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Families and Family Interventions

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Describe the family as a system adapting to change.

1. Wanda, a 17-year-old high school senior, has been rejected by a boy in her chemistry class whom she wanted to date for the senior prom.  Wanda became severely depressed and attempted suicide with an overdose of barbiturates.  Wanda’s mother found her unconscious and called an emergency ambulance to take her to the emergency department at the local hospital.  After Wanda’s recovery, she was in individual counseling, and the psychiatrist referred all family members for counseling.   Naomi, her younger sister, refused to go, saying that she did not have a problem and that Wanda was the one who had tried to commit suicide.  Her older brother, Matthew, had a similar response and added that Wanda had embarrassed the family.  Wanda’s parents stated that they would attend and urged both Naomi and Matthew to attend family counseling.

(Learning Objective: 1)

  • Wanda’s family must reorganize to survive the disturbance created by the suicide attempt. Describe the family as a system adapting to change.

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