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NCJ Number: 48682 Find in a Library
Title: FAMILY THERAPY WITH FAMILIES HAVING DELINQUENT OFFSPRING
Author(s): T F JOHNSON
Corporate Author: National Alliance for Family Life, Inc
New York Family Counselors Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Alliance for Family Life, Inc
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN APPROACH TO DEALING WITH FAMILIES' RESISTANCE TO PARTICIPATING IN THE THERAPY OF A DELINQUENT FAMILY MEMBER IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: LIKE PSYCHOSOMATIC PATIENTS, FAMILIES OF DELINQUENTS TEND TO FOCUS ON THE SYMPTOM AND TO DEMAND ITS REMOVAL; I.E., THE FAMILIES EMPHASIZE THE DELINQUENT MEMBER'S BEHAVIOR, DEMANDING CHANGES IN THAT BEHAVIOR BUT REFUSE TO RECOGNIZE THE SITUATION WHICH GIVES RISE TO THE BEHAVIOR. THIS ATTITUDE ACCOUNTS FOR THE UNWILLINGNESS OF MANY FAMILIES TO BECOME INVOLVED IN THE TREATMENT OF A DELINQUENT MEMBER. BY NOT PARTICIPATING, FAMILIES ATTEMPT TO ENSURE THAT NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO DISTURB THEIR CUSTOMARY WAY OF FUNCTIONING. SOME FAMILIES FLATLY REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FAMILY EVALUATION, BUT MOST FAMILIES WILL AGREE TO A CONTRACT FOR THREE MEETINGS. IN THE FIRST MEETING, DURING WHICH FAMILIES TEND TO 'TELL TALES' ABOUT THE DELINQUENT MEMBER, IT IS USEFUL TO ASK MEMBERS HOW THE CHILD'S DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR HAS AFFECTED THEM, THUS ENCOURAGING FAMILY MEMBERS TO EXPRESS THEIR CONCERNS AND FEELINGS. DURING THE SECOND MEETING, THE FAMILY SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THEIR SITUATION WOULD BE HAD THE DELINQUENCY THAT BROUGHT THEM INTO CONTACT WITH THE COURT NOT OCCURRED. THE THERAPIST MUST REMEMBER THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT MAY BE CAUSING DEFENSIVE BEHAVIOR ON THE PART OF FAMILIES (E.G., RELUCTANCE OF PARENTS TO ASSUME ADULT RESPONSIBILITY, MARITAL CONFLICT, A PARENT'S ALCOHOLISM, A FATHER'S ALIENATION FROM HIS FAMILY). STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE -- OMISSION OF A FAMILY MEMBER FROM A TREATMENT SESSION, THE DELINQUENT'S MEMBER'S INSISTENCE UPON BEING THE FAMILY PROBLEM -- SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED BY THE THERAPIST AND DEALT WITH FIRMLY YET GENTLY. ALTHOUGH FAMILIES GENERALLY ARE RELUCTANT TO HEAR THE THERAPIST'S EVALUATION OF THEIR PROBLEMS, THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THERAPISTS' STATEMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS CAN PROVIDE SOME FAMILY MEMBERS WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO FREE THEMSELVES OF THEIR SITUATION. TWO CASE STUDIES ARE CITED.
Index Term(s): Family counseling; Juvenile counseling; Techniques
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48682

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