Vargas Family Case Study: Meet the Family
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Vargas Family Case Study: Meet the Family
The Vargas family case study involves a case of Bob and Elizabeth who are couple and their two children. One of their children, Frank has problems with his behavior, which include a short attention span and an impulsive behavior, which have led to more problems in the family leading the couple to seek family therapy. Frank is 10 years old but has not yet been diagnosed with any health issue, which his mother believes he has. Her mother believes Frank’s behavior has negatively impacted her marriage to Bob. Bob and Elizabeth have had increased arguments in their marriage since their son had some changes in his behavior. The parents should support their son, which is impossible due to the differences that they have. This has also led to the couple neglecting their six-year-old daughter who is at a risk of developing such behaviors due to influence from her brother.
Building Alliance with the Family
Building an alliance with the family is important in achieving the success of the therapeutic relationship. Family is important in understanding the needs of the client and providing support to the member as they are close to the member than any other individual (Escudero ; Friedlander, 2017). Due to this, it is important that every member participate in the counseling process by providing their opinions related to the client’s needs. One of the important steps to take in building an alliance with the family is creating an atmosphere, which is accommodative to the family members in rediscovering themselves as a family and as individual members (Escudero & Friedlander, 2017). A good environment will enable the members to feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts and opinions, which is important in determining the underlying factors, which have contributed to the current problems (Escudero & Friedlander, 2017).

In the case of the Vargas family, it is important to build alliances with each member of the family, which will help in identifying the main problems within the family (Escudero & Friedlander, 2017). Problem identification is important in finding an adequate solution to address the issues within the family. Interacting with the family in a favorable environment will enhance trust, openness, and understanding through the counseling process. The second step will involve determining the underlying factors, which have contributed to the existing problems and the family’s perception regarding change (Escudero ; Friedlander, 2017). This will involve determining if there are members opposed to change and what strategies to implement. As a therapist, I will also not judge or make conclusions without first collecting information from each family member as this may discourage some members in engaging in the counseling process (Escudero ; Friedlander, 2017).
Hypothesis
One of the main problems in the Vargas case study is a lack of communication in relation to their son’s behavior (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013). This is seen when their mother believes that her son has a behavior problem (ADHD) where else their father does not believe so and sees nothing wrong with his son. With the parents having different opinions about their son, this has caused a conflict in opinion, which has affected their marriage (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013). Due to the issues that Elizabeth and Bob are having, the family is unable to function properly in addressing their son’s behavior issues. Frank’s behavior has also led to the couple neglecting their daughter, which may negatively affect their daughter’s behavior (Goldenberg ; Goldenberg, 2013).
Another family pattern that may be maintaining the problem is the parents arguing in front of their children, which may contribute to the development of Frank’s behavior (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013). This is because the parents are busy addressing their issues instead of solving their son’s behavior problems. The couple does not prevent Frank from harassing his sister, which is evident after Frank grabs a phone from his sister who protests. The parents have not addressed this behavior pattern, which has contributed to the problems that the family is currently facing (Goldenberg ; Goldenberg, 2013).

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Expectations for Rapport Building Phase of Treatment
This phase is the first stage involved before the actual therapy starts and may include an inquiry about therapy. At this point, the clients are at a breaking point seeking immediate solution to the problems that they may be facing (Charura ; Paul, 2014). A therapist can use this phase to explore the client’s issues and answer any major concerns of the client. The therapist should also assess the client’s problem and analyze the situation based on the information collected, which will enable the therapist to determine the expectations of the therapy (Charura ; Paul, 2014). This stage is important, as it will determine the success of the counseling process. In this case, the expectations for rapport building are to help address the current problems faced by the couple, which includes their marital problems and issues with their son Frank. The main issue started with a change in their son’s behavior, which has led to problems in the family (Charura & Paul, 2014).
Expectations for Assessment and Intervention Phase of Treatment
This phase of treatment is the continuing phase after the rapport-building phase and includes implementing of interventions to address the arising issues and preparation for the termination phase (Geldard, Geldard, & Foo, 2013). This stage entails addressing the problems, which have been determined in the first treatment phase, which is done by implementing effective strategies after a careful analysis of the existing problems. A counselor should use his/her knowledge in determine the most effective strategy to implement to address the client’s problems (Geldard, Geldard, ; Foo, 2013). In this case, the main problem is the behavior change of Frank, which has negatively impacted his mother leading to problems between her and her husband. This has also impacted their six year old daughter. This treatment phase will involve engaging the client as well as the other family members in the treatment process as participation promotes the success if the counseling process (Geldard, Geldard, ; Foo, 2013).
Expectations for the Closure Phase of Treatment
The termination phase of the therapeutic process is also a critical process as it may determine the success or failure of the counseling process (Charura ; Paul, 2014). A therapist should explain this process to the client as it may be difficult to terminate a counseling process because of the relationship which has been formed between the client and the counselor. This process will also determine the transition phase between therapy and back to normal life (Charura ; Paul, 2014). In this case, the therapist should analyze the progress achieved in attaining the desired goals which include addressing the behavior change of Frank and improving the relationship between Elizabeth and Bob. This process can also include providing support to the family after the counseling process and interventions to address future reoccurrences of a similar situation (Charura ; Paul, 2014).
References
Charura, D., ; Paul, S. (2014). The therapeutic relationship handbook: Theory and practice. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill Education/Open University Press.

Escudero, V., ; Friedlander, M. L. (2017). Therapeutic alliances with families: Empowering clients in challenging cases. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.

Geldard, K., Geldard, D., ; Foo, R. Y. (2013). Counselling children: A practical introduction. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Goldenberg, I., ; Goldenberg, H. (2013). Family therapy: An overview. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.