacher
is mean.â€ Bob attributes Frankâ€™s boredom to being â€œtoo smart for the second gradeâ€¦what do they expect?â€ Elizabeth responds that they, like her, expect him to follow
rules and be respectful, and suggests that Bob should share those same expectations. Bob dismisses Elizabethâ€™s concerns by saying, â€œHeâ€™s a normal boy, not like all
your friends from work who you say are â€œcreative.â€
You notice Elizabethâ€™s reaction and decide to redirect your attention to Frank. You ask him what bothers him most about school, to which he replies, â€œI get in trouble,
then I donâ€™t get to have all the recess time, then I canâ€™t play soccer because they already started and they wonâ€™t let me play.â€ You notice Frankâ€™s interest in sports
and probe for more information. You learn that he is quite athletic and has been asked to join a competitive youth soccer team that plays on Saturdays and Sundays. You
discover another source of discord when Elizabeth shares that Bob â€œfeels stronglyâ€ that Sundays are to be spent only at church and with family. Bob confirms that after
church on Sundays, they spend the rest of the day with his parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews. Elizabeth says that Sunday mornings are the only time she gets to be
by herself and that she typically joins the family around 1:00. Bob adds, â€œApparently Liz needs time to herself more than she needs God and her family,â€ and suggests
she should appreciate his family more because â€œitâ€™s the only family she has.â€
As the session comes to a close, you share your observations of the family by noting their common goal of wanting to enjoy family time together. You also suggest that
while Frankâ€™s behavior challenges are concerning, perhaps you could focus next week on learning more about each parentâ€™s family of origin in hopes of gaining a better
understanding of the coupleâ€™s relationship.
Vargas Case Study: Module 3
Bob and Elizabeth arrive together for the third session. As planned, you remind the couple that the goal of todayâ€™s session is to gather information about their
families of origin. Bob begins by telling you about his younger sister, Katie, who is 33 and lives nearby with her three children. Katieâ€™s husband, Steve, died
suddenly last year at the age of 40 when the car he was driving hit a block wall. Elizabeth speculates that Steve was intoxicated at the time, but Bob vehemently
denies this allegation. He warns Elizabeth to â€œnever againâ€ suggest alcohol was involved. You note Bobâ€™s strong response and learn that his own biological father, whom
his mother divorced in 1985 when Bob was 7 and Katie was 5, had been an alcoholic. When asked about his father, Bob says, â€œHis name is Tim, and I havenâ€™t seen him
since the divorce.â€ Bob shares that he only remembers frequently hiding under the bed with Katie to stay safe from his violent rages. He adds that in 1990, his mother,
Linda, married Noel who has been â€œthe only dad Iâ€™ve ever known.â€ He insists that his sister married â€œa devout Christian who never touched alcoholâ€ and attributed the
3:00 am tragedy to fatigue. He adds that a few days before the accident, Katie had complained to him that her husband had been working many late nights and â€œjust
wasnâ€™t himself.â€ Bob speaks fondly of his sister and confirms that they have always been â€œvery close.â€
From Elizabeth, you learn that she was adopted in 1985 by her parents, Rita and Gary, who were in their late 40s at the time. They were first generation immigrants who
had no family in the US. Their biological daughter, Susan, had died ten years earlier after Rita accidentally ran over the 5 year old while backing out of the
driveway. Elizabeth surmises that her mother never fully recovered from this traumatic incident and remained distant and withdrawn throughout Elizabethâ€™s life.
Elizabeth describes her father, Gary, as â€œa hard worker, smart, and always serious.â€ She shares that most of her family memories were of times spent with her dad in
his study, surrounded by books. She states, â€œHe could find the answer to all of my questions in one his many books.â€ Elizabeth describes herself as the â€œquiet, bookish
typeâ€ and attributes her love for books to her father. Like her father in his study, Elizabeth remembers spending most of her adolescence alone in her room, reading,
so she would not upset her mother. Looking back, Elizabeth tells you she recognizes her motherâ€™s struggle with depression, â€œbut as a kid, I thought it was me.â€
You comment on the vastly different childhood experiences and normalize the potential for relationship challenges under these circumstances. Acknowledging the
differences, Elizabeth remarks that Bobâ€™s relationship with his family was one of the things that she was attracted to early in their relationship. Bob agrees with her
and comments that Katie and Elizabeth are very close, â€œeach being the sister neither one of them ever had.â€
Vargas Case Study: Module 4
The Vargas family arrives for the 4th session at separate times. You have been chatting with Elizabeth and Heidi about Frankâ€™s recent school suspension when Bob and
Frank enter. They are having an animated conversation, laughing hysterically, and Frank is wearing socks, not the rain boots he left the house in. They proceed to
share the story about how Frankâ€™s top scoop of ice cream just fell into his boot when Elizabeth interrupts. She questions Bob and appears surprised to learn that
instead of going to work with Bob who had agreed to â€œput him to workâ€ as a consequence of his suspension, the two of them had spent the day having fun. Frank talks
about his new bike and had begun a story about the movie they saw when he looks at his dad and instantly stops talking. You notice Bobâ€™s stern look when Frank
apologizes stating, â€œI forgot Iâ€™m not supposed to tell.â€
The tense silence is broken by Heidi who begins to tell her parents that she got another gold star on her spelling test, the teacher picked her to be the helper, she
scored two soccer goals at recess, and made three new friends. You notice that Frank has squeezed into the same chair next to Bob; Heidi scoots closer to her mother on
the couch. You note Elizabethâ€™s distress and invite Bob to comment. Bob minimizes the incident that resulted in Frankâ€™s suspension and accuses Elizabeth of
â€œoverreacting.â€ Frank agrees that â€œMom always gets madâ€ and begins recounting the â€œfunnyâ€ incident that was, according to him and Bob, â€œno big deal.â€
Vargas Case Study: Module 5
The Vargas family arrives to their 5th session together and on time. As a follow-up to last weekâ€™s focus on the family structure, you decide to consider a strategic
approach this week. To check in, you invite them to share any feedback from last weekâ€™s session. Bob reports that he apologized to Elizabeth for â€œmishandling the
suspension thingâ€ then complains that Elizabeth is still â€œholding a grudge.â€ He admits that he often does not understand why she gets so upset and that he wants her to
be happy. Elizabeth acknowledges that the apology â€œis a startâ€ and suggests that the reason Bob doesnâ€™t understand is that he â€œdoesnâ€™t ever listenâ€ to her. Bob tells
Elizabeth that he listens, but gets frustrated because he doesnâ€™t know how to â€œfix it.â€
You notice Frank and Heidi sitting together, quietly looking at a book while their parents talk. You inquire about any noticeable changes made during the week. Both
parents claim to have made an effort to avoid raising his/her voice and report being pleased with their conduct. When asked about the children, Elizabeth reports
noticing improvement. Bob, however, expresses frustration with Frankâ€™s constant need of redirection and numerous reminders to complete his chores. Bob also noted an
increase in Heidiâ€™s demands for attention.
Vargas Case Study: Module Six
The Vargas family arrives five minutes late for their 6th session. Elizabeth apologizes for their tardiness and complains that they had come from an event hosted by
her former employer and were having an argument in the parking lot. You notice the children appear somewhat disheveled with red cheeks and grass-stained clothing. They
excitedly share stories of coming from a â€œbig picnicâ€ where they â€œplayed lots of games and made new friends.â€ Frank tells you that he was playing Kick Ball and that
his team was winning. Smiling and tousling Frankâ€™s hair, Bob adds that he and Frank were â€œan unstoppable forceâ€ who dominated each event at the picnic. Bob and Frank
were in the middle of a celebratory high-five when Heidi tells her dad that she wishes he would have been on her soccer team. While still engaged in the celebration
with Frank, Bob replies, â€œMe too; maybe next time.â€
Elizabeth states she was â€œpleasantly surprisedâ€ that Bob was enjoying himself, given his strong personal opinion of many of her friends, who are gay. Bob insists that
the picnic was â€œjust okay,â€ and that he â€œwas just trying to be nice.â€ He tells you he doesnâ€™t have â€œanything against gays,â€ but that â€œthey just make me uncomfortable.â€
Heidi reminds him that he agreed to have her new friend, Dani â€œand her two daddies,â€ over for a barbeque. You comment that the familyâ€™s mood now seems quite improved
from how they arrived. Frank explains that his mother got angry at him and admits to running away and hiding from his mother when she said it was time to leave the
picnic. Elizabeth immediately denies being mad at him. You ask Frank what made him think his mother was mad, and he replied, â€œHer eyes were squinty and she had a mean
voice.â€ When asked if his dad was also angry, Frank replies, â€œHe saw me in my hiding place; he was smiling. Then in the car, he yelled at me to â€˜listen to your
Elizabeth shot Bob an angry look when Heidi shares that she was having fun playing soccer and that she didnâ€™t want to leave either. She adds, â€œI always listen because
I donâ€™t want Mommy to be sad.â€ She proceeds to blame her brother for â€œmaking Mommy and Daddy fightâ€ to which Frank makes a counter-accusation, blaming Heidi for the
parental discord. Elizabeth and Bob exchange angry looks, then Bob assures Heidi that, â€œIt wasnâ€™t all your fault.â€
Vargas Case Study: Module 7
Since the last session, you received a call from Elizabeth who stated her family was in crisis. She reported that her nephew Geoff, the 15-year-old stepson of Bobâ€™s
sister, Katie, had nearly overdosed. She said that the family had noticed some changes with Geoff since his fatherâ€™s recent death, but attributed the poor mood and
slipping grades to the normal effects of grief. Elizabeth said that Geoff had never used drugs, as far as anybody in the family knew, and that the overdose was â€œa
total surprise.â€ Elizabeth reported that after learning of this, Bobâ€™s mother, Linda, called the school counselor but complained to Katie that â€œshe was not at all
helpful,â€ and told Katie exactly how she should handle it. Katie spoke with the school counselor who told her that she was not allowed to speak with Linda due to
matters of confidentiality. Elizabeth informed you that Katie had shared her frustration with the school counselorâ€™s suggestions to help him â€œget his mind off the
sadness,â€ and believed he needed more help. You learned that Bobâ€™s father, Tim, was trying his best to help, and that Elizabeth felt his intrusion was making matters
worse. Among other things, Tim had taken Geoff out of school on a week-long camping trip against Katieâ€™s wishes. Elizabeth said that the involvement of Linda and Tim,
despite their good intentions, had begun to cause widespread family strife and asked if you could possibly see the entire family. You agreed to provide a session with
Elizabeth, Bob, Tim, Linda, Katie, and Geoff.
Vargas Case Study: Module 8
This session with the Vargas family includes Elizabeth, Bob, Frank, and Heidi. You begin by inviting Bob and Elizabeth to sit together on the couch and request
feedback regarding the last session. You learn that several of the interventions have provided some relief, but that there are ongoing concerns regarding Geoffâ€™s
safety, as well as with maintaining boundaries that have been set. Elizabeth tells you that Bob â€œhad strong wordsâ€ with his parents, who were initially quite upset.
Bob confirms this and states that despite the difficulty, â€œthey need to butt out.â€ You validate Bobâ€™s struggle and reframe this as bravery. You note the familyâ€™s
willingness to seek help as a significant strength. Bob expresses concern for his sister having recently lost her husband and nearly losing her son. He shares how
unfortunate it is that something bad had to happen to help him realize how fortunate he is. Bob states that he admires his sisterâ€™s strength, and becomes tearful as he
tells Elizabeth that he cannot imagine what it would be like to lose her. He expresses belief that it would be â€œimpossibleâ€ for him to be a single parent and tells his
wife that he realizes he has been taking her for granted. Elizabeth receives these words with quiet gratitude, providing comfort, being sensitive to Bobâ€™s
vulnerability. Bob wipes his tears and apologizes for what he calls â€œfalling apart.â€ You notice Frank and Heidi settle in closer to their parents. Eventually, the
therapeutic silence is broken when Frank hands his dad a tissue and says, â€œItâ€™s okay for boys to cry. Mom says so.â€
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