This is a team assignment I am only responsible for a portion:
Choose a case study from this week’s required text readings (Chapters 6 and 9 of Contemporary Clinical Psychology).
Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word analysis of your selected case, in which you demonstrate an application of clinical psychology in a real-world situation.
Address the following items:
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- Provide a brief overview of your selected case.
- Discuss the biological, psychological, and social factors involved in your selected case.
Use information from at least three peer-reviewed publications to support your points.
Format your analysis consistent with APA guidelines, including a reference page.
Cite in text and in the reference section in APA formatting, proper citing is a part of the grade
Case Study: Hans and Marta Experience Severe Marital Discord (Couples Therapy)
Hans and Marta, a Caucasian couple of Austrian descent, have been married for two years, and each have two children from their previous marriages currently living in the home. They also have an infant daughter of their own. Thus, this blended family combines five children and the challenges of relating to involved ex-spouses. Hans is employed as a contractor and Marta does not work outside of her considerable duties within the home.
Presenting Problem: Hans and Marta report frequent fighting and very low marital satisfaction. Hans is reportedly physically abusive of Marta, and a number of times has struck one of the children. Marta is therefore afraid to confront Hans about her unhappiness and has been withdrawn and disinterested in sex. Hans reports that Marta ignores him, is focused only on the children, and sometimes he just “loses it.” Hans and Marta are asking for help with the fighting, the physical abuse, and the extremely low level of positive marital interaction.
Key Biopsychosocial Factors:
Biological: Hans’s father was physically abusive, which may represent a biological or an environmental predisposition to violence. Marta gave birth only six months ago and is still resuming her normal hormonal and physical functioning. The extent of the physical abuse needs to be assessed in terms of the health of Marta and the children, and all family members protected from further violence.
Psychological: Marta is a battered woman and lives in constant fear for her own and her children’s safety. She is attached to Hans and is unable to separate from him or assert her needs in the face of his violence. Hans is a classic batterer in the sense that he denies responsibility for the abuse, blames Marta for his behavior, and states that if she were only more loving and available he would not need to resort to such anger.
Social: The larger sociocultural context for violence is well established in that we live in a violent society that does not adequately protect victims or treat perpetrators. Hans’s own abuse at the hands of his father may have imparted this tendency through social learning or identification with the aggressor.
Marta may feel dependent upon Hans and afraid to separate due to her fear that she may be unable to adequately house, clothe, and feed her children, and perhaps even lose custody.
Treatment Goals and Plan: The prevailing goal of treatment must be the physical safety of Marta and her children. Given that physical abuse of the children is being reported, the psychologist is legally and ethically mandated to make a report to Child Protective Services. If the couple are willing to remain in treatment in spite of this report, several goals will include (1) cessation of all physical violence within the home, (2) development of alternative means of expressing and working through anger and frustration, (3) insight into the origins and triggers of violence, and (4) improved capacity for communication and intimacy.
The treatment plan will include:
- Individual therapy for Hans to learn to control his temper and violence and for Marta to develop increased autonomy, assertiveness, and a plan of action in the face of future violence.
- Develop alternative behavioral strategies for dealing with anger and create a contract between Hans and Marta for taking alternative steps to violence.
- Family-of-origin work to understand the roots of violence for Hans and factors contributing to Marta’s relationship to an abusive man.
- Develop opportunities for the couple to engage in some mutually positive and pleasurable activities.
- Locate social services and shelters for battered women.
- Group therapy for Hans with other men who are abusive.
- Collaboration with the individual psychologists, group therapist, family physician, child therapists, and social services worker monitoring abuse within the home.
This couple’s therapy case illustrates the high stakes and complex layers of relational problems. The outcome of this case, like most others, will depend largely on the cooperation and motivation of Hans and Marta to acknowledge their serious difficulties and take the necessary steps toward improvement. Various modalities, techniques, and social and medical elements also come into play in this complex yet all-too-common situation.
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