A Single Case Design
In the case of Billy and his parents the first order of business will be establishing a rapport with Billy and his parents. It will be important to develop a trust between Billy and myself before moving forward in the sessions. It is vital that Billy feels a sense of trust and bonding between the two of us and that he believes that I truly care about his situation (Nichols, 1998, chap. 3). Particular in cases with children, trust will be the deciding factor as to whether I personally will be able to help this child. The relationship with Billy’s parents of course will be important as well, however this relationship has an intrinsic trust.
His parents brought him to the center already trusting that we could help him. In order to evaluate Billy’s situation Billy, his parents, and his teachers at school will be interviewed. This will give a well-rounded understanding of Billy’s situation (Gladding, 2008). Further, this will give me, as Billy’s counselor, a specific understanding of the target behaviors that we wish to change. Without these interviews I would be at the mercy of Billy’s parent’s evaluation. After having surveyed the above-mentioned parties a conclusion was made concerning the target behaviors to be changed.
Billy’s behavior problems are not all his own. It will be crucial at this point to proceed carefully as the parents’ behavior will also need to be modified. Utilizing a carefully designed style of questioning. To begin Circular questioning will be utilized to obtain as much information as possible about the family dynamics (Nichols, 1998, chap. 3). Based on what is known about the family to date, reflexive questions will be used to guide without guiding (Nichols, 1998, chap. 3). Billy’s parents are both resistant to the idea that Billy’s behavior problems are in any way related to them.
It will be important in therapy sessions to guide his parents into discovering responsibility rather than pointing it out. Billy’s target behaviors will include his defiant behavior toward parents and teachers as well as his bullying. A baseline of these behaviors will be achieved after instructing his teachers to record each instance of defiance and bullying on a graph that will be given to them. The target behaviors on his parent’s part will include not arguing in front of Billy and playing a more active role in getting him to school. This will include getting up in the morning and not drinking so much at night.
The parents will be more difficult to monitor, however I feel confident that their behavior will reflect in Billy’s. Billy’s behavior should be recorded for a period of one month at every instance of occurrence. Do to the nature of the infractions the time of day is not as important as the number of occurrences. Teachers can simply make a check mark on the chart for every instance. Over a period of no longer than one month Billy should be receiving no more than a check mark every one or two weeks. Intervention will include aiding Billy’s parents in seeing their own roles in his behavior problems.
Billy will be given rewards for every day that he does not receive a check mark. Billy’s school already has a token economy in place so he should already be receiving positive reinforcement for his good days. My intervention will actually focus more on Billy’s parents than on Billy. Developing their trust and helping them see that much of Billy’s behavior is either mimicking theirs or is in reaction to theirs will be paramount in not only aiding Billy but in aiding the family as a whole. Getting his parents in Alcoholics Anonymous and helping them find more appropriate ways to deal with marital conflict will be vital to Billy’s therapy.
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