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Psychodynamic theory gives social workers the ability to understand the impact of childhood experiences during the development of their formative years. Psychodynamic theory helps explain

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Psychodynamic theory gives social workers the ability to understand the impact of childhood experiences during the development of their formative years. Psychodynamic theory helps explain the impact of our rational mind and emotional reactions and the ways defensive mechanisms develop and support current behaviors. Narrative approaches provide a safe space for the client to share and ultimately deconstruct their life experiences. They allow the client to engage in telling their story and provide an opportunity for the therapist to connect meaning back to the client's experience.

Complete the following:

  1. View the Campbell Family Case Study prior to responding to this discussion.
  2. Pick one of the family members: Karen (mom), Joe (dad), Kali (17), or Jacob (15).
  3. Respond to the following from a psychodynamic perspective and with narrative techniques. Use theoretical information to back up your statements. 
    • Identify one Campbell family member and discuss how childhood experiences would have impacted their development and now impacts current behaviors. Use a psychodynamic perspective to develop this argument.
    • Identify two defensive mechanisms and how the family member is using them to either continue specific behaviors and/or to protect themselves.
    • Provide (at least) two evidence-based interventions that would assist this Campbell family member during this session, as you discuss childhood experiences and current impact to client issues or concerns.

Introduction Throughout this course and your synchronous activities, we will be focusing on the members of the Campbell family. Please review the following case information to get an understanding of this family, including demographic information, roles, and identified issues. You will use this case study as a basis for your final treatment plan. Meet the Campbell Family This family lives in Fort Lupton, a rural town in northern Colorado with a population of almost 7,500 residents. About 55% of residents are Hispanic and another 42% are white. The unemployment rate is 16%. The primary industry in Fort Lupton is construction, although there is also a growing gas and oil industry. The family was referred to Weld County’s Department of Health Services for assessment and evaluation after the 15-year-old son, Jacob, was charged with grand theft auto. He is scheduled to attend court later this week. Kali, Jacob’s 17–year–old sister, has previously been on probation for drug use and possession of marijuana. Jacob and Kali’s dad, Joe, has requested a meeting. He says, “My family is falling apart, and no one is talking about it.” He says that Jacob is a screw–up and doesn’t seem to care, and that Kali, who never leaves her room, is always high. “Frankly, I don’t blame her,” he says. “My wife Karen her mother, is drinking herself to death.” At the intake, each family member filled out a brief entrance form. Joe is frustrated and on edge, saying that no one wanted to come, including his wife, and he had to bribe his daughter and son to get in the car. Karen is sitting next to her son with her head down, avoiding any eye contact. Kali laughs at her father and is on her phone. Jacob has his baseball cap pulled over his eyes, slumps in his chair, and is pretending to be asleep.

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Jacob Campbell Jacob has recently been charged with grand theft auto and is scheduled to attend court this week. “I was bored and we had just won the regional football playoffs,” he says. “Mom picked me up drunk at the school, and dad was gone who knows where, maybe working, so what was I supposed to do? My teammates needed me. So I drove her home and she passed out. I didn’t want to take her car, so I took the neighbors’ car. They always leave the keys in their car, and they’re old, so I didn’t think they would ever know.” Kali says that Jacob has been taking the neighbor’s car frequently, probably since he was 13, and that he was just stupid this time and got caught. Jacob has many friends at school and is on the track team as well as the football team. He wanted to be a police officer like dad, but now that he has been arrested, he doesn’t know what he will do. “I’ll probably have to drive a truck because I screwed up and I won’t be able to be a cop,” he says. Karen blames Joe for Jacob’s predicament, complaining that Joe is never home to take him anywhere. “Jacob is my sweet little boy,” she says. “He doesn’t deserve this!” Jacob gets decent grades at school, but is often truant. He says he doesn’t go to school so he can take care of his mom “on her really bad days.” Kali says, “You mean on her hungover–and–can’t–stop–vomiting days.” Jacob has been suspended from school twice over the past year for fighting. When asked about the fights, Jacob shrugs his shoulders and doesn’t want to talk about it. Joe says Jacob was protecting his sister when other kids said nasty things about her. “He’ll do his duty as a brother,” Joe says with some pride. “No matter how stupid his sister is, he sticks up for her.” Jacob presents as quiet and polite. He seems to avoid conflict and doesn’t want to answer questions directly, allowing his family to answer for him. Jacob’s best friend is his cousin Tom, who is also 15 years old. “I wish he would stop hanging out with Tom,” Karen says. “Joe’s family is nothing but trouble.” Visibly irritated, Joe says, “My nephew is a great kid! Karen just doesn’t want my family to see what a drunk she is.” Jacob’s probation officer has sent him to see a psychiatrist for a potential diagnosis of conduct disorder.

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Joe Campbell Joe is a 35 year old Caucasian male who is estranged from his father Bob. Joe has not talked to Bob since his father left the family over 25 years ago. Joe’s mother is in the local nursing home, after having been diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 57. Joe says he picks his mom up every Sunday to attend the Lutheran church. He reports being very close to his mother, and says he is frustrated that Karen and the kids refuse to go to church with them. Joe has two older sisters who live in the same town. He says he tries to see them, but Karen doesn’t get along with them, so “it’s not really worth the effort.” Joe is an Army veteran and served for two years in Afghanistan after his high school graduation, shortly after marrying Karen. Joe is a long–haul truck driver. He was once a police officer, but he was injured on the job 10 years ago. After he left the force, he started working for his brother–in–law’s trucking business. He says it helps his marriage to be away from home for long periods of time, but because he is gone so much, the kids don’t listen and “everything has fallen apart.” Joe is an active member of the American Legion and he is there most nights that he is not working, talking to the other police officers and community members. Joe says Karen was his high school girlfriend, and when she got pregnant he did the right thing by marrying her. He says he joined the Army so he could provide a better life for his family, and he was devastated when Karen moved out of their home to live with her mother.. He says he had to beg her to come back, and it was only after she became pregnant with Jacob that they reconciled. Joe says he left again two years ago and moved in with his sister and brother“in”law after Karen’s mother died. Karen had started to drink heavily, and began to be angry and violent towards him. He moved back home about a year ago when he realized his kids were out of control and Karen needed some help in dealing with their behaviors. Joe said in his individual intake that he wants a divorce. “I can’t stand Karen, her drinking, and how she has given up, but I am afraid for my kids if I leave,” he said. “They’re already a mess because of her, and if I leave, who knows what will happen?” Joe smokes cigarettes on a daily basis and “drinks beers with the guys.” He denies any previous psychological diagnosis.

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Kali Campbell Kali is a 17–year–old mixed–race teenager who presents as quiet, agitated, and disengaged. She has been arrested twice for drug use and possession of marijuana. She is still on probation for her last charge six months ago, when Kali and her girlfriend were caught smoking marijuana at the high school football stadium. Kali says that she is bisexual and her parents think it is “a stage,” but she feels that she loves all people. She says that she is in love with her girlfriend, who is 19 years old. Kali says she doesn’t go to school because it is stupid and she doesn’t learn anything. After her girlfriend graduated last year, there is just no reason to attend. She says, “There is nothing my parents or the stupid law can do about it. I am 17! They can’t make me go if I don’t want to anymore, so mom can just get over it and stop crying about it.” Her dad says she left school because she is embarrassed that she is gay and was bullied by the other kids. When asked what her future plans are, Kali says, “I’m just waiting to turn 18 so I can get out of this stupid place with my girlfriend, because we are going get as far away from here as we can.” Kali reports no desire to find a job or obtain her GED. She says she may go to school later to become a hairdresser, but only if she has to. Kali has violated her probation by testing positive for marijuana. During her intake, she said, “Drug laws are so stupid. It’s a natural plant! And why does it matter if I am 17 or 21?” Kali says smoking marijuana helps her to stay calm, reduces her anxiety, and helps her deal with her parents’ constant arguing. “Well, if you can call it that,” she says. “Mom yells and dad just sits there and takes it, I don’t know why.” Joe says, “Kali is a beautiful kid, but she takes after her mom – which sucks, because she won’t amount to anything.” “I don’t know what to do with her now that she likes girls,” Karen says. “It’s so embarrassing that she keeps getting in trouble with this girl, but I know it will pass. It’s just hard to watch her make these bad decisions. I don’t know what the big deal about marijuana is, it’s not like we didn’t drink when we were her age. Why does the law have to get involved? If it keeps her calm, what’s the problem?” “I think Kali is depressed but she won’t talk about it,” Joe says. She told me once, “I’m not a mess like mom! If I was depressed I would be like her, a stupid mess who does nothing but drink and sleep. I am nothing like her.” Kali has never had an official diagnosis, but was referred to counseling for depression by her school counselor as well as her probation officer.

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Karen Campbell Karen Campbell is a 34–year–old female. Her father is Hispanic, second generation from Mexico, and her mother was Hopi Native American. She is a stay–at–home mom who works part time for a friend with a house cleaning business. Karen’s father is 55. He lives on the family ranch where Karen grew up, and Karen says she sees him a couple of times a year. Karen’s mother passed away two years ago at the age of 51 from heart failure. Karen has no siblings. Her brother committed suicide when he was 14 years old. Karen was 10 at the time. Karen was raised Catholic, but has not attended church in over 20 years. Karen is a stay at home mom that works part time for a friend who has a house cleaning business. Karen says that she started dating Joe in the eighth grade. They married when Karen got pregnant with Kali at the age of 17. They have been married for 17 years, with two previous separations. The first separation was when Karen was three months pregnant with Kali and Joe enlisted with the Army. Karen says her mother made her move back home at that time, because she didn’t trust Joe. When Joe finished his two–year commitment, they reconciled, right after Karen delivered Jacob. The second separation was two years ago, and Joe actually filed for separation. Karen says it was because she was not coping well with her mother’s death, that she “just fell apart.” Joe didn’t know how to handle it, so he just left. (For his part, Joe says he left her because she was depressed and drinking herself to death like her mother did.) Karen says she is anxious about obtaining help, but that she also feels guilty, and that she is a failure as a parent. She says, “My kids used to like me, we used to be close. Now they never talk to me —they avoid me, really. I’ve failed them as a mother, so now I really have no purpose in life.” Karen reports one good girlfriend whom she does not see often. She does not go out socially, and she drinks at home to “calm her nerves.” Karen presents as unkempt, frazzled, and nervous. She has dark circles under her eyes and looks physically unhealthy. Karen reports a previous diagnosis of depression and has active diabetes. She also reports current high levels of anxiety.

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