How do you handle this situation? What do you say (in quotes) to Katie? I would handle Katie’s case with the most of caution. I would avoid mentioning that the meeting was her mother’s set up though I would refer her concern. “Katie, many things happen to youths your age, especially in a new neighborhood. We can only get past them if we find people to trust, and I for one think you can trust your mother and I for we are concerned about you.” Is there a situation in your family that may be influencing your behavior, or is it the new environment and friends?” This I would ask, considering the family stress theory and the symbolic interaction theory.
Do you need any further information? Yes, I do. Family systems theory– Individuals cannot be understood in isolation from one another but instead as a part of their family (Dr. Murray Bowen). “Don’t you think that if your mother came in, she might help us, since she feels you…. she might also be going through a hard time like you.”
What priorities are your concern at this specific time? I am more concerned with understanding Katie’s social life. I would use structural functionalism-society is a complex system whose parts work in solidarity. “Have you made new friends in school? Those carves you have, do your friends have too?”
Would you involve Katie’s mom? Considering family systems theory, I would feel obligated to incorporate her at some point, though considering Katie’s thought about it. This would help me identify family stressors.
What resources would you seek out? I would utilize the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales(F-COPES) that identifies family situations and integrates them into coping skills. I’d also consider also consider genogram, that analyzes family relationships and medical history in pictures.
As for referrals, I would send Katie to a youth psychologist considering her age.
Klein, D. M., & White, J. M. (1996). Family Theories: An Introduction (pp. 149-177). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Cromwell, R. E., OLSON, D. H., & Fournier, D. G. (1976). Tools and techniques for diagnosis and evaluation in marital and family therapy. Family Process, 15(1), 1-49.