Brandon, a fifteen-year old male addressed a hotline trying to solve his family problem, uncertain and even conflict relationship with his father. This can be a sign that his individual functioning is not distorted by some abnormal factors. The boy reveals his understanding that family is one of the essential values and wants to have a good family.
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He tries to verbalize possible reasons for his stress: difficult relationship with mother, parents’ divorce, negative influence of the father’s girlfriend. Brandon provides some possible reasons for his stress so his perception is logic. His responses are clear and informative, so he is unlikely to feel strong negative emotions during the interview.
He is reasonable and quite positive: he understands the importance of positive family relations, further education, and has some future plans. Nothing indicates at his possible addictions, however, it is still unclear whether he takes some medicine, drugs.
It is also necessary to point that there is no information about his health state which can be very important while defining the reasons for his stress and suggesting possible ways to diminish the stress and solve the problem.
Apart from his normal individual functioning it is possible to point out that his relational functioning can be also characterized as a norm. Brandon wants to have good relationship with his father. Brandon cares about his sister and does not want her to get hurt. He has friends. He also mentions his uncle and grandmother who can help him, so he has a good relationship with these people as well.
Brandon also points out that he attends his school counselor weekly and discusses some problems there. However, on the other hand, he has conflicts with his father and does not show cooperation with him. Brandon cannot also build a good relationship with his father’s girlfriend.
Of course, he is not necessarily responsible for those conflicts. Nevertheless, the existence of these interpersonal conflicts with his father and his father girlfriend reveal a certain relational malfunctioning. On the basis of the existing information it is quite hard to make adequate conclusions.
However, it is possible to conclude that the reason for Brandon’s stress is his biased attitude towards his father and his father’s girlfriend, not only in his being abused by his father.
To assist Brandon, it can be helpful to obtain more information about him and the situation in their family. Of course, it is necessary to have more data about Brandon’s health state and possible problems (drugs, alcohol, sexual problems). Of course, one of the most suitable solutions of the problem can be found in the very good and sincere talk between Brandon and his father. Brandon should prepare his arguments.
He should reveal all his concerns and also explain his behavior (poor academic performance, etc.). By all means, this should be the first and very thoughtful step which should be made by Brandon himself. The client can be quite right avoiding addressing to some authorities since this may produce some macro risks: it can only increase the conflict and lead to far more serious problems, one of which is a complete family breakup.
Another helpful advice which can be given to Brandon is to reveal some details of his family situation to his school counselor who can invite his father for several conversations. So, Brandon and his father can get some professional help without addressing authorities or revealing overt initiative from Brandon’s part.