Write 3 pages with APA style on Drinking Apart Family Assessment. Drinking Apart Family Assessment Number Background and Presenting the Problem “Drinking Apart” is a documentary film directed by Ken Rosenberg. The movie captures the experiences of a family torn by alcoholism. “Drinking Apart” provides a rich account of three households in New York City as they recover from the problem of substance abuse. In the Sam and Toinette’s family, the latter is an alcoholic undergoing a fragile recuperation (Films Media Group, 2000). She is shown attempting to reclaim the lost love for her teenage daughter who was taken away from her custody sometime back because of her alcoholic behavior and neglect. The 14 year-old girl, appears to have given up on her mother’s love. In another scene, the mother, now undergoing therapy at a recovery facility, places a phone call to her young baby at home. Toinette cannot help but weep as she reacts to the child’s hostile behavior toward her. Toinette receives treatment at a medical facility in New York City. Description of the family Toinette is a mother of three daughters. Sam is also recovering from alcohol abuse. The children used to be under her custody but due to her neglect, Sam becomes their caregiver. He has chosen to focus on caring for the two children rather than his own recovery. The functioning Toinette’s family, then crumbled in the face of alcoholism, with family ties, responsibilities, rules, and customs changing to the worse. Patterns of functioning The family was functioning well, with Toinette taking care of her family. Then alcoholism set in, and she became lost in drinking, leaving the children to their own devices. As Gehart and Turtle (2003) suggest about shifting responsibility, Sam becomes the children’s caregiver while she is undergoing treatment. Toinette’s is an example of a family that according to Brown and Rinelli (2010) has been forced to grapple with confusion, especially when alcoholism sets in. Alcoholism has ruined the family by causing pain and suffering to not only the alcoholic Toinette, but also those who are closest to them – the children. Siviroj, Peltzer, Pengpid, Yongyuth, and Achara (2012) point out that the behavior has also altered roles of the family members. Toinette is a living story of the far reaching, and permanent impacts that alcoholism can have on the physical and psychological health of an alcoholic’s close kin. Challenges to family harmony The challenge that family members experience in the face of substance abuse, according to Siviroj et al (2012), usually causes confusion. The film vividly depicts the disappointment, perplexity, frustration, irritation, dislike, jealousy, panic, guilt, disgrace, worry and despair in the family. Family resilience Despite the challenges, the family is putting on a brave face and resilience to recover from the psychological trauma caused by alcoholism. Perhaps Brown and Rinelli’s (2010) research best explains the enormous task facing the facing in a bid to recover from alcoholism. According to the researchers, the recovery program such as in the Toinette’s case often does little to restore intimate relationships between the family members. In light of this, Toinette and her family may recover from the brink of alcoholism, but Burns (1998) indicates that her relationship with the children would only be cordial in the long-term. The telephone conversation she has with two of her children clearly reveals the strained ties between her and the children. Strategies and next steps MMSE test Owing to the possibility of cognitive problems, Toinette and her three children will need to be diagnosed for cognitive impairment using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) method (Burns (1998). The method involves the administration of a short 30-point questionnaire examination, where any score higher than or equal to 25 points out of the total score indicates no defect on the individual’s cognition. If the reading ranges between 21 and 24, the condition is mild. a reading between 10 and 20 indicates a moderate condition. and any reading below 9 points means the condition is severe. The victim’s intellectual capacity will also be considered when analyzing the outcomes. Interventions From look of things, it is clear that every person in the family has chosen to concentrate on their own business, especially in recovery process. However Gehart and Tuttle (2003) suggest that the trend should be reversed to make the family one again. Gehart and Tuttle emphasize the need to promote a change in the way the family members view each other. This can be achieved by training all the members on how to react to positive gestures from each other. An introduction to displacement narrations can help the household to interpret the gestures of others. Moreover, the family needs coaching on how to maintain an atmosphere free from tension or distress, even as lessons based on balancing individual ideals and unity take effect. According to Gehart and Tuttle (2003), this will promote more understanding within the family. Conclusion Generally, “Drinking Apart” is a clear depiction of a family experiencing psychological distress in the face of unrelenting alcoholic behavior of a breadwinner. The audience is treated to an array of rich scenes capturing psychological problems bedeviling the mother and her three children as well as Sam the care giver in their effort to cope with the lack of love, and new responsibilities. The children seem to be hostile to the mother. By initiating the MMSE assessment tool, all the family members would be examined and appropriate interventions implemented. Cultivating a new sense of understanding in the family and urging the members to accept the situation would be helpful in relieving the members of the distress. References Brown, S.L. & Rinelli, L.N. (2010). Family Structure, Family Processes, and Adolescent Smoking and Drinking. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20(2), 259-273. Burns, A. (1998). Key Papers in Geriatric Psychiatry. International Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry, 13, 285-294. Films Media Group (2000). Drinking Apart: Families Under the Influence. Retrieved from http://ffh.films.com/id/812/Drinking_Apart_Families_Under_the_Influence.htm Gehart, D.R., & Tuttle, A.R. (2003). Theory-based treatment planning for marriage and family therapists: integrating theory and practice. Michigan: University of Michigan. Siviroj, P., Peltzer, K., Pengpid, S., Yongyuth, Y., & Achara, C. (2012). Drinking motives, sensation seeking, and alcohol use among Thai high school students. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 40(8), 1255-1262.
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