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MCFT-007: Counselling and Family Therapy: Applications and Interventions

MCFT-007: Counselling and Family Therapy: Applications and Interventions

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MCFT-007 / TMA-7 / ASST-7 / 2022-23

Course Code: MCFT-007

Assignment Name: Counselling and Family Therapy: Applications and Interventions

Year: 2022 - 2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Note: - (i) Answer all the questions in both sections.

(ii) Answers to questions of Section “A” should not exceed 300 words each.


Section A - Descriptive Questions (10X6= 60 marks)


Q 1. Giving examples, discuss the do’s and don’ts in counselling/therapy involving a child.

Ans) Here are some important things that a counsellor or therapist must do and not do when working with children and teenagers.


Things to Do in counselling young children:

  1. Establishing a relationship with the child,

  2. Helping the child tell her or his story,

  3. Listening carefully,

  4. Providing correct information,

  5. Helping the child make informed decisions,

  6. Helping the child recognize and build on her or his strengths, and

  7. Helping the child develop a positive attitude to life.


Things Not to Do in counselling young children:

  1. Making decisions for the child,

  2. Judging, interrogating, blaming, preaching, lecturing or arguing, and

  3. Making promises that you cannot keep.


For Example - Do's in counselling: It is important for children to have a sense of security that allows them to open up and have faith in their therapist. Make every effort to avoid using jargon or words that are complicated or difficult for the child to comprehend. Establish a connection with the child by paying attention to what they have to say, demonstrating that you care about them, and behaving courteously toward them. Children tend to find it simpler to talk about themselves through the medium of play; consequently, incorporating play activities into therapy can be beneficial. Children frequently experience a strong sense of attachment to their parents or any other adults who take care of them. It might be beneficial to have them participate in some sort of therapy. Because the desires and emotions of children can shift suddenly, it is important for therapists to maintain flexibility and adapt their methods accordingly.


For Example - Don'ts in counselling: Make every effort to avoid intimidating or punishing the child. Do not burden the child with an excessive number of extra activities or homework. If the child hasn't given you permission or you haven't prepared them, you shouldn't talk about anything painful or scary that's happened. It is important not to disregard the thoughts and feelings of the child. Do not attempt to diagnose or label the child, nor should you push them beyond the limits they have set for themselves.


Q 2. Outline the important aspects of management of school difficulties.

Ans) Here are some frequently observed school management issues, and how solutions can be employed:


Students Registration: Manual registration of students is a waste of valuable time by standing in queues in order to pay fees and do other important work to function properly. It is not only tedious but also a time-consuming method. However, numerous numbers of schools now moving forward with an online applicant registration system. Outcome less paper consumption and better control over the student’s registration actions.


Managing Courses: Another major area of concern is managing courses effectively. It is very essential for schools to come up with a set of courses that can become accustomed to the requirements of the institution. School ERP system has the Course or Batch management feature. It helps in upholding all records in one place which directly lessens the burden on school staff.


Teacher Evaluation: Keeping a track of how well the teachers are doing is yet another important part of operating a school. Proper evaluation of teachers is extremely significant as a school can improve to a significant level through this. Therefore, by using the Polling feature, schools can evaluate teacher performance by sharing an online survey with learners. Based on their feedback, school administrators can plan for a teacher training programs which can help in improving teaching skills.


Classroom Size: When money gets tight, classroom numbers are often obstructed. Also, most teachers agree that they cannot teach every student in a classroom effectively if the class size exceeds about 30+. In general, classes of 15-17 students in grades K-3 provided both long and short-term profits to both the students and the teachers in those classrooms.


Classroom Management: Needless to say, it is quite difficult to take proper care of students who are tardy themselves. A classroom has behavioral issues and is undisciplined student as well. All of these things together can affect the classroom environment in a bad way. School ERP Discipline Module aids in handling the disciplinary actions in the school. Admin can keep track of grievances in real time and take better verdicts.

Communication: Research shows most schools suffer because there is no platform good enough to help the several stakeholders such as students, staff, administrators, and teachers communicate appropriately. Here, an inbuilt messaging system may help in handling the communication among all the stakeholders effectively. With this admin can send a prompt alert to parents or students about an upcoming event. Parents can also communicate with teachers regarding their child’s efficiency and more privately.


Managing Revenues: Frequently, school administrators face a big problem which is dealing with their finances. In this regard, Fees Management System is one of the significant features of School ERP. It not only streamlines the fee collection process but also supports the admin in keeping a track of real time transactions. Consequently, it reduces the risk of duplicitous transactions.


Q 3. Discuss, giving examples, common areas of marital conflicts in young couples.

Ans) The following is a discussion of some common sources of conflict for young couples:


1. Expectations: Couples often marry before fully understanding and communicating their expectations about each other or refuse to change their expectations after marriage. Popular myths like mind reading ('He should know what I would expect') contribute to low expectations communication. Spousal needs are often unstated or unclear, so expectations and needs go unmet.


2. Finance: Most couples argue about how to earn and spend money. Finance conflicts involve decision-making, roles, and careers. In dual-income families, few wives use their co-provider roles to demand domestic help from their husbands, and the kitchen remains the wife's domain. In educated middle class households, the wife is forced to reveal her pay slips, loans, etc. due to dowry issues. While respecting their families' opinions, spouses must negotiate finances and make joint decisions.


3. Intimacy: Distressed marriages have low intimacy, affection, and self-disclosure, while young couples value intimacy, companionship, and initiative. Spouses argue about affection and intimacy because they can't separate couple time. To avoid conflict, spouses must clarify gender differences in intimacy. Intimacy is often defined differently by men and women. With the bombardment of media images about intimacy, young couples must understand that intimacy can be affectional (a hug), intellectual (listening to the other's opinion), supportive (helping with errands), and activity-oriented (going for walks). Intimacy is a couple strength when nurtured and protected from conflict.


4. Communication: All couples struggle with communication, which is why many seek marital therapy. Conflicts are common. One spouse may also dismiss the other's feelings. Fear of communicating one's true feelings and the need to win an argument increase the likelihood that the couple's argument will spiral and escalate into threats and verbal and emotional abuse. Distressed couples either communicate sparingly or loudly. Low communication about feelings—especially positive ones like love and affection—creates psychological distance between spouses. Marriages require good communication between the spouses, the wife and the husband's family, and the couple and their families and friends. Both spouses must maintain communication.


Q 4. Describe the primary developmental tasks in families at different stages of the family life cycle.

Ans) According to this idea, family members have to do different sets of tasks at each stage. It tries to understand the family as a whole, including how it works, how it doesn't work, and how it affects a person's development. Most people use Duvall's family life cycle stages.


The family is divided into the following eight stages:


Stage I: Married couple without children

Establishing mutually satisfying marriage, adjusting to pregnancy, fitting into kin network.


Stage II: Childbearing family (oldest child's birth to 30 months)

Having and adjusting to an infant, establishing a satisfying home base for parents and infants.


Stage III: Family with preschool children (oldest child 2 1/2 years to 6 yrs.)

Adapting to needs of preschool children, coping with energy depletion and lack of privacy as parents.


Stage IV: Family with school going children (oldest child 6 yrs-13 yrs.)

Fitting into community, encouraging children's educational achievements.


Stage V: Family with teenagers (oldest child 13 yrs-20 yrs.)

Balancing freedom with responsibility, establishing post parental interests.


Stage VI: Family as a launching centre (oldest child gone to last child's leaving)

Launching youth into adults, maintaining a supportive home base,


Stage VII: Family in the middle years (empty nest to retirement)

Refocusing on marriage relationship, maintaining kin ties with older and younger generations.


Stage VIII: Ageing family (retirement to death of one spouse)

Coping with death and living alone, adjusting to retirement.


Even though there are different stages in a family's life cycle, the stages don't have to happen in order. Things like divorce, remarriage, deaths, non-nuclear family members moving into the nuclear system, and unplanned pregnancies can throw things off. Developmental tasks are the responsibilities that come up at each stage of life in a family. If they are done well, they lead to happiness and success with later tasks. If they are not done well, they lead to unhappiness in the family, disapproval from society, and trouble with later developmental tasks.


Q 5. Discuss the challenges faced by a family, where an aged parent suffers from a chronic illness.

Ans) If a parent has a long-term illness, older children may help with care and other family tasks. If a parent has a progressive illness that causes severe incapacity, a child may be forced to parent younger siblings and, in some cases, the sick parent. The child may feel robbed of childhood or adolescence. In a gender-segregated family, this is more likely. The oldest daughter may be asked to care for a sick mother before the father is asked what he can do. If the father is sick, the eldest son may be expected to drop out of school or college to run the family business or find a job instead of the mother working outside the home.


Caregiver Burden

Middle-aged parents often feel they must care for their parents and children. This role is harder if an elderly parent is sick for a long time. Roles vary by family structure. Sharing caregiving duties may be easier if the elderly parent(s), their sons, partners, and children live together. Sharing duties ensures no one is overburdened. It can also cause disagreements over who gets to divide these jobs. Power, control, and decision-making can cause family disputes. The family's head may be sick and unable to make decisions. Changes in roles may require family members to adjust.


If the elderly parent(s) live with one of their children or if they only have one child, this child may feel very stressed out because of the caregiving duties. There may be resentment because the other siblings aren't helping out as much as the main sibling. This could make them feel guilty about their anger.


Grief over Anticipated Loss

Children whose parents have a terminal illness will grieve. It's hard to accept that the person you've known the longest and shared some of your best times with may die. It may be time to resolve old issues, forgive, and make peace. Remember and talk about happy times together.


Q 6. Explain, giving examples, the causes of deliberate self-harm.

Ans) Some causes of deliberate self-harm are described below:


1. Intentions and Motives

Self-harm may involve little pre-mediation or may have been contemplated for some time. Some individuals, especially the elderly, may have serious suicidal ideas before the act and survive only as a result of misjudgement or chance events. The motivation for self-harm may appear to be complex and very personal.


Some self-harmers' reasons:

  1. "It expresses emotional pain or feelings that I'm unable to put into words!"

  2. "It's a way to have control over my body because I can't control anything else in my life."

  3. "I usually feel like I have a black hole in the pit of my stomach, at least if I feel pain it's better than feeling nothing".


2. Affect-regulation

People think that if a child grows up in a family that doesn't validate what he or she has been through, it may make it harder for him or her to deal with emotional pain. People who live in these places or have genes that make them more likely to have unstable emotions are more likely to hurt themselves as a bad way to control their feelings.


3. Anti-suicide

People may hurt themselves as a way to deal with urges to try to kill themselves. From this point of view, self-harm could be seen as a way to show suicidal thoughts without putting yourself in danger.


4. Feeling generation

Self-harmers may have experienced dissociation when loved ones were absent (e.g., a very erratic or depressed mother) for long periods (this is psychologically very distressing to the child). Later, intense emotions may cause dissociation or depersonalization. Self-injury interrupts dissociation and restores self-awareness.


5. Interpersonal influence

Self-harm can manipulate people. Self-harm has been seen as a plea for help, a way to avoid abandonment, or a way to influence others. Self-harm may be used to gain a partner's love (e.g. parents, spouse).


6. Interpersonal boundaries

Self-harmers may have a low self-esteem due to insecure attachment to early attachment figures and an inability to individuate. Self-harm (e.g. cutting) is seen as a declaration of one's identity or autonomy and a separation from others.


7. Self-punishment

Self-harm can express anger or self-degradation. Self-harmers may have learned to shame themselves from their environments. Sensation-seeking: Like Russian roulette, self-harm may be used for thrills.

Section B - Short Answer Type Questions (40 marks)


1. Write short notes (in about 150 words each) on the following: (5x8=40 marks)


i) Homeostasis

Ans) Homeostasis means that the family system seeks to maintain its customary organization and functioning over time, and it tends to resist change. The family therapist can use the concept of homeostasis to explain why a certain family symptom has surfaced at a given time, why a specific member has become the IP, and what is likely to happen when the family begins to change.


Homeostasis is the ability of a system, especially living organisms, to regulate its internal environment and maintain a stable, balanced state in response to changes in external conditions. It is a fundamental concept in biology and physiology and helps organisms to adapt to their environment and maintain optimal health.


In general, homeostasis is important because it helps organisms to survive and thrive in changing environments. By maintaining a stable internal environment, organisms can respond effectively to challenges and maintain their health and well-being.


ii) Authoritative parenting

Ans) Authoritative parenting is based on putting the child first and having high expectations for how mature the child is. Parents who are in charge can understand how their kids feel and teach them how to handle them. Authoritative parents don't try to control their kids too much. Instead, they give them enough freedom to explore and learn so that they can make their own decisions based on what they think is best. When a child is punished, his or her parents tell the child why they are being punished. The punishments they get are neither harsh nor made up on the spot.


Parents set clear rules for their kids, keep an eye on the limits they set, and also give kids space to develop their own independence. They also expect children to act like adults, be independent, and act their age. They pay attention to what their children want and need, and if a child does something wrong, they usually forgive and teach instead of punishing. The democratic give-and-take of the authoritative parenting style is supposed to help kids feel better about themselves and be more independent.


iii) Internalized homophobia

Ans) When members of sexual minorities internalise the negative stereotypes and expectations held by the majority, this phenomenon is known as internalised homophobia. This implies that gay and lesbian people are unhappy with who they are as a result of their sexual orientation. Because of this, they develop feelings of guilt, hatred, and doubt about themselves, as well as a negative attitude toward maintaining a long-term relationship.


Internalized homophobia can happen when people are treated badly in society because they are gay. It can also be caused by messages and attitudes that are negative that come from family, friends, religious or cultural institutions, and other groups. Internalized homophobia can have big effects. It can make people feel bad about themselves, hurt their mental health, and make it hard for them to make healthy relationships. It can also make people do things that hurt themselves, like use drugs or try to kill themselves.

iv) ‘Coming out’ process

Ans) People who hide their sexual orientation are said to be "in the closet," which is a lot like hiding in a cupboard. It's called "coming out" or "coming out of the closet" when someone reveals their sexual orientation on their own. A person is "outed" when their sexual orientation is made public without their permission.


As a counsellor, it's important not to "out" your clients, or tell other people that they want the same gender, are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, without their permission. This would not only be a breach of privacy, but it could also put them in danger in a society that treats same-sex lovers badly. The person comes out to him or herself first. After this, the question of telling other people comes up. Coming out is not a one-time thing, and lesbians and gays may have to do it over and over again. It is always best to let the person decide who they want to tell and when they want to tell them.

v) Significance of motivation enhancement in treatment of Substance Use Disorders

Ans) Motivation enhancement is an important part of treating Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) because it helps people increase their own motivation to stop using drugs. SUDs are complicated and are often caused by a number of things, such as psychological, social, and environmental factors. People with SUDs may find it hard to change for a number of reasons, such as fear of withdrawal symptoms, shame, or not seeing how changing their behaviour will help them.


Motivation enhancement therapy is meant to help people overcome these obstacles and increase their own desire to change. It is a client-centered, non-confrontational method that focuses on the person's own reasons for wanting to change and helps them see the benefits of cutting down on or quitting drug use. This kind of therapy also helps people figure out and deal with any ambivalence or resistance to change, and it helps them make a plan for long-term recovery.

vi) Crisis counselling

Ans) Crisis counselling is a type of mental help that people get when they are in a bad situation. A crisis is a sudden, upsetting event that causes emotional, mental, or physical problems and makes people feel a lot of stress, anxiety, and distress. Crisis situations include things like natural disasters, traumatic events, the sudden death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, money problems, or a serious illness.

Crisis counselling is usually short-term and focused on finding solutions, like giving emotional support, teaching ways to deal with problems, and helping people come up with a plan for moving forward. The approach is meant to be flexible and adaptable to each person's needs. It may involve working with other support services, such as healthcare providers, lawyers, and community groups.


Crisis counselling is an important resource for people who are going through a hard time because it gives them the emotional and practical help, they need to get through it and get better.


vii) Interaction between biological and social vulnerability

Ans) The interaction between biological and social vulnerability refers to how an individual's biology and their social environment interact to influence their risk of developing a health problem or disorder. Both biological and social factors can increase an individual's vulnerability to a range of health problems, such as mental health disorders, chronic medical conditions, and substance use disorders.


Biological vulnerability refers to an individual's inherent physical characteristics, such as genetics, biology, and physiology. These factors can influence an individual's risk of developing a health problem, such as a predisposition to a certain condition. Social vulnerability, on the other hand, refers to the impact of social, economic, and environmental factors on an individual's health and well-being. This can include factors such as poverty, lack of access to healthcare, exposure to trauma, and discrimination.


The interaction between biological and social vulnerability can create complex and multi-layered health risks, as the social environment can both exacerbate and protect against the impact of biological vulnerability.


viii) Elderly abuse

Ans) Elderly abuse is a term used to describe any form of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that occurs to older adults. This type of abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglect. Elder abuse can be carried out by family members, caregivers, friends, or strangers, and can have devastating consequences for the victim, including physical injury, emotional trauma, and financial loss.


Elder abuse is a serious issue that affects millions of older adults globally. It is estimated that only a small fraction of elder abuse cases are reported, as many victims are too ashamed, frightened, or unable to speak out. This can make it difficult to determine the exact extent of the problem.


Abuse of older people can damage their health, well-being, and finances. People should recognise elder abuse and report it to the proper authorities.

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