For this final assignment, write a paper that outlines your personal theory of couple therapy and your understanding of how you can provide effective therapy addressing client sexual issues. Specifically, choose and describe the couple model that you use or intend to use with couples in therapy. You are welcome to use any of the models of couple therapy that are addressed in this course or if there is a different model of therapy that you feel more accurately reflects your theory of therapy, please email your professor to obtain permission to use it for this assignment.
In addition to explaining and critiquing your chosen model, you’ll apply this model to a specific case. If you are currently working with couples in therapy, you can use one of your cases as the focus for this assignment. Alternatively, please develop a case study from a movie from the following list:
• The Story of Us (1994)
• The One I Love (2014)
• The Notebook (2004)
• The Thing about my Folks (2005)
• Family Man (2000)
• Away from Her (2007)
• My Life (1994)
• Contact your professor to get an alternative movie approved
Do not choose a couple system that you’ve written about for another assignment either in this class or any others. To access the movies, visit your local library or view them online through Netflix or another online video service.
Once you have selected a case or viewed the assigned or approved film, begin writing your paper. Be sure to cover each of the following topics:
Theoretical Principles – Describe the theoretical principles about couple therapy that are central to your work with couples? What are the fundamental presuppositions that guide your work, i.e. attachment and connection, differentiation, cognition/behavior, or strengths or internal resources? As an example, EFT holds adult attachment as a key theoretical lens for its process. In your paper, describe what is needed for couple relationships to exist in a stable, satisfying, and thriving manner.
Personal Model Description – Based on your theoretical principles, describe your chosen model of therapy with couples in detail. It is not sufficient to explain your own beliefs about what works in therapy (e.g., I work with couples to help them focus on their love for each other and mutual goals that they want to work on). You must identify a specific model or set of models that provide the framework for your work with couples (e.g., I use an integration of Johnson’s Emotionally Focused model and Bowen’s model with its emphasis on differentiation). Note: Do not try to integrate all of the models. Choose one or two that you’d like to focus on.
In your description of your preferred model of therapy, describe the key processes that you use to bring about change with your couple clients. You should describe the processes of building therapeutic rapport, assessment, intervention, and concluding therapy. Each of these processes should be substantiated with citations from the literature.
Case Synopsis – Provide a brief synopsis of the selected, assigned, or approved case. Describe the fundamental nature of this couple’s relationship as well as the key problems and interactions that are leading his couple to seek therapy. Additionally, describe any systemic factors that seem to contribute to the problems (e.g., an over-involved parent that prevents conflict resolution) and those that could be used as benefits to the couple (e.g., a strong network of social support for the couple and their relationship). Remember, you’re not writing about the movie; rather, you’re using the movie to develop a case study so feel free to add to the characters’ stories to fully develop your case.
Treatment Goals – Identify at least three specific and practical treatment goals for this couple that are consistent with your theoretical principles and intended treatment model. “Help the couple fall in love again” is not specific, nor practical enough. “Stop the domestic violence and establish a safety plan with the couple,” and “Help the couple engage in mutually selected leisure activities” are specific and practical enough.
Focus on Sexual Issues – As discussed throughout this course, sex is an issue that all couples need to address in therapy. What potential issues related to sexuality might this couple need to work through? Some examples include intimacy, communication about sex, and a specific sexual problem? How do you plan to help this couple identify, discuss, and address these issues?
Specific Interventions – Identify and describe at least four specific interventions that you can use with this case based on the model of couple therapy you have presented. The descriptions of the interventions should include information about the purpose and implementation of the interventions and each intervention description should include specific information/application from the selected, assigned, or approved case.
Effectiveness Research – In addition to describing the model and interventions that you will use with this case, discuss the effectiveness of your therapy process based on existing literature for the selected model(s). Additionally, discuss the indications and contraindications of the model (i.e., for which types of clients is this model most appropriate for use and which cases would be better served by other methods). For example, can this model be used with couples that struggle with domestic violence? Do the clients need to be highly intellectual? Are there any reasons why this process of therapy should not be used with certain couple situations?
Attention to Diversity – Discuss the issues of gender and diversity as they pertain to your use of this model.
Strengths and Weaknesses – Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your use of your model of couple therapy. This discussion should focus both on the general strengths and weaknesses of your approach and on the specific strengths and weaknesses of this approach with your selected, assigned, or approved case.
Length: 10-12 pages (not including title and reference pages)
Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.
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