Helping with Maladaptive Relationship and Communication Patterns 139 the removal of the other children, so the intern is seeing the parents (mostly Ms. Smith) regarding their baby. They have supervised visitation with the other children. In the fourth session, I was meeting with Ms. S., and we were talking about spanking her baby: Ms. S.: When a child behaves badly, I think it is okay to beat him. 1 student: Why do you think it’s okay? A Ms. S. My mother beat me as a child, and I turned out all right. 2 student: Do you think that helped you? B Ms. S. It did. But anyway, this was the first time I beat my son. I got turned in and went to jail and my children were taken away from me. 3 student: Are you angry because you got turned in? C Ms. S.: Yes, and it was my own mother who reported me. She got my kids and I went to jail. 4 student: Don’t you think she was right to report you? D Problem formulation: What is the source of the interpersonal stress between Ms. S. and the student? (The student in this case answered: When Ms. Smith tries to justify hitting the baby, I get impatient and enraged and try to make her see how badly she behaves. The interpersonal obstacle results primarily from my anger and judgmental feelings. I want her to feel deeply remorseful, and she is not.) Analysis of reactions: For each transaction (i.e., 1–4 for client and A–D for the intern), get into the shoes of and tune into Ms. Smith and the intern and identify their respective feelings. When in the role of the intern, also consider how you could use your reactions and vulnerabilities to connect to the client. (The student in this case provided the following analysis: 1. This is all I know. It’s what my mom did to me, so that’s what I do with my kids. A. Does she really think it’s okay to beat her kids, particularly a baby?! 2. Like I said, it’s what my mom did. Why are you questioning me like this? B. Why is she challenging me like this? 3. I turned out just fine! I only hit him one time and got sent to jail! That pisses me off. C. She seems angry, but I don’t know if I want to go down that road. 4. You’re damn right I’m angry! How would you like it if your mother got you sent to jail?
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