Family systems assessment w/ peer review template


Clinical Dialogue – Module 3 from Ibeth Gutierrez


Primary Issue 


In identifying the primary issue with the Stone family, it is clear that various factors contribute to problems within the family system. The Stones have a liberal point of view that often determines how they build relationships with others. For this case, the issue becomes apparent when Everette Stone, the oldest sibling of 5, brings his girlfriend home for the holidays. Shortly after meeting Meredith for the first time, it is clear that she is unwelcome due to how she presents herself. After many failed attempts to impress the Stones, Everette’s mother shares with his son that she disapproves of his relationship. Although the Stones express having liberal views, they display judgmental and rude behavior toward those who do not think and act as they do. Meredith was treated disrespectfully, causing conflict within the family.




To promote change within the family system, I will implement strategies that identify patterns and behaviors that enable negative thinking toward others. In doing so, the Stones will understand how their point of view creates dysfunction in the family system. According to Weeks & Fife (2014), building a case formulation helps to understand characteristics and patterns that affect relationships.  

Furthermore, it may be necessary to create a genogram upon changing negative behaviors within the Stone family structure. Genograms are an effective tool used to collect information to find where patterns of thoughts and behaviors originated (Weeks & Fife, 2014). It is apparent that the Stones are set in their closed-minded thinking. By incorporating a genogram into their family system, they learn to be accepting of others. 


Additional challenges within the family include secrecy and lack of communication. Later, it was discovered that Sybil Stone was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It is understandable why Sybil felt it was necessary to keep this secret from her family. However, honesty is critical in the family systems to stabilize the foundation.  

Communication is also critical as it is an opportunity for family members to express their wants and needs and share their differences. Sybil uses blame to deflect from communicating with her family. As a result of this, it creates conflict between Meredith and the family. Regardless of Meredith’s point of view, it is evident that Sybil avoided any opportunity she had to get to know her.

Techniques and Strategies 

1. Journaling 

2. Intersystem Assessment Model  

3. Role Play 

Cultural Factors 

Cultural factors to consider about the Stones is the diversity present in the family systems. The Stone Family openly accepts same-sex couples, interracial relationships, and other free-spirited/thinking perspectives. Sybil and Kelly Stone are parents who embrace cultural relativism. On the other hand, the Stone Family is less welcoming and accepting to those with a less liberal point of view in life. For this situation, it would be necessary to be mindful of how they see the world. 

As mentioned in the podcast, Dr. Jennifer Gess states that clients present their knowledge, attitude, skills, behaviors, and emotions (Walden University, 2019). This idea also applies to the Stone Family. Ultimately, the goal for the Stones is to enable pleasing interactions with peers. Transforming their negative thoughts and behaviors into positive ones will allow them to identify their differences, and recognize how other cultures impact the lives others, changing their relationship with Meredith.


Adaptation of Techniques 

Telemental health counseling was vital for providing care for patients. Although counselors are not interested in this form of therapy, it benefits clients in dire need of counseling. One way I would adapt my journaling technique is by sharing a template and using it as a guide for the family I am working with. The guide will have a baseline of open-ended questions, and I will follow up with the Stones about their given task. Journaling is a personal matter that does not require to be done in person. Therefore, I believe that this technique will be effective for telemental health counseling.  


Walden University, LLC. (Executive Producer). (2019). Faculty podcast – Tools of the trade:  

Differentiating skills and techniques. Interventions, and theory [Podcast]. Baltimore, MD: Author. 

Weeks, G. R., & Fife, S. T. (2014). Couples in treatment: Techniques and approaches for effective  

practice (3rd ed.). Routledge. 


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