Analysis and Counseling Intervention Plan
A family is considered to be the main factor in the formation of the moral values and vital principles of a child. A family creates the personality or destroys it; the family can strengthen or affect the mental health of its members, it promotes the emergence of the personal “ego”. The relations in the family, its values and interests supported by the senior family representatives greatly influence the formation of a child’s moral values. Teenagers react to the behavior of adults very sensitively and quickly learn the lessons received in the course of a family education. The family prepares its child for real life; it is considered to be his first source of social ideals. Moreover, it lays the foundation of civil behavior.
The problem of the relations of parents and children is urgent and paradoxical. Its complexity includes the hidden, intimate character of the human relations, scrupulousness of “external” penetration into them. The problem of such relations is defined by the whole variety of relationships of children and parents. The violations in the child-parental relations can have an essential impact on well-being of a child in a family and his further development (Shapiro, 1998, p.1).
The case of Candy represents the classical situation of a teenager in rebellion. Candy is 14 years old girl with indecent behavior. She ignores all the values her parents have tried to develop in her since her birth. The family of Candy is religious, and the parents strongly support family values, neglected by Candy. She neither listens nor hears her parents, especially father. Candy communicates with older boys and does not want to introduce them to her parents. The situation requires an urgent intervention in order to rescue the teenage girl and prevent her from the further mistakes, which can lead to negative results. Although Candy accepts that she has some problems, she is not sure why she needs help and what kind of help she requires. Candy’s mother is a quiet woman, who silently agrees with her husband.
Present level of functioning
The teenagers are vulnerable in the period between puberty and mid-to-late adolescence. It is a period when children have already started experiencing the increased arousal of the socio-emotional system, but still do not have a fully mature cognitive control system. As their cognitive-control system is not fully mature, it is more easily disrupted, especially when the socio-emotional system is excited, for example, by the presence of other people (Temple University, 2007).
In fact, the situations similar to Candy’s are widespread. All parents face such problems when they children enter the teenage age, which is a responsible and important stage of the life of any person. The age between 11 and 15 is the most difficult period in the life of any family. Thus, Candy’s parents notice that her behavior has greatly changed: she became irritable and reserved.
First of all, the teenage age is difficult for every child. On one hand, it caused by physical development and puberty; on the other hand, by psychological changes. The problems of teenagers with parents often occur because children do not have the right for a private life. At this age it is very important for a teenager to have a private life and own world. The right for independence can allow avoiding many problems. If parents can listen and understand, the teenager will share his/her problems and achievements with them. The conflicts arise from the attitude of parents to teenagers as if they were small children and from inconsistency of requirements when children’s obedience and adult independence are expected at the same time. The easy vulnerability of the “adult” child demands a patient explanation but not moral teaching. The teenager wants to be respected and the excessive control from the side of parents can have a harmful effect (Shapiro, 1998, p.3).
Key student’s problems and issues
The key problems and issues of Candy include the need to rebel, disorganized behavior, changeable mood, aggressiveness, alcohol and drug abuse and promiscuity. It indicates that Candy experiences the developing feeling of adulthood. Candy’s aspiration to a behavioural and standard autonomy has a relative character. In fact, teenagers do not strive for a full freedom as if it is given them too quickly, the children will perceive it as rejection from a family. Candy wanted to have the right to make own choices, to show her independence, to argue with seniors and to bear responsibility for the words and acts. However, a full freedom is not necessary for her as having received it she would not know how to use it.
The assessment of Candy’s behavior by her parents is correct. However, the family has the patriarchal way of life, as well as the authoritarian style of education in the family. Candy was brought up under a thorough consideration of her father. Moreover, due to the fact that the parents are religious, the idea of religiousness was promoted in their family. Having entered the teenage period, Candy started to deny all religious values. The negligence of moral norms is the main sign of the teenage rebellion.
The authority of the father in the family is strong, while the mother does not have any impact on the daughter. The problem is that being a girl, Candy does not receive any education from the side of her mother. She received neither warmth nor tenderness of her mother and doesn’t know about women’s secrets. The role of a woman in Candy’s family is almost invisible. The absence of the mother’s participation in Candy’s education could provoke the underestimation of the role of a woman in society, as well as in the family life. As a consequence, unwilling to copy the behavior and the status of her mother in the family, Candy started rebelling in order not to follow her father’s orders and initiatives.
Assessment and intervention
The development of self-consciousness is another important step in the assessment of the personal behavior by Candy. The development of self-consciousness of a teenager is connected with an urgent necessity to find answers to the questions: “Who am I?”, “What am I?”, “What can I do?” Moreover, Candy should compare herself to adults and companions. The judgments of teenagers about the other people are often more exact and more critical than their self-assessments (Luce, n/d, p.3).
Self-assessment is another important technique used for the intervention plan for Candy. Self-assessment is an assessment of oneself: qualities, opportunities, abilities, features of activity. It is formed in the unity of its two factors: the rational, reflecting the knowledge of oneself, and emotional, reflecting how he/she perceives and estimates this knowledge, and in general result they develop. Thus, the self-assessment can reflect the features of understanding by Candy of her acts and actions, motives and the purposes, ability to see and estimate the opportunities of ability.
A therapist has a difficult case of teenage problems in the relationships between children and parents. The main duty of the therapist is to create the sincere and friendly atmosphere in communication with Candy. It is necessary to be open to her and give her the feeling of confidence that everything what she will share with a therapist will not reach her parents. Moreover, it is necessary to guide Candy to honestly assess her current behavior and help her evaluate the results of her behavior. In order to do it, it is necessary to ask Candy to assess her aggressive behavior by the scale of anger. The scale of anger is aimed at showing various steps or levels of ability to express anger and help teenager pass from one level to another, improving personal expression of such feeling.
The main objective of consultations in Candy case is to help her make the informed conscious choice (on the basis of information provided by the consultant), seize the skills of the risky assessment and to determine its level that will allow Candy to balance and make correct decisions. The behavior of a high risk, characteristic for Candy, can lead to the loss of health and social well-being, infectioning, mental or physical dependence, violence and suicides.
The purposes of the counseling intervention plan include:
1. At the level of behavior – to change the risky, non-adaptive forms of teenagers reactions, expansion of behavioral and emotional repetition of actions;
2. At the level of understanding – to change the relation of the teenager to the risk factors;
3. At the personal level – to achieve the condition of maturity, which means the ability to realize and control own actions, develop knowledge of oneself (adequate consciousness – who I am and what I am), ability to plan and foresee events (to predict with this or that share of probability) and ability to plan the time.
The therapist can use the following methods aimed at evaluation of own behavior by Candy:
1. The method of “psychotherapeautical mirror”: forming the abilities to see herself and own behavior from outside;
2. The method of alternatives: showing the results of moving wrong direction, drawing the bad perspective of the bad behavior;
3. The method of compensation: when Candy, being deprived of something important and unachievable, will be offered to use another alternative that is more acceptable for her;
4. The method of positive social beliefs indoctrination: “moral immunization” when a child is inspired with positive social beliefs and imparted with “immunity” to the negative impact of environment.
In order to help Candy change her way of life, as well as way of thinking, it is necessary to develop the intervention strategy, which demands new approaches. Being a therapist, I would recommend to use the strategy of journaling. Many teenagers understand that journaling is the form of self-analysis and self-education process fixation, which helps work at oneself and own problems.
Owning to the journaling process of introspection and the analysis of the surrounding world around is as if taken out outside, but remains invisible for people around. Candy will have the opportunity to see herself and a situation which she endures in a different manner. It will help remove the mental stress and promote finding of the real decision, conformable to the teenager’s opportunities.
Diary can serve as the necessary means of work when the definite plans of action per day are developed, week or stage-by-stage steps for the solution of a personal problem are studied. Diaries carry out various functions, for example:
- Fixing of memoirs. This feature is present for all people who keep diaries as it shows the aspiration to feel a continuity of life and life experience in a phase of its fast changes,
- Catharsis. There is a feeling of relief after the statement of the endured problems is written.
- Replacement of the partner. In many diaries there are instructions how to replace the girlfriend or boyfriend at the same time idealizing them.
- Self-knowledge. Each diary expresses aspiration of the author to come to clarity concerning oneself and own problems. Keeping records, a teenager should clearly formulate opinions. As a result, it is possible to revise and continue considering them repeatedly.
- Self-education. Diaries can aspire self-improvement, help in providing plans of the organization of a day or week and accurately formulated rules of own behavior.
- Creativity. Diary is the opportunity to express own creative abilities: literary requirements are often imposed to style; feelings, events and problems are stated in an artistic way, sometimes with new words and unusual expressions. A diary can include poems or rules of behavior in the form of aphorisms.
Legal and ethical issues
There is the legal issue of the corruption and seduction of Candy. She had sexual contacts with boys, who have a legal responsibility for seduction and defilement of minor Candy. It presupposes the involvement of a minor into the actions of a sexual character without the application of physical or mental abuse. Corruption is usually understood as the purposeful actions made by the adult causing untimely keen interest in sexuality, sexual fantasies, feelings, desires, and also commission of sexual actions with the child (including sexual intercourse in this or that form) without application of violence, with the use of curiosity and inexperience of the child. Sexual crimes towards minors (children under 16) includes the actions of a sexual character, committed by an adult concerning under age. Such actions are considered as a crime. Moreover, the actions of a sexual character without the application of violence and even sexual actions without a direct physical contact can be considered as criminal.
Owning to the fact that Candy went to the Colorado River with the boys older than her, there is the possibility of a crime of a sexual seduction and corruption. The therapist should send the case of Candy to the police department for them to investigate whether there are the elements of a crime or not. All people responsible for the case should be punished in accordance with the current legislation.
The assessment process
Candy started an early sexual life and sexual experimentations that could lead to abortion as she is not mature enough to control her sexual life and prevent sexually transmitted diseases and possible undesirable pregnancies. Moreover, there is a necessity to reveal all addictions, delinquencies and suicidal risks. The consultation of the teenagers with risky sexual behavior should be directed at the change of the risky behavior. Candy should be informed on the risk of developing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to choose whether to stop or change the sexual behavior, to use contraceptives and live safe sexual life. It is necessary to speak about the problems of undesirable pregnancies, drug usage, sexual experimentations and abortions using the method of “psychotherapeautical mirror”. It can create the trustful atmosphere between the therapist and Candy.
Thus, the following recommendations to Candy’s parents can help them establish a contact with their daughter. First of all, they should allow Candy to make own independent decisions, supporting and praising her actions. Secondly, they should help her correct mistakes, showing love and respect to her. Thirdly, they should understand that Candy is not a child but a growing and developing individuality, and a kind attitude, as well as understanding and a good advice will only help them to be in a good contact with their daughter. Moreover, the role of a mother should increase in Candy’s family. They should become closer and more sincere in mutual communication. Candy’s mother should speak to her daughter of the issues of a sexual sphere of life and be, to some extent, aware of her daughter’s sexual life. However, the most important thing is to be polite and careful in order not to scare the girl and not to lose confidence.