Case Conceptualization

Essay by FSalehCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2014

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Case Study- Holly Roberts

Assignment 1: Case Study- Holly Roberts

Farah Ahmed Saleh

Grand Canyon University: PCN 440- Family Therapy and Education for Addiction Chemical Dependence and Substance Abuse


"When we postpone the harvest, the fruit rots, but when we postpone our problems, they keep on growing." The Fifth Mountain- Paulo Coehlo

When Holly first presented to the clinic, she seemed like any other young adult about to enter a new phase in life, tentative about the future and unsure of what do after graduation. Her history was uneventful, she didn't have a long dramatic tale to tell, in fact for months she went to weekly therapy for her increasing depression and shared next to nothing; just her name: Holly Roberts, that she was a senior in college and a single complaint on the sheet: "Trouble making decisions".

This was in gross disproportion with her increasing level of depression, and made little sense.

It was like trying to figure out what a puzzle looks like when you only have one piece.

The root cause of her problems only surfaced when the therapist decided to call in her parents-mother (Lena) and stepfather (Tom) - when she seemed too depressed to be left unsupervised. The story that unfolded was a tangle of problems and "fruits" that never rotted and just disappeared, but instead kept on growing the more the family was trying to ignore them.

In this essay we will identify the major conflicts in this family: Setting and accepting boundaries and adjusting to the new family life cycles- namely remarrying and Holly moving away to college. Then we will take a closer look at the family's rules, triangles and the family system.

It's important to develop a theory about what is making it hard for families...