New, free practice question.
A family meets with a social worker following a teenage
daughter's breakup with her boyfriend. The mother states that she
really liked the boyfriend and has felt very depressed since the
breakup. The father has tried to contact the boy in hopes of
repairing the relationship. According to a family systems
theory-based approach, what is MOST LIKELY happening in this
A. The family has connected relationships.
B. It is a disengaged family system.
C. It is an enmeshed family system.
D. It is a separated family system.
What's your answer?
Let's take 'em one at a time:
A. A connected family enjoys time together but also
have separate friendships and interests. This family appears too
involved in one another's business to be truly connected.
B. Disengaged families have very little emotional
connection, usually don't spend much time together, and aren't
impacted by one another's activities.
C. The mother's depression following the breakup, and the
father's attempt to repair the relationship, are signs that this
family is enmeshed. Let's keep going though!
D. Separated family systems don't have a lot of shared
connections, though they do have a few activities they enjoy doing
Okay, that leaves just one clear answer: C, enmeshed.
Family systems lingo changes from theorist to theorist,
practitioner to practitioner, but the core concepts are fairly
stable. Here's a
good page about Bowenian concepts which sort-of function as
mini social work exam vignettes.
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