Murphy Family Vignette
Carla Murphy and her 4 children have been referred for HBFT due to fighting amongst the siblings. Carla has been divorced 3 times. The children consist of 12 year old Michael and 11 year old Kevin who are biological bothers. Ten year old Marcos (IP) is from Carla's second marriage. Marcos's father is not involved in the family as he has been imprisoned since Marcos was 2. Marcos has also been involved in stealing from his family as well as from the school. The school has reported that Marcos is defiant and recently has been "bullying" children on the playground. The fourth child is 7 year old Jeremiah from Mom's third marriage. Mom reports Marcos is especially combative with Jeremiah.
Carla is of Hispanic origin. Her first husband, Michael, Sr. is involved with his children and tries to help when he is able. Her second husband, Charles was imprisoned on drug charges and burglary. He is not expected to be released from prison for another 5 years. Carla's third husband, Richard lives in the area but does not initiate contact with Jeremiah. His position is that when Jeremiah wants to see him, he will make himself available. Carla's mother is also involved in the family and a tremendous support for her and the children. The children often spend the night with their grandmother. Carla works full time at the local university as a secretary. She reports she is often tired when she arrives home and becomes easily irritated with the fighting in her home. She states that Marcos's aggression has been increasing of late and she is concerned about possible legal ramifications if he continues stealing and hurting other children.
Marcos has seen a therapist individually in the past however Carla reports it has not been helpful. The therapist has indicated that Carla has been unable to follow through on the parenting practices they have talked about in session and in the parenting classes Carla has attended. The therapist suggested home-based therapy to assist Mom in working with all the children and learning to apply the ideas she has learned through therapy and group.