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Mental Illness in a Family

Mental Illness in a Family

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness with a debilitating course. Research shows that the severity of illness and prognosis may depend on the age of onset of the illness (Aneja et al., 2018). The main problems associated with the disease are classified into positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. Negative symptoms include anhedonia and depression. The treatment and management of this condition should be initiated promptly, with the recommended timeline being within five years from the first event of an acute episode.

The Mental Illness in the Family.

Rose is a 34-year-old female who has been married to Peter Banks for six years. Peter has recently been complaining about her wife’s behavior. He reports that he is getting tired of how his wife sometimes acts. He says he did not sign up for the wife’s behaviors when they married. The husband reports that Rose started claiming to have visions of God one year after their marriage. She could wake up in the night and sing church hymns. She could do this all night and couldn’t be stopped, as she said God told her to do it. Peter became concerned as this behavior would disturb the peace of the neighbors and their two children. This made Peter afraid of even leaving the children alone with Rose. One evening, she was out of control, which prompted action that led to hospital admission. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia because her symptoms had lasted for six months. Antipsychotic agents were prescribed and provided improvement in symptoms before she started being inconsistent with taking her medication. Peter felt that Rose was self-destructing and didn’t know how to help her.

Rose has developed more symptoms over the last three months and is constantly accusing their husband of infidelity. She has stopped taking her medications completely because she thinks that her husband might poison her so that he can be with other women. Peter admits that these accusations have resulted in conflicts between them and doesn’t know how to deal with these accusations or save their marriage. These accusations have brought some dissatisfaction between the couples.

This family is suffering from mental health problems because of Rose’s diagnosis of schizophrenia. This has taken a toll on Peter, who doesn’t understand Rose’s condition or how to handle it best.

Conceptualization of the Family Problems through My Theoretical Orientation

I have used the family system therapy approach to conceptualize this family problem (Keitner et al., 2017). The relationship between the couple is at stake due to Rose’s mental health issues, which are the source of family dysfunction. The area of focus for couple treatment is the couple’s acknowledgment of self-destructive behavior gen, general behavioral changes, and trust issues. All these issues are probably due to Rose’s incompliance with medication, which results in disagreements with Peter. The family system theory helps to develop a framework that understands the family’s view of mental illness, facilitating the formulation of a specific treatment plan. A psychologist will develop an effective treatment plan for the couple after understanding the root course of their problems (Keitner et al., 2017).

Treatment Plan

Strengths:  they include strengths that will help Rose achieve long-term goals. For example, she will get support from her family.

Deficits: Rose’s lifestyle might impede successful recovery.

Long term goals Short term goals objectives Strategies Expected outcome
1. Rose will take her medications as instructed

2. Rose will attend all her psychotherapy sessions actively.

3. Rose and Peter will resolve their disagreements and live as a happy family.

1. Rose will understand the importance of being compliant with medication

2. Rose will stop accusing Peter falsely.

3. Peter will understand Rose’s medical condition.


1. To make Rose understand the importance of taking medication as instructed

2. To make Peter understand how schizophrenia affects an individual, make him understand his wife better.

3. To help Peter and Rose resolve their differences

1. Weekly weekly psychotherapy and counseling sessions for both Peter and Rose.

2. Rose will get new antipsychotic drugs

3. Peter will help Rose make a schedule for her medications.

1. Rose will get better, and the psychosis will reduce

2. Peter will understand his wife’s condition.

3. The couple will resolve their differences.

Evidence-Based Interventions

A combination of psychosocial and psychopharmacology is very effective in the management of schizophrenia (Barnes et al., 2019). Psychosocial interventions that have shown high efficacy include skills training and family intervention. Skills training will help Peter understand his wife better, hence avoiding disagreements. Family interventions whereby the whole family is counseled will create an environment that increases the recovery outcome. Psychopharmacology will help in treating psychosis. She will be given antipsychotics and antidepressants, which will treat schizophrenia.


Aneja, J., Singhai, K., & Paul, K. (2018). Very early-onset psychosis/schizophrenia: Case studies of spectrum of presentation and management issues. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 7(6), 1566–1570.

Barnes, T. R., Drake, R., Paton, C., Cooper, S. J., Deakin, B., Ferrier, I. N., Gregory, C. J., Haddad, P. M., Howes, O. D., Jones, I., Joyce, E. M., Lewis, S., Lingford-Hughes, A., MacCabe, J. H., Owens, D. C., Patel, M. X., Sinclair, J., Stone, J. M., Talbot, P. S., … Yung, A. R. (2019). Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia: Updated recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. Journal of Psychopharmacology34(1), 3-78.

Keitner, G., Mansfield, A., & Archambault, R. (2017). McMaster family therapy. Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy, 1-8.


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Mental Illness in a Family

Mental Illness in a Family

For this Assignment, consider a couple/family where one member has a severe and persistent mental illness. (Note: This may be a fictitious case or a case from your professional experience). Think about how you would conceptualize the couple’s/family’s problems using the lens of your chosen theoretical orientation. Using the Walden Library, locate two evidence-based journal articles that support interventions for the present issue.

The Assignment (2–3 pages)

Identify the pervasive mental illness or health concern present in the couple/family.
Conceptualize the couple’s/family’s problem through your chosen theoretical orientation.
Design a treatment plan including short- and long-term goals.
Explain two evidence-based interventions you would use to address the couple’s/family’s issues and how you would use them. (Note: The interventions may not emerge from your chosen theoretical orientation.)
Justify the intervention you selected with two evidence-based research articles.

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