An individual’s identity development, including his or her preferred gender identity, is a lifelong process, which starts with the earliest interactions with the world. The concepts of gender identity have been explored, studied, debated, and discussed for decades and are currently going through a resurgence of examination, especially in Western cultures. This chapter provides an overview of gender identity development, beginning with an explanation of terms, followed by an exploration of theoretical perspectives which includes cognitive developmental theory, social learning theory, gender schema theory and feminist theory. Topics include current research and perspectives on how gender identity evolves in children and recent shifts in understanding atypical gender identities, including transgender, gender neutral, and gender fluid identification. Finally, implications and strategies for mental health professionals are discussed, especially related to counseling those who are experiencing conflict or distress surrounding issues of gender and gender identity.
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One of the most important findings from the original battered woman syndrome (BWS) research was the existence of a three-phase cycle of violence that could be described and measured through careful questioning of the battered woman. This chapter describes the cycle, updates it by adding information from the courtship period, and divides the third phase into several different sections where appropriate so that there may not be any loving contrition or even respites from the abuse at times during the relationship. Teaching the woman how her perception of tension and danger rises to an acute battering incident after which she experiences feelings of relief and then gets seduced back into the relationship by the batterer’s loving behavior, often similar to what she experienced during the courtship period, has been found to be helpful in breaking the cycle of violence that keeps the woman in the relationship.Source:
Many developmental models view human growth from a space of lack or abundance, a perpetual fulcrum swinging from the word survive at one end to thrive at the other. This chapter discusses Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory of human development to conceptualize female adolescent and young adult development. The contextual focus of this theory provides a global framework for counselors to view young women as individuals who both influence, and are influenced by, their surroundings. Customs, beliefs, and the government all play a role in the development of children and adolescents. When young females overcome the stigma associated with mental health services, they typically seek treatment in one of two primary settings: community mental health centers and schools. Relational-cultural theory (RCT) is an evolving feminist model of human development that views connection to others as essential to growth and disconnection as a major cause of disrupted functioning.
- Go to article: Sexual Teen Dating Violence Victimization: Associations With Sexual Risk Behaviors Among U.S. High School Students
Sexual Teen Dating Violence Victimization: Associations With Sexual Risk Behaviors Among U.S. High School Students
Adolescent dating violence may lead to adverse health behaviors. We examined associations between sexual teen dating violence victimization (TDVV) and sexual risk behaviors among U.S. high school students using 2013 and 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey data (combined n = 29,346). Sex-stratified logistic regression models were used to estimate these associations among students who had dated or gone out with someone during the past 12 months (n = 20,093). Among these students, 10.5% experienced sexual TDVV. Sexual TDVV was positively associated with sexual intercourse before age 13, four or more lifetime sexual partners, current sexual activity, alcohol or drug use before last sexual intercourse, and no pregnancy prevention during last sexual intercourse. Given significant findings among both sexes, it is valuable for dating violence prevention efforts to target both female and male students.Source:
- Go to article: Attachment Styles, Alcohol, and Childhood Experiences of Abuse: An Analysis of Physical Violence in Dating Couples
Attachment Styles, Alcohol, and Childhood Experiences of Abuse: An Analysis of Physical Violence in Dating Couples
This study examined individual and partner characteristics that contribute to the propensity for physical violence in couples. In a sample of 171 heterosexual dating couples, each partner completed measures assessing experienced childhood abuse, alcohol use, alcohol expectancies, attachment, and relationship length. Physically violent men reported more abuse from each parent, greater alcohol use, anxious attachment, and a longer relationship. Their female partner reported more childhood abuse by the father and reciprocal perpetrated violence. Physically violent women reported more abuse from the father, greater alcohol use, aggressive alcohol expectancies, and a longer relationship. Their male partner reported greater abuse from the mother, greater alcohol use, and reciprocal perpetrated violence. This study demonstrates the importance of considering how each individual’s characteristics within a dyad contribute to increased propensity for dating violence.Source:
This chapter describes many of the theories that involve taxonomies. Most taxonomies of love begin in the same place: The language of love is examined, whether through an examination of film, literature, music, or firsthand accounts of people about their love life. The three primary love styles are eros, storge, and ludus. Eros is a passionate kind of love that is characterized by strong emotions and intense physical longing for the loved one. With storge, should the lovers break up, there is a greater chance than with other love styles that they remain friends. Ludus commonly is displayed by people who prefer to remain single and who see love as a game of conquest and numbers. A pragmatic lover hesitates to commit to a relationship until he or she feels confident of finding the right partner. The different love styles also correlate with some other personality traits.
This chapter describes the current trends toward greater gender equality in couple relationships, what keeps old patterns of gendered power alive, and why equality is so important for successful relationships. Relationship vignettes like the ones just described are common. Sharing family and outside work more equitably is only part of the gender-equality story. Gender ideologies are replicated in the way men and women communicate with each other and influence the kind of emotional and relational symptoms men and women present in therapy. Stereotypic gender patterns and power differences between partners work against the shared worlds and egalitarian ideals that women and men increasingly seek. The concept of relationship equality rests on the ideology of equality articulated in philosophical, legal, psychological, and social standards present today in American and world cultures. The four dimensions of the relationship equality model are relative status, attention to the other, accommodation patterns, and well-being.
This chapter explores the relationship between gender and power. Gendered power in couple relationships arises from a social context that has given men power over women for centuries. When practitioners fail to take account of social context, however, they may run the risk of inadvertently pathologizing clients for legitimate responses to oppressive experiences. The term gender is a socially created concept that consists of expectations, characteristics, and behaviors that members of a culture consider appropriate for males or females. Consequently, an individual’s ideas about gender may feel deeply personal even though they are a product of social relationships and structures. Strong social forces work to keep social power structures, including gender inequality, in place. The continued presence of gendered power structures in economic, social, and political institutions still limits how far many couples can move toward equality. Today, ideals of equality compete with the institutional practices that maintain gender inequality.
This chapter examines the cultural and relational contexts of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a debilitating, multidimensional mental health problem that affects 10"-15” of new mothers and has serious consequences for women, children, families, and marriages. Although women’s experience of postpartum depression has been the subject of considerable recent study, nearly all of this work has been interpreted within a medical or psychological frame. The chapter looks at a social constructionist lens to this body of research through a meta-data-analysis of recent qualitative studies of PPD. Though hormonal changes as a result of childbirth are related to depressive symptoms after childbirth, biological explanations alone cannot explain postpartum depression. A social constructionist approach to postpartum depression focuses on how the condition arises in the context of ongoing interpersonal and societal interaction. Climbing out of postpartum depression is an interpersonal experience that requires reconnection with others.
One of the most trying aspects of training professionals to work with couples using solution-focused therapy is expecting professionals to go slowly and to develop a connection with their couples before moving on. In fact, the therapist is working to uncover the positive aspects of the couple’s life, and how they were living before their problem. Lipchik calls this process listening with a constructive ear probing for evidence of strengths, resources, and past success, learning what life was like before or without the problem, what the clients want, or anything at all that can be reinforced as a positive aspect of the client’s lives going forward. Every couple comes from a past when the relationship was working much better. The therapist listens for clues about how the relationship was built to understand what worked in the past and continues to work today.
This chapter includes the guiding tenets of solution-focused therapy (SFT). Solution-focused (SF) practice differs from other therapeutic approaches in its use of solution building rather than problem solving. The solution-building process is about creating what is most desired by the couple, and not about problem solving. For a couple to be seeking therapy together, there has to have been a time in the past when the relationship was working better for both the parties. By focusing on the relationship and the skills that each partner uses to contribute to the relationship, the therapist conveys a level of hope to the couple. Solution-building conversations must be co-constructed with input from all participants. Motivation should never be in doubt, even if one member of the couple claims that he or she is only there because the other partner “made” them come to therapy.
This chapter explains a set of guidelines to help mental health professionals and clients move away from the gender stereotypes that perpetuate inequality and illness. Identifying dominance requires conscious awareness and understanding of how gender mediates between mental health and relationship issues. An understanding of what limits equality is significantly increased when we examine how gendered power plays out in a particular relationship and consider how it intersects with other social positions such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. To contextualize emotion, the therapist draws on knowledge of societal and cultural patterns, such as gendered power structures and ideals for masculinity and femininity that touch all people’s lives in a particular society. Therapists who seek to support women and men equally take an active position that allows the non-neutral aspects of gendered lives to become visible.
This chapter provides insight into the dilemmas couples face when ideals of equality intersect with societal structures that maintain gendered power. It examines how Iranian couples construct gender and negotiate power within their culture, political structure, and Islamic values. Gender equality may express itself differently in a culture such as Iran that not only emphasizes collective goals and achievements, strong feelings of interdependence, and social harmony. Collectivism typically maintains social order through a gender hierarchy. Contemporary Iranian couples draw from diverse cultural legacies. Although some couples seemed to accept the traditional gender hierarchy and a few others appeared to manage relatively equally within it, other couples were quite aware of gendered-power issues and attempted to address them in their personal lives. Some couples describe trying to maintain an equal relationship in their personal lives despite men’s greater legal authority.
This chapter examines how 12 White, middle-class couples negotiated the issue of equality in their relationships during their first year of marriage. The social context both supports and inhibits the development of marital equality. To be included in the present study, complete transcripts with both the husband and wife present had to be available, both members of the couple had to express ideals of gender equality, and both had to express commitment to careers for wives as well as husbands. Most of the couples classified as creating a myth of equality, spoke as though their relationships were equal but described unequal relationship conditions. The other couples classified in the myth-of-equality category described similar contradictions between their ideals of gender equality and their behavior. Gender-equality issues raise political and ethical concerns for all of us who are family practitioners and teachers.
This chapter reviews a number of questions a therapist can ask to establish a best hope for each of their client couples. Couples rarely agree on the problem that brings them to therapy, and spending time trying to reach agreement only slows down the therapeutic process. The task of a couple’s therapist in establishing best hopes is to have a positive conversation about the future. The therapist should choose a response that acknowledges the problem but moves the conversation toward a more positive discussion of the future. Think of establishing a best hope as selecting a destination rather than setting a goal. In establishing the direction of therapy with a couple, the therapist must be disciplined and stay on task until the proper best hopes have been identified, because that will be the basis for subsequent conversations. The therapist will have built on the client’s response and restate the question.
This chapter provides some questions and answers so that people can see for themselves. Most theories of love predict that, as time goes on, the passion in a relationship will begin to falter. According to the triangular theory of love, passion is the quickest component of a relationship to develop but also the quickest to die down. If they always need the thrill of the early days of a relationship, they may find themselves flitting from one relationship to the next without ever experiencing any deeper satisfaction. A mismatch of stories is not as obvious as disagreement over political beliefs, the desire to have children, or religious affiliation, but it can be just as challenging to a relationship. When people end serious relationships, they often go through a period in which they are just not ready to enter a new relationship.
Scales are an important part of the solution-building process. Scaling questions are dynamic because they use the client’s words and their description of their preferred future to move the conversation on to task development. In using scales or any other tool of solution-focused therapy properly, clinicians must trust our clients and their skills. There are four important points on a well-defined scale: the most-desired point, representing the preferred future; the least-desired point; the point representing where the couple is today; and the point representing where the couple will be when they realize there’s no need for further therapy. Solution-focused practitioners use scales to chart a client’s progress toward a desired future, to highlight exceptions, develop tasks, and identify strengths. Brief therapies tend to be highly strategic and seek to accomplish a client’s goal in the fewest number of sessions possible.
This chapter explores how a love researcher goes from having a conception or even a theory of love to actually constructing a love scale. A love scale provides a way to test the validity of a theory. A love scale enables couples to assess one aspect of their compatibility. A love scale provides individuals and couples an opportunity to enhance their love relationships. The one important thing to remember is that as measuring instruments love scales are far from perfect. Love scales are no different from scales for measuring intelligence or personality. An investigator might simultaneously measure intimacy with the intimacy subscale of the Triangular Love Scale and observe a couple in interaction, looking for behaviors signifying trust, caring, compassion, and communication. No scientist today believes that it is possible to capture the entire phenomenon of love through scientific study or through scales that are geared to measure love.
This chapter focuses on the whole life span of a relationship. It reviews some of the kinds of love and discusses how researchers understand the temporal course of those kinds of love. The chapter considers the effects of cohabitation on couples and what happens as these couples move on to marriage. It also discusses mechanisms that help or hinder couples in the maintenance of their relationships. The chapter examines the usual means of ending relationships: breakup and sometimes divorce. Compassionate love has been called “pure love”, “selfless love”, and “altruistic love”, as well as many other things. It features prominently in religion as well as in literature about love, and often can be found in caregiving relationships. A negative relationship also existed between cohabitation and marital quality. Edenfield and colleagues conducted a study that relates these relationship maintenance strategies to adult attachment styles.
This chapter reviews the questions that are frequently asked in solution-focused therapy (SFT) and how they can be used with couples. It discusses the miracle question, the scaling question, and exception-finding questions, many of which have been written about extensively over the years. Solution-focused questions spring from a therapist’s curiosity curiosity is the foundation of solution building. Deciding which partner to question at a particular moment in the session is an important skill for a couple’s counselor. Solution building is a process of co-constructing a conversation between the couple and the therapist, and all three must take their turn in the conversation. Third-person questions are also a powerful way to bring a couple’s entire support system into the session. Presumptive language is very important in developing solution-building questions. Some questions are crafted to create a picture of the preferred future and to fill it with as many details as possible.
Eliciting a description of a couple’s ideal future without getting sucked into the problem story is one of the hardest tasks in solution-focused therapy. In order to stick to a description of the “future” a therapist must have the discipline to refrain from following the client’s lead toward the use of “problem language”. The process of gathering details about a preferred future is therapeutic in itself. Often nothing more needs to happen for the couple to make significant and lasting changes in their lives and in their relationship, and the more thorough their description of their future, the more good it’s likely to do. The role of a solution-focused marriage counselor is to remind couples of the process that was in play when they first fell in love, and what skills each partner brought to the relationship in its early days.
Wrapping up a solution-building session is about trusting the clients and trusting the process. Reflection teams play an important role in solution-focused therapy at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, but by taking a break to develop well thought-out compliments and suggestions for a couple, individual therapists can act as their own reflection teams. Using the couple’s own words is the most important step in formulating helpful feedback. It requires that the therapist pay close attention to the language used throughout the conversation and to stick with it. Feedback should be related to the couple’s strengths and the traits that have the potential to lead them away from their problem toward the preferred future. In early family therapy literature as well as early solution-focused literature, making suggestions and invitations was referred to as assigning tasks.
- Go to chapter: Carrying Equal Weight: Relational Responsibility and Attunement Among Same-Sex Couples
Comparison studies have long found that same-sex partners maintain more equal relationships than their heterosexual counterparts, largely because they do not divide roles and responsibilities based on gender. Thus the study of samesex couples offers the ability to examine the processes that create and maintain equality when gender differences do not organize couple relationships. However, same-sex partners emphasize the satisfaction of intimacy needs, rather than moral obligation or societal expectations, as their reason for maintaining the relationship. This primary focus on the relationship itself, which is also becoming more common among heterosexual couples, tends to be associated with egalitarian ideals that are not necessarily easy to translate into practice. A distinguishing characteristic of couples who were classified as demonstrating attuned inequality is the indebtedness that the benefiting partner feels to the other. Attuned couples describe conscious strategies for managing their relationships.
The role of honeymoon talk in solution-focused therapy is to re-establish brilliance by reviewing past successes and allowing each partner to take credit for those successes. The task of the therapist when reviewing a couple’s successful past is to identify and discuss even the most intimate details of that time in their lives. Hope is what the therapist must bring into the conversation. The therapist’s goal should not be just to identify the details of the couple’s successful past, but to invite the clients to take credit for that success. Examining a couple’s past is an incredibly powerful step in the therapeutic process that allows an eventual conversation about the future to happen in a more helpful and effective way. Discussing a successful past often drastically changes the mood of the conversation. It is almost as if couples transform themselves back into people who were previously happy and in love.
The procedure for follow-up sessions isn’t dissimilar from that of first sessions except that the steps are followed in a slightly different order. As the session moved on, therapist worked together to explore the couple’s successful past, developed a picture of the preferred future, scaled their distance from their preferred future the couple felt they were between two and three and reviewed the feedback and suggestions. When couples begin to explore the details of progress and talk about the skills they possess that led to the progress, it is almost as if they are complimenting each other for the way they behaved between sessions. The scale in the follow-up session is used exactly the way it was used in the first session. Scales are an important part of solution building because they allow the clinician to assess the effectiveness of the work being done in concert with the couple themselves.
This book draws on in-depth research of couples in different situations and cultures to identify educational and therapeutic interventions that will help couples become conscious of and move beyond gendered power in their relationships so they can expand their options and well-being. Sharing family and outside work more equitably is a part of the gender-equality story. The book is divided into five parts. Part I of the book lays out the theoretical and methodological issues of gender equality that frame the book’s research projects and practice concerns. Chapters in this section frame the concept of gender equality and its role in promoting mutually supportive relationships. The second part examines the relational processes involved in equality between intimate partners. Traditional couples need help in defining the meaning of relational equality for themselves within external definitions of male and female roles. A chapter in this section is about same-sex couples and explores what happens when gender does not organize relationships. In Part III, two chapters look at how gender legacies and power influence mothering and fathering among parents of young children with a third showing how idealized notions of motherhood heighten and maintain postpartum depression after childbirth. The fourth part shows both similarities and cultural variation in power issues in different cultural settings. While one chapter considers how racial experience increases the complexities of gender and power in couple life, another discovers the considerable diversity in Iran by showing how couples work within a male-dominant legal and social structure that also includes a long cultural tradition of respect for and equality of women. Part V draws on the previous chapters to offer a guide for mental health professionals.
Working with couples presents a unique set of challenges, and this book sets forth a way of working through those challenges using solution-focused methods. Solution-focused therapy (SFT) with couples requires the therapist to keep the discussion targeted squarely on solutions and to avoid any distractions related to the couple’s problem story. The therapist should choose a response that acknowledges the problem but moves the conversation toward a more positive discussion of the future. The idea is to think of establishing a best hope similar to selecting a destination rather than setting a goal. The therapist works to uncover the positive aspects of the couple’s life, and how they were living before their problem; this is referred to as listening with a constructive ear. Honeymoon talk in SFT re-establishes brilliance by reviewing past successes and allowing each partner to take credit for those successes. The process of gathering details about a preferred future is therapeutic in itself; the more thorough their description of their future, the more good it is likely to do. SF practitioners use scales to chart a client’s progress toward a desired future, to highlight exceptions, develop tasks, and identify strengths. Using the couple’s own words is the most important step in formulating helpful feedback. Feedback should be related to the couple’s strengths and the traits that have the potential to lead them away from their problem toward the preferred future. The procedure for follow-up sessions is similar to that of first sessions except that the steps are followed in a slightly different order.
The field of family therapy has been moving ever onward toward attempting to address the complex, multidimensional, diverse, and multicultural needs of the profession. This chapter presents a summary of Systemic Cognitive-Developmental Supervision (SCDS) and integrates a case study to illustrate basic concepts and use of the SCDS supervision model. Systemic Cognitive-Developmental Supervision is a supervision model that was developed upon the same theoretical foundations as Systemic Cognitive-Developmental Therapy (SCDT). SCDS is a supervision model that is built upon the theory of SCDT and is grounded in integrative, developmental, co-constructive, holistic, and systemic assumptions. The intersecting domains of class, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, spirituality, and so forth also provide important context to supervision and therapy. Although the general SCDS model provides an important framework as a beginning, value is added by a knowledge of the developing literature on culturally sensitive therapy and supervision.
Murray Bowen Family Systems Theory attempts to explain life and the human phenomenon, rather than specific families. As with many early family therapists, the development of Bowen’s theory grew out of the decision to include family members in the treatment of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Bowen Family Systems Theory is based on the need for intrapersonal and interpersonal balance, with chronic anxiety and differentiation serving as the foundational constructs for the theory. These constructs are opposing: the former causing symptoms and the latter acting as the antidote. Bowen believed that family systems theory was describing life, not merely families, arguing that the constructs of his theory were universal to all genders and cultures. The implication of this belief is that culture-including race, ethnicity, gender, and the specific beliefs, values, and traditions that vary between people-does not matter and does not affect the ability for change to occur in therapy.
This chapter examines both the history and benefits of teaching specific models in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) supervision and then focuses on an integrative, moderate common-factors approach. MFT as a profession originated in the late 1950s and 1960s with a series of rebellious pioneers who rejected the dominant individual-based behavior and psychoanalytic models of the time in favor of something new. Supervisors who intend to integrate common factors into the supervisory experience and education have several tasks, possibly the most important of which is to provide education to supervisees about the factors that truly are common to all psychotherapy modalities. The chapter describes the seven common factors: client factors, therapist factors, the therapeutic alliance, hope and expectancy, allegiance of the therapist, feedback, and interventions, such as behavioral, cognitive, affective that cut across all models.
- Go to chapter: The Role of Workforce Development in Increasing the Well-Being of Children in Kinship Care
Child welfare practitioners at all levels play a vital role in shaping outcomes and the well-being of children who reside in kinship care. Child welfare educators will be well served to use innovative approaches to student recruitment and retention in efforts to build a cadre of professionals who have the desire, value orientation, and background to be trained to become competent practitioners. One strategy that child welfare educators can consider is the use of “geodemographic planning”. To ensure an adequate supply of future child welfare professionals, it is imperative that educators and academic leaders implement strategic retention plans. Intensive supervision models, mentoring/coaching, and using youth-and family-representative-informed care are modalities that child welfare educators should consider in workforce development. Field education should incorporate technology-enhanced training resources and methods in order to maximize student supervision. The use of computer-facilitated assessments and standardized screenings could be encouraged with kinship families.
This chapter starts with an examination of the normative aspects of parental care by considering the benefits that are experienced by children when they are reared by a parent or parents. A review of parental care is helpful in that it can guide peoples exploration of the challenges and difficulties faced by children who do not reside in parental care. The chapter advances a relationship-building framework used to explore the policies, practices, and research that are needed to promote more optimal outcomes for children and their caregivers. The importance of positive relationships, connections, and the sense of belongingness will be established as critical aspects of normative living and development for children. The chapter explores why and how kinship care should be fully developed as a formal intervention. It establishes benchmarks and guides that direct attention to meeting the needs of children who do not have the benefit of parental care.
This chapter considers the well-being of caregivers. Child safety is an important topic in kinship care for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that children are placed into relative’s homes as a strategy to end the maltreatment that brought them to the attention of the child welfare system. It is important that children experience both physical and psychological safety, but for many children who have been victims of maltreatment, psychological safety can be more difficult to achieve. Multiple strategies and suggestions for instilling a sense of psychological safety are offered for use by caregivers and child welfare workers. Kinship caregivers face a significant amount of scrutiny. Despite the fact that research reveals multiple and significant benefits associated with kinship care, many professionals question whether placement with kin is in a child’s best interest.
This chapter entails a review of “system readiness”, and discusses methods for conducting evaluations and research related to capacity building through system change. Moreover, with advocacy research being paramount in kinship care practice, its use in kinship care is addressed, covering the use of advocacy research strategies and methods for translating research findings into kinship care policy and practice. When service systems are ready for change, they are best served by a trained and supported workforce that is able to intervene and support families using culturally appropriate, evidence-based practice models. A probe into how evidence-based practices can become more effective in realm kinship care is offered. Children in kinship care not only need effective and supportive caregivers, but also need effective child welfare policies and programs. System of Care has been one approach used in child welfare to bring about necessary changes to local programming.
This chapter gives an overview of the conditions and child vulnerabilities that can disrupt relationship building. In the context of parenting and/or adult-to-child caregiving, theoretical understanding of the importance of human relationships, connections, and alliances has been guided by major models, including evolutionary psychology, attachment theory, social learning, social cognition theory, social development theory, and social control theory, bioecological systems theory and human behavioral genetics theory. Relationship formation is critical in positioning caregivers to serve in a “curative” role in assisting children to make gains and recover from the experiences of not having normal parental experiences. Kinship caregivers are in a unique position to help children develop relational competence. Relational competence is a person’s ability to appropriately interact with others and to develop meaningful relationships and connections. The caregiver can help the child reconnect or restore broken relationships.
The family unit shapes the child’s intellect, and influences the child’s ability to cope with the phenomenological forces that can affect his or her mental well-being. The family teaches children how to be good citizens in society. Most importantly, family helps shape children’s identity development so that they can be proud of their cultural heritage, their background, and what they can offer to the world. Children in kinship care are found to maintain more connections with their families and communities; and they experience fewer disruptions in relationships. Children who reside in relative care, risk experiencing a host of negative outcomes including substance abuse, criminal system involvement, mental health disorders, early pregnancy, and education insufficiencies, to name just a few. Relative caregivers are often willing to be permanent resources for children through either adoption or guardianship and their preferences should be valued and considered in relation to the child’s best interest.
This chapter focuses on federal policy and provides information on how to access local state policies pertaining to kinship care. Also, attention is devoted to illustrating different strategies that can be used to incentivize states’ use and support of kinship caregivers. The chapter presents a policy analysis framework to guide readers in approaching a critical analysis of federal policies and their effect on kinship caregivers. Federal and state policies can influence the extent to which state-level programming is geared toward establishing and supporting curative relationships for children by supporting their caregivers. A policy advocacy approach that promotes relationship building for children in kinship care is offered. The chapter considers the social and environmental conditions that have led to high rates of nonparental care, the economic impact, and the related political and policy response.
This chapter examines the theory of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and use of the theory as a model of supervision. It reviews the theory of CBT by examining a philosophical foundation, techniques and interventions, the role of the therapist, the process of change, and cultural issues. The chapter discusses the significance of utilizing a CBT approach to therapy within the supervisor-supervisee relationship. It also reviews the supervisor-supervisee relationship, looking specifically at goals and challenges, and follows with a case example. CBT can be used with adults, children, and older populations throughout an extensive continuum of mental and behavioral health diagnoses with couples, families, or individual concerns. CBT theory works to promote change in daily living. Relaxation and mindfulness techniques are used within the CBT approach to increase internal experiences and awareness and to decrease stress and tension that impact the client mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Supervision in family therapy is an inherently complex enterprise. In any supervision of psychotherapy work, the supervisor must navigate the hierarchy of supervisor, therapist, and client; in family therapy, the client unit may include its own complex hierarchy as well. There are very different approaches to the supervision relationship. Ethical decision making in such a complex environment is understandably challenging for therapist and supervisor alike. Some evidence from other mental health professions suggests that supervisors may be hesitant to discuss issues of supervisees’ sexual attraction to clients in supervision, for fear of being accused of harassment or otherwise breaching ethical boundaries. Some supervisors are surprised to learn that confidentiality in supervision is very similar to confidentiality in therapy. There are a number of ways that ethical problems can arise in supervision, each requiring careful attention to be resolved in the best interests of all involved: client, therapist, supervisor, and setting.
This chapter focuses on realities, both challenging and triumphant, of family life in the 21st century. It explores when, where, and why we moved from a practice of “family taking care of family” to the now well-established and formalized legal structure of state or custodial care of children. The chapter considers the social and political forces behind an ever-increasing model of state care of maltreated children. The history of kinship care in the United States can be understood by examining general child welfare history, but kinship care predates child welfare history. Such care has been especially prominent in the African American family experience. The longstanding debate about children’s rights, parents’ rights, and the extent to which government has a responsibility for needy and dependent children influences how we approach the practice of kinship care.
This chapter provides a theoretical background for Medical Family Therapy (MedFT) as the systemic approach to integrated care as well as unique considerations for supervision in the integrated care settings where MedFTs typically practice. It consists case example to offers a frame and illustration for the application of this important approach. MedFTs master the elements of a traditional mental health intake to assess any psychopathology, history of past treatments, use of medications, family and social history, and relational dynamics that influence the exacerbation or maintenance of individual, relational, and/or health problems. In integrated care settings, a course of treatment typically unfolds episodically because the patients and their family members will have onsite access to return to psychotherapy when the need arises again. For most MedFTs, clinical care and supervision occur in an integrated health care setting.
Strategic Therapy is a “deceptively simple” approach to relational therapy that centers on a brief, highly focused course of therapy sessions aimed at reducing and eliminating problematic relational interaction patterns that are distressing to clients. This chapter outlines the therapy process from the perspective of Strategic Therapy and discusses its isomorphic relationship to the supervision process. Four philosophical principles on how change occurs in Strategic Therapy are termed “heresies” by Nardone and Watzlawick. These principles are: passing from closed to open theoretical systems; focus on how rather than why; the therapist is responsible; and change comes before insight. Changing behavior creates opportunities for client and therapist alike to observe alternate perspectives on presenting concerns and client responses to troublesome behavior patterns. Ethical issues are important in Strategic Therapy. Supervisees from the Strategic Therapy model are expected to examine their own assumptions, culturally influenced beliefs and behaviors, and reactions.
The primary objective of this book is to describe how a relationship-building approach can be used in the delivery of child welfare services to kinship caregivers and the children who reside with them. To accomplish this objective, the book entails a review and evaluation of the three major child welfare goals: protection, permanency, and well-being. Specifically, it explores how these three goals can be better achieved when informed by a relationship-building approach. The book assists child welfare practitioners in framing how they view kinship caregivers and acquiring knowledge and skills about the use of relationship-building models (emanating from social work practice perspectives) and is designed to increase positive outcomes for maltreated children. The multifaceted issue of relative caregiving is in dire need of attention from virtually every social work service domain level. Specifically, micro-level practice interventions are needed, as well as mezzo-level programming for particular groups and macro-level policy redesigns that support services to relative caregivers are also warranted. The book integrates practice, policy, and research, and includes study tools and resources (a glossary, discussion questions, and activities for ongoing learning) and thus can be easily incorporated into such courses as child welfare, family practice, social work and the law, social work practice, cultural diversity, policy, child welfare integrative seminars, and special topic electives.
This chapter contains an illustration of the changing nature of family life in the United States as those changes are manifested in the types of kinship caregiving arrangements in operation today. It also contains information about nontraditional types of kinship caregiving arrangements, including a discussion of men and older adult siblings as caregivers and the advantages and disadvantages of nontraditional types of caregiving arrangements. It explores some of the cultural considerations inherent in various ethnic family caregiving relationships. Caregivers can experience isolation and severe financial hardships, with many living far below the poverty line. Kinship caregivers are critically important in helping children develop relational competencies. Informal and formal kinship caregivers have similar experiences in raising children, but those who provide care outside the context of the child welfare systems or without legal standing may have fewer resources and avenues of support.
This chapter discusses the phenomenological realities, as well as the developmental and systemic experiences, of both middle and older adult women. The period of middle adulthood includes the years between the 40th and the 65th birthday. Older adulthood is being used to describe the period from the 65th birthday onward. The chapter explores both the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence the interpersonal and intrapersonal experiences of both middle and older adult women. Social and gender role analysis is useful for women in middle to older adulthood as the self-expression generated through feminist theory technique encourages them to break down the cultural stereotypes and presumptive obligations by which they have enacted their lives. Empowerment and self-expression are crucial for middle-aged and older women, since societal pressures may push women to shame themselves for their older age.
This chapter discusses the impact of gender-role socialization and stereotypes on the development of preadolescent girls. From a very early age, society influences girls’ expectations of themselves, including perceptions of their bodies, competence, and career endeavors. Mental health professionals are in an important position to help empower young girls with contextual awareness and the tools to value their own voices and strength. The chapter explores the sociocultural context of child development. Play is one of the most important avenues through which children begin communicating and understanding the world. Exploring contextual factors (e.g., power structures, gender-role socialization) and maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., relationally aggressive behavior) that may be contributing to disempowerment and relational struggles may help girls minimize self-blame and separate their worth from victimizing gender-based societal messages. Modeling from parents, an integral part of children’s learning processes, is especially influential in career development.
This chapter describes the need for a specific focus on counseling women and girls. It discusses the fundamental tenets of empowerment feminist therapy (EFT). Gender and gender differences are not inherently problematic; however, issues arise when they become markers for which individuals are esteemed or devalued. Violence against women is a serious public health issue in every country in the world. Violence against women and girls takes many forms, some of which are accepted cultural practices that have severe negative repercussions for females’ physical and psychological well-being. Child marriage and female genital mutilation are two of these cultural practices. Due in part to trauma, oppression, and gender-role expectations, women and adolescent girls experience the highest rates of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Out of the feminist movement, and in response to the biases inherent in mental health treatment, feminist therapy came into existence.
This chapter describes the prevalence of school and workplace harassment; provides a brief introduction to applicable law; highlights the impact of harassment on individuals; and introduces promising practices in counseling, prevention, and advocacy contributing to cultural shifts. The majority of individuals who experience sexual harassment in both work and educational settings report significant emotional distress as a result of the experience. Legislation and related regulations or guidance expect educational and work environments free from discrimination and harassment and require that workplaces and schools provide policy and procedure to address concerns of discrimination or harassment. Organizational culture influences the policies and practices related to discrimination and the protections afforded in a given field of work or specific workplace. Globally, access to education and employment remains a human right that is not consistently available to women and girls.
There is a widely held belief that women generally dislike each other. Women and girls are often portrayed as being “catty” or negative toward one another in relationships. This chapter helps to debunk those myths by highlighting how strong and unique female friendships are and by exploring the ways that women support one another around the world. It explores women’s roles in romantic, family, and social relationships. The chapter discusses relational-cultural theory (RCT), and provides best practices for working in group and individual counseling settings, along with counselor implications. RCT’s focus on relationships, connections, systemic structures such as sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression lends itself well to working with women from a collectivist culture and those that have experience with oppression and other forms of marginalization.
This chapter includes brief historical, political, and cultural perspectives on violence against women as well as the current state of this issue. It discusses various forms of violence against women that impact their emotional, physical, and psychological well-being. Clinical implications include an overview of the clinical foundation in working with survivors of violence and the three layers of the counseling process: prevention, intervention, and restoration. The chapter discusses the impact of this work on the counselor, along with how to promote posttraumatic growth in clients. The movement toward ending violence against women has gained significant momentum since the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries. The emotional effects of domestic violence (DV) can have devastating impacts on survivors. Although sexual violence is often present within DV, it also occurs outside of intimate relationships. Legally, sexual violence is often referred to as sexual assault or rape.