Assessment of Family System



Identified Client Family Name and Name of Movie:

Family Members Involved in Counseling


To prepare for this assignment, students should comprehend the assigned readings and the information from the Faculty Podcast. Students should also have thoroughly read and understand their chosen case study/movie.

Students will complete a family systems assessment based upon the information in the Case Study/Movie chosen earlier. After considering the information the Learning Resources and assigned readings, students will complete a systemic assessment of the family in their chosen case study/movie. The assessment will include a description of the following information:

Summary of Movie

Include a brief summary of the movie and the family you chose for this assignment. Provide a paragraph or two describing the central plot or theme of the movie. What is the movie about? What subject is addressed in the movie? What role does your client family play in the movie?

Theoretical Case Conceptualization Orientation

Describe your general counseling theoretical orientation. Justify how your theoretical approach explains wellness, positive growth, and change, development issues, challenges, and problems in general for this family. If you choose to apply more than one theory, you will need to discuss how this eclectic approach will best work for this family.

Background Information

Include demographic information, such as grade in school, employment status, family unit information, and other history (e.g., military history, current or past legal problems) that seems relevant to the presenting problem. In this section, you want to discuss past efforts at addressing the issue (e.g., counseling, group work, spiritual, self-help groups, etc.) and results of those efforts. Address cultural considerations in this family here. What cultural considerations are needed for this family?

How would you describe the culture of this family? Address any considerations related to race, class, gender, ethnicity, and any other relevant cultural factors which play a role in the way this family functions. Discuss your ideas for addressing your own cultural competence as it relates to working with this family.

Family Structure

Discuss the current members of the family and extended family support system. Identify all significant relationships both family of origin and family of choice. Assess for major losses, substance abuse or mental health history, and family trauma. Identify patterns in the client’s functioning, which may be connected to experiences within his/her family and relationships. In adult clients, discuss intimate relationship and sexual history, including sexual behaviors and experiences.

Presenting Problem

Why did the family come to you (from the family’s perspective or other referring stakeholder, if applicable)? How long has the problem(s) persisted? Note the intensity and frequency of symptoms. What will you and the family agree to work on?

Bio-Psycho-Social Evaluation

Assess for major losses, substance abuse or mental health history, and family trauma. Identify patterns in the family’s functioning, which may be connected to experiences within his/her family and relationships. Address medical concerns, sexual dysfunction, or any other concern that may need to be addressed during the course of family counseling. What social institutions impact the way this family functions? How does this family interact with their community?

Narrative Summary

Please address all of the following issues:

1. Describe your observations and impressions of the family.

2. What is your view of the problem?

3. What are the common themes, patterns, or processes you noticed based on your theory (e.g., family roles, rules, power differentials, family secrets, etc.)?

4. What are the family’s barriers to growth and coping skills?

5. What are the strengths/assets possessed by this family (protective factors/signs of resilience, external sources of support)?

6. What is the etiology of the family’s present psychological capacity or incapacity?

7. What function does the behavior play in the family?

Systemic Diagnosis

Based upon the findings of the assessment process, what is the systemic diagnosis of this family? Build your systemic diagnosis upon the central tenets or assumptions of your chosen theory. How does your chosen theory explain the presenting problems or behaviors of the family in your case study? Make sure that you use theoretical language when describing the systemic diagnosis.

Last Updated on July 5, 2021