WEED represents “W is “what do you want,” D is “what are doing about it”, E is evaluation”, and p is setting a plan” into motion (Easterner, 2006, p. 21). The case study of Natalie below is an example of how conflict can affect the choices one makes in attempt to meet one’s five basic needs. The case study will discuss how regret, acceptance, or belonging can affect a persons choices and how overcoming negative emotions can help one live a more fulfilled life. CASE HISTORY OF NATALIE Natalie is a successful attorney in Washington D. C. , who advocates for those in the LIGHT community who face discrimination in the work place.
Natalie is a lesbian and has been with her partner Michelle for five years. Natalie grew up in a Caucasian upper middle class neighborhood, in Georgia and is an only child. Natalie met Michelle while in law school in Virginia. When the started dating Natalie still had not come out to her parents, Natalie initially passed Michelle off as her roommate. Natalie came out to her parents after graduation and decided to move to Washington D. C. To be with Michelle. Michelle proposed to Natalie and Natalie accepted. Same sex marriage is legal in Washington D. C.. After the wedding, Natalie and Michelle are planning to have a child.
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Natalie parents know that Natalie is a lesbian but they overlook this fact and hide it from others. Natalie flew her parents to Washington D. C. For a weekend to tell them of her exciting news. Natalie parents were extremely upset, embarrassed, and threatened to disown Natalie if she married Michelle and began a family. Natalie has put her wedding on hold not wanting to lose her relationship with her parents. Michelle thinks that Natalie is allowing her parents to decide their lives and has now given Natalie a deadline to make a decision. Natalie has succumbed to depression and is now seeking therapy to help her cope with the situation.
CASE ANALYSIS To create a workable and effective environment is its important the therapist create a foundation by being courteous, determined, enthusiastic, firm, and genuine with the client (Capsize & Gross, 2007). Cross Culturally, reality therapy is very adaptable. Having a workable knowledge base of the social group whom your working with is important in adapting the WEED system to meet the needs of the client. It is important that I familiarize myself with members of the LIGHT community, specifically hose who are still closeted about their sexuality and individuals who have Just recently come out to their family members.
Therapist need to check their own personal bias and Judgments at the door before entering therapy sessions. Establishing a positive environment will allow the process of reality therapy to be more effective. Natalie must feel safe in disclosing information and be able to share her true feeling without fear of Judgment. To help Natalie work through her problems it is important that Natalie is able to identify what she truly wants. In discussing wants, questions asked were; what do you want from our parents? What do you want from Michelle? What do you want for yourself right now? What do you want for yourself in the future?
What do you want out of therapy? Knowing exactly what one wants helps identify what need is being fulfilled. Clients must be committed in order to reach self actualization and identify how their current behaviors are not meeting their five basic needs (Mother, 2008). Natalie knows that she wants to marry Michelle but she loves her parents and does not want to lose them. Natalie wants understanding and acceptance from her parents; she wants to feel like she belongs. Natalie is also worried about making the wrong choice she regrets postponing her wedding and loves Michelle and would feel even more regret if Michelle left her.
Regret can transform into self-betrayal and expose a person’s real self rather than the ideal self that they portray to the world (Cameron, 2009). Natalie wants a family and to be happy. Natalie wants Michelle to be more understanding about her parents and be patient with them. Natalie hopes that therapy will help her solve her problems and make better choices for the future. Now that Natalie and I have identified her wants, we look at what she has been owing to accomplish her wants. It is also important that Natalie come to terms with the face that she cannot control her parents.
Natalie is a lesbian and her parents do not approve. No matter how much Natalie parents ignore or attempt to hide this fact it does not change the fact that she will never be heterosexual. Natalie must also come to terms that her parents do not know what is best for her life and she is the only one who can make that decision. Regret stems from individuals inability to take responsibility for their behavior (Cameron, 2009). Natalie regrets postponing her adding and blames her parents for her actions. Natalie is caught between her ideal self and her real self and is lost.
Natalie knows if she continues with postponing the wedding Michelle will leave her. Attempting to point the finger at another is not taking accountability for ones actions. Natalie must focus in order to see she cannot change other people or the past. To be successful in therapy Natalie must recognize the need to change, which she does. Evaluation is a major part of the WEED system. Now that Natalie wants, action, and direction have been identified, we need to evaluate the reasonableness of her resent actions, and if she has, a chance of getting what she wants.
The need to belong is powerful. Ones happiness directly correlates with the ability to successfully maintain both old and new relationships (Wobbling, 2005). As reoccurring themes, appear during the session summarizing statements that Natalie makes in different ways can help Natalie rethink or evaluate her own behavior. It also assist in keeping Natalie focused on what is going on now in her life and moves her away from placing blame or attempting to change others (Capsize & Gross, 2007). Natalie must evaluate her situation and determine where she stands with her arenas.
Natalie is somewhat relying on her parents for emotional security and acceptance, by not being honest and open about her sexuality she has lost her own identity and now lacks a sense of self. Natalie is successful at work, takes very good care of herself, and is financially comfortable. Natalie dependency stems from the fact her identity is only complete when she feels feels accepted. By Natalie living her life based on acceptance by her parents, she is playing the position of a rescuer in the Karma Triangle. Rescuers in Karma Triangle feel powerless and make behavior choices out of fear.
The need to please her parents indicates her own neediness and shows her dependency. To offset her need to please her parents she also rebels against them in an attempt to free herself from the control (Hostage, 2008). The cycle of pleasing then rebelling does not work. It is more likely to cause new problems since behavior choices made are out of fear. Natalie really wants to marry Michelle and have a child. Initially Natalie believed she wanted acceptance from her parents. After self-reflecting on the choices Natalie has made in the past, Natalie realizes that she has not and will not gain her parents acceptance in this manner.
Natalie realizes that her future choices need to be her own and without influence of her parents opinions. “Hostage states that there are not better tools to explain that the behavior choices clients have been making are their best attempts to close the gap between what they want and what they perceive they are getting (2008, p. 67). ” Ultimately, Natalie has to realize that it is possible for her get what she wants she Just has to make the right choices. Now that Natalie is ready to make different choices in her life, we move into the planning stage of therapy.
During this stage, the healing process begins with a workable plan. The plan needs to be simple and attainable. If the plan is too complicated, Natalie may become discouraged and give up. Natalie must decide when and how she will implement this plan making it measurable, the sooner the better. After clearly drawing boundaries that will encourage Natalie independence, I would assist Natalie in the implementation of her plan. Natalie may want to meet with her parents in a neutral location with a third party present. Having this meeting in my office may make the conversation easier for
Natalie. No matter how Natalie parents react, she has to be consistent and committed to the plan in order to obtain want she wants for herself. Natalie wants to be accepted. She Joins a LIGHT married couple support group where she interacts with others who are in similar situations. Natalie apologizes to Michelle and they set a date for their wedding. Natalie asks her parents to come to Washington D. C. To a therapy session. In an environment where she feels safe Natalie confronts her parents with the truth about her sexuality and tells them this is who she is and she cannot change.
Natalie takes back the control of her life and tells them how she has lived her life based on her parent’s ideals and will no longer continue to do so. Natalie actions have lifted a heavy burden from her shoulders and now she is able to enjoy her life without feeling guilty. Natalie now can make decisions based on her own personal situation without worrying about acceptance from her parents. CONCLUSION Being true to one self holds a person to a certain level of accountability. By becoming more responsible, evaluating ones choices and planning to correct behavior, one can work to fulfill their five basic needs.