I only need 2 to 3 sentences and a reference to the statement below.
EL Experiential Therapy is “a therapeutic approach that encourages patients to identify and address hidden or subconscious issues through activities such as role playing, guided imagery, the use of props, and a range of other active experiences” (Hurst, 2015). I believe that this form of therapy would be beneficial for Debbie and her family. Individual and family counseling is a great idea for this family, that way, the family dynamic can come together to help Debbie and become stronger. Experiential therapy is not like the traditional forms of talk therapy, it is more interactive, involves actions, activities and movement. This form of therapy would allow the therapist to view a person when they are not immersed in themselves or their own problems, the therapist can observe each member of the family in different situations where they let their guard down. Debbie states that she often thinks of committing suicide, this is not something to take lightly and needs to be addressed. Debbie’s actions (or lack of actions) are cries for help that need immediate attention from everyone involved.
If I were the therapist working with Debbie and her parents I would believe that there are a number of problems facing this family. I would not put any of the problems ahead of another (suicidal thoughts excluded), as to not minimize the importance of each individual’s strife and anxiety. I would however start by focusing on problems that can bring them closer together, one being their lack of family communication. There are different ways to communicate that affects this family, listening, verbal communication, non-verbal communication, emotional awareness, and written communication (Schmitz, 2017). This family needs to spend time talking, listening and learning from each other in a safe zone where no one judges nor interrupts. This family needs to communicate on multiple levels and learn that if one communication type does not garner the appropriate response, that there are other avenues to travel towards. Each member of this family deserves to speak their truth and to be heard. I would strategically start with dad. For one, starting with Debbie would spend a great chunk, if not all of the session on her. Not that it is not important, but in family therapy, they all need to feel important. Debbie needs to hear her father and get to know more of him. Debbie’s father works multiple jobs in order to care for his family. In order to maintain a home and provide food for his family, he has sacrificed a part of himself for his family. Debbie would benefit from getting to know her dad on a different level. Debbie’s mother would be next to express herself and share her emotions with her family. This family would benefit from getting to know each other. Debbie’s mother wants her to be a doctor. This a great goal for a parent to have for their child, but if this path is going to be encouraged, the child would need to want to attain this goal for themselves, not for their parents. Debbie does not want to be a doctor; mom is not paying attention to what her child wants or doesn’t want.
I believe that Gestalt Therapy would help this family understand and accept one another. In gestalt therapy,” context affects experience, and a person cannot be fully understood without understanding his or her context” (goodtherapy.org, 2017). This family needs to change the course that they are on. First, they would need to accept where they are and know that they cant change what has happened, but they can accept what has occurred and work together to create a better path for everyone. Animal assisted therapy can also be beneficial for this family. This family does not seem to have a bond or connection to each other aside from having the same last name. Having a dog or per to care for can help this family in multiple facets. “Animal-assisted therapy involves interacting with animals to help treat issues including depression” (healthline.com, 2017). This form of therapy can give this family something that they can all feel connected to. Petting an animal can “cause your brain to release chemicals that create feelings of well being” (healthline.com, 2017). Having a pet can also help Debbie have a sense of purpose.
Goodtherapy.org (April 10, 2017). Gestalt Therapy. Retrieved on April 23 2017 from: http://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/gestalt-therapy
Healthline.com (2017). Animal-Assisted Therapy for Depression. Retrieved on April 23, 2017 from: http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/animal-assisted-therapy#overview1
Hurst, Michael (2015). Experiential Therapy What Is It? Retrieved on April 23, 2017 from: http://www.crchealth.com/types-of-therapy/what-is-experiential-therapy/
Schmitz, Mike (2017). 6 Types of Communication. Retrieved on April 23, 2017 from: https://www.conovercompany.com/6-types-of-communication/