An ecomap is a tool that social workers and others in the helping professions

Creating an EcomapIn this assignment, you will explore dynamic strengths and weaknesses of families. Review the Client Session Toolsmedia piece and develop an ecomap of one of the three Riverbend City case study families or, if you prefer, of own family system.Using the symbols described in the media piece, illustrate and identify the communication patterns being demonstrated among and between the family members. Identify major strengths and supports of the family system as well as the stressors impacting the family system.In addition to the actual drawing, which can be done using software such as Microsoft Visio or Word or by hand and then scanned to a PDF file, you will write a description of your analysis, explaining what the ecomap reveals about the family system as well as the process of constructing an ecomap.Format: Approximately 2 to 3 pages, using standard APA style. Be sure to support your work with appropriately cited peer-reviewed academic journals references.Client Session Tools:
an Ecomap
An ecomap is a tool that social workers and
others in the helping professions can use when working with individuals or
families in a counseling setting.
Ecomaps are draw from Systems Theory and can
be used during a session to help clients see the different systems influencing
their family or themselves.
Family Video
Karen and Sam are newlyweds. Karen has two
adolescent children, Angie and Casey, from a previous marriage. Sam also has a
child, Tommy, who is younger than the girls. All five live together in small,
overcrowded apartment. Instead of The Brady Bunch, Karen and Sam’s family is
not quite ready for prime time.
Sam is worried about his son Tommy. Karen’s
children regularly pick on their smaller step-brother and Karen lets things get
out of hand. She tells Sam that the kids just need to learn how to get along.
Sam feels frustrated that he can’t get through to Karen’s children. They don’t
respect him and he can’t discipline them.
Karen’s mother accuses Sam of being mean to
the girls. The girls have learned to manipulate the situation by creating a
scene. They run and cry to their mom, who finally restores order.
Karen intentionally waits for everything to
explode before she steps in. In this way, she asserts herself as the dominant
figure in the household—and then resents having to be in charge. She’s angry
with her husband for regularly coming home late. She feels that when he does
get home he avoids the ongoing family squabbles by heading straight to the
computer. She’s playing the hostile-martyr role.
Karen sees herself as the victim in the
family. She thinks that she’s being the perfect mother and wife. She assumes
all of the responsibility for fixing all of her family’s situations. She thinks
Sam is being insensitive and neglectful of her. Sam, in turn, resents her
behavior. Her destructive behaviors are designed to make her look good, and him
look bad. The result, however, is that she has become the target of her
husband’s resentment.
Casey and Tommy have been getting into
trouble at school. They’ve been getting into fights with other students and
acting out in the classroom. This has caught the attention of the middle school
counselor. Tommy has admitted to the counselor that he has had thoughts of
hurting himself and others. Tommy feels ganged-up on at home and feels that his
family blames him for everything.
Family counseling session

Human Services Professional (HSP)
Welcome. I am Dennis. So you must be the
Um, yeah. I am Karen and this is my husband
Sam. And our children Casey and Angie; and that is my stepson, Tommy.
Well, I just want you to know I work a lot
with families. This is a confidential and private setting. So you are able to
speak freely.
Well, I have to be honest. I have very mixed
feelings about this whole deal. I think that we are just like any other family,
and we have our issues – but I don’t think we need professional help. It is not
like we neglect the kids, or anything.
I appreciate your honesty and your openness.
I just want you to know that I can appreciate that families today are under a
lot of stress with money issues and cultural shifts going on. It is not like I
was in our generation (looks at dad) and I want you to know I understand that.
You can say that again. When I was growing
up, loyalty was really important. I remember my dad worked for the same company
for 30 years. Back then companies were loyal to employees and employees were
loyal back. Those were the good old days.
From what I understand, Tommy here was
referred to me by Ms. Kilgore, at the CyLinks Middle School. So Tommy, tell me,
what is going on in school that is bothering you?
Well, I am tired of getting picked on. It is
a new school so I do not know a lot of people yet. Everyone calls me names, and
they think I am stupid. It is tough because even when I try to make friends it
just does not work. I never get picked for teams in gym—and it just seems like
nobody likes me.
Well, what about at home? What worries you at
The place we live in, our apartment, it’s
pretty small. My sisters, have themselves to talk to and they do not include
me. Then they hog the computer so I never get a turn— and then when I want a
turn they always call me names or do mean stuff.
Tommy, what do you do that bothers your
Nothing. They do everything. They…
Wait a minute, wait a minute (to Karen and
daughters) Go on (to Tommy).
OK. It just seems like no one likes me at
home except for my dad, and he is at work most of time. My stepmom is busy
cleaning or doing other things—and it just seems like no one has time for me. I
wish things would go back to normal—just me and my dad.
Well, adjusting to, new family, new school,
new rules—this can be stressful for anybody.
Now wait a minute. I am doing my best that I
can for everybody here. I mean, I get the kids up, I am making sure you are
dressed (look at girls), I volunteer. Then I am helping grandma—I take care of
grandma, I am cooking, doing dishes and I am helping you with homework every
day. You know, give me a break! I am the one who is alone here. And when he
comes home, I mean, Sam does not help out much. (Looks at Sam, whispers) Well
you do not.
(Look toward Casey and Angie) You guys are
teen-agers, right? Could you possibly get up in the morning by yourselves?
I suppose we could do it ourselves but she
likes to do it. It is just easier for me—well, for us—if she does it. My
stepdad is always nagging us about helping out mom more but I am busy with
friends, and school and MySpace and my softball team. I am hitting .450.
When I get home I just want to chillax
before getting to my homework. I am really worried about college and I have a
ton of hard classes. I have Algebra and Chemistry, and five other.
Um, Chillax?
Chill and Relax.
OK, I got it. Sam, What are your thoughts?
I am just trying to do right by my family,
like my dad did for me. You know I did not have a great relationship with my
dad, so I am really trying to be here for Tommy. (pause) and for Karen, and
Casey and Angie too. And let us not forget I work 60 hours a week. Everybody
criticizes me but they forget that I am the man of the house. Am I supposed to
work and come home dead-tired and do all this work too? It seems like all I am
doing lately is putting out fires between the kids. It just seems to me that
Karen is so much better at talking to, listening to and relating to the kids.
With me, it is different. The girls: they just do not even like or respect me.
Well, I agree that families working together
can be a challenge but it is important for everybody. All families have their
stressors, you know, things that cause stress, uncertainty and conflicts in
relationships. Let us take a moment to look at this session not as a
“Who’s to blame,” but more as a problem-solving session. Things are
different now than they were for our parents or our grandparents. So what we
are going to do is we are going to take a look at an ecomap and it is a tool
that we can use to examine some of the stressors, conflicts, different things
like that within relationships. How does that sound as a plan for the day?
Family Ecomap
The ecomap is a visual illustration of a
family’s relationships and stressors in the family’s environment. The visual
model can increase awareness of the multiple social factors in a client’s
environmental system.
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The individual or family is represented at
the center of the circle and family connections are shown. Around the circle
are the systems that are a part of the client(s)’s life. The nature of the
connections is shown by the lines used to connect them to the person or family
unit. Thicker lines show a stronger relationship, while curvy or red lines
indicate a stressful relationship. Arrows pointing to the clients show that the
system tends to influence the client and arrows pointing to the system mean
that the client tends to influence it. Arrows pointing in both directions show
that influence goes both ways.

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