It took them a while to get used to it but eventually, they were able to communicate with softer words and softer tone.
According to systems theory (Titelman, 1998), it was my duty to work on both Dave and his family so that their communication problem is uprooted from its origins. When his parents began to realize the impact of their meaningless arguments on Dave, they set quite a few rules for themselves. These rules included no harsh words or arguments in front of Dave and increased participation in his social & academic life. They realized the importance of their emotional support and gravity of the condition of Dave.
It was important to make Dave feel that he was needed and appreciated for being wonderful just the way he was. His parents also felt the need for a stable atmosphere at home where Dave could share his thoughts, fears and dreams. They had to perform their duty of a good parent and hence they formulated some rules. These rules were also in line with the family system's theory wherein acceptable boundaries and rules were set by the family members for the prosperity and the well-being of the entire family.
His parents gradually started working on their own relationship and eliminated the traces of doubt and mistrust embedded between them. This led to a higher level of understanding and commitment between them. Mainly because of this, Dave's condition had improved quite significantly. He became more outgoing, confident and satisfied. Only the fact that his parents were not fighting much, made him perceive the whole world greener than it really was.
This case made me realize the importance of a friendly relationship between spouses. Children need to be loved, cared for and appreciated just like a budding flower. They will only blossom happily when they do not have to worry about the relationship problems of their parents. Reasonless fights and meaningless arguments only serve in making relationships sour.
The sweetness of love and care gets reduced to the state non-existence. I have realized that different kind of therapeutic systems and models need to be integrating with similar theories and concepts so that their cumulative effect can be maximized. In this case also, I did not merely work for the mental well-being of Dave or his family; I worked for their combined well-being as a family, in terms of physical and mental health. The notion that psychology only works for the mind does not work for me. I believe that well-being is not just a state-of-mind but it is the physical and mental prosperity. One can feel happy and satisfied only when both of these states are healthy, sound and prosperous.
This case gave me an opportunity to look closely at blood relations and recognize the factors which contribute greatly to the well-being of the entire family. It made me realize that it is important to be there for children and give unconditional emotional support at all times. Children or elders, it is important to make everyone feel needed and appreciated. Similarly, it is vital for the whole family to be tolerant and kind towards each other if relationships are to be nurtured. For someone to be confident and outgoing, it is important that a stable environment at home is given. Fights, arguments and issues do not solve any problem. They only increase the problems. Discussion solves problems and that is what should be done instead of fighting endlessly.
Bailey K.D. (1994) Sociology and the new systems theory: toward a theoretical synthesis. USA. Sunny Press.