Discuss your clinical impression of how substance abuse can be viewed as a coping mechanism and as an indication of an underlying family issue.

1. Substance Abuse in the Context of the Family System

Typically, substance abuse is viewed as an individual problem, and the addicted family member is treated apart from the family system. However, through the readings in this unit, you have learned to understand substance abuse as a family issue.

Discuss your clinical impression of how substance abuse can be viewed as a coping mechanism and as an indication of an underlying family issue. Be sure to include your understanding of how addiction impacts the family as a system.

2. Substance Abuse Case Study

Alan is a 66-year-old male who is retired for the last two years after working as a physician. He has been married to Abby for 42 years. They have a daughter, Lisa, who is 35. Lisa has contacted you for family therapy. She has noticed that Alan’s alcohol consumption has increased since he retired. He usually has his first drink around 11 a.m., when he is done running his errands and going to the gym.

Abby and Alan have had less and less to talk about as time has gone on. Abby prefers not to talk to Alan when he is drinking. Alan prefers not to talk to Abby, either, because he feels that every time they do talk she is being critical of him. She tells him that he is drinking too much and does not want to do anything but go to the gym, run errands, and come home to drink. Abby feels that they both retired to travel together, take dance lessons, take courses at the local university, and do all types of different activities with each other. Abby believes their retirement is not how it was supposed to be.

Using the model you chose for your final paper, address the following:

  • How would you engage with this family in treatment according to the model?
  • What is the role of the therapist according to your model?
  • What relational issues might be occurring to cause stress within the family system?

This is two different work. Each required 250 words.