Elizabeth to sit together on the couch and request feedback

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PCN-521 Topic 8: Vargas Case Study

This session with the Vargas family includes Elizabeth, Bob, Frank, and Heidi. You begin by inviting Bob and Elizabeth to sit together on the couch and request feedback regarding the last session. You learn that several of the interventions have provided some relief, but that there are ongoing concerns regarding Geoff’s safety, as well as with maintaining boundaries that have been set. Elizabeth tells you that Bob “had strong words” with his parents, who were initially quite upset. Bob confirms this and states that despite the difficulty, “they need to butt out.” You validate Bob’s struggle and reframe this as bravery. You note the family’s willingness to seek help as a significant strength. Bob expresses concern for his sister having recently lost her husband and nearly losing her son. He shares how unfortunate it is that something bad had to happen to help him realize how fortunate he is. Bob states that he admires his sister’s strength, and becomes tearful as he tells Elizabeth that he cannot imagine what it would be like to lose her. He expresses belief that it would be “impossible” for him to be a single parent and tells his wife that he realizes he has been taking her for granted. Elizabeth receives these words with quiet gratitude, providing comfort, being sensitive to Bob’s vulnerability. Bob wipes his tears and apologizes for what he calls “falling apart.” You notice Frank and Heidi settle in closer to their parents. Eventually, the therapeutic silence is broken when Frank hands his dad a tissue and says, “It’s okay for boys to cry. Mom says so.”

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