Parent Interview The parent interviewed is middle aged mother of two, which both are in their late twenties. She informed me that prior to having children she thought that she would never experience the joy of motherhood. Mrs. Digat married young at seventeen years of age and longed to have a family of her own. Unfortunately, pregnancy did not come easily. She saw countless doctors and underwent numerous procedures in effort to become a mother. There was nothing she wanted more out of life that to have her own little bundle of joy.
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Many years came and went without a baby that she so desired; Mother’s Day was especially difficult to endure. Then, unexpectedly after thirteen years of trying she became pregnant. This was the beginning of a beautiful experience that she had always intensely coveted. Mrs. Digat recalls her pregnancy as “the most beautiful period” of her life. She embraced all aspects surrounding the prenatal period with joy. Since those close to Mrs. Digat witnessed her struggle to become expectant, they also were elated and pampered her throughout the entire pregnancy.
She gave birth to a daughter who consequently was loved and spoiled by everyone around her. Shortly after having her daughter she became pregnant and had a boy. In her eyes having a child and all that it entailed was her realization of self; giving birth and becoming a mother were powerful forces in forming her identity as a woman. Mrs. Digat raised her children assuring that they were both physically and emotionally healthy. She made sure that their meals were nourishing and protected her children from life’s tribulations as best as she could.
When her husband, the father of her children, began using drugs she left him because she refused to have her children observe his disease. This decision did not come easy because she felt guilty that she was abandoning him during a time when he needed support, but her children came first and she did not want them to be traumatized. Her children were roughly eight and ten years old when they separated, and she now had to cope with being a single mom and parent her children both as a mother and father. Even though those years were rough raising her children alone, she received tremendous support from her mother and sister.
They helped in numerous ways such as: watching the kids when she would work late nights, make dinner, help with homework, wash clothes, etc. Mrs. Digat is extremely appreciative of the help and support she received and cannot imagine how she would have survived those harsh years without them. Education was of the upmost importance; she sacrificed and worked hard to provide her children with private school instruction through high school. Having private school education herself, she recognized its significance in a child’s intellectual and spiritual development.
Affording private school education for two on one income was no easy feat. Throughout her children’s schooling years, Mrs. Digat held two jobs to make ends meet. She made sure that work would not take away quality time from her kids, so weekends were reserved for fun activities. It was imperative to Mrs. Digat that her children have a healthy childhood in the midst of the turmoil that their father was experiencing. Mrs. Digat feels that she raised her children in a similar manner in which she was raised. Certain aspects in child-rearing such as morality and respect for others were very much in tune with her upbringing.
She nurtured her children the same way her mother nurture her. One facet she still does not understand and resents is her parents not motivating her to continue schooling after high school. Coming from a family of professionals in Mexico she begrudges her parent’s decision to move to the United States when they lived a financially comfortable life. Their relocation caused unnecessary hardship with an impeding language barrier and lower socio-economic status, not to mention immigration complications. Now instead of studying for a future career Mrs.
Digat had to work at a factory to help pay for rent and other new found expenses. She knew right away that when she had a family, she would make sure that her children received an education at any cost. If I were to work with Mrs. Digat on counseling her parental skills, I would employ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for several reasons. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. I appreciate that it is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events.
The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change. I believe this idea gives the client a sense of empowerment over their life and its outcome. By changing the way we think regardless of our surroundings produces harmony in our lives. This form of therapy instills in clients to be self-sufficient by focusing on teaching rational self-counseling skills; clients change because they learn how to think differently and they act on that learning.
CBT therapists do not tell their clients what to do, rather, they teach their clients how to do it. This therapy challenges client’s irrational beliefs by gearing them to use rational thinking that it is based on fact. Often, we upset ourselves about things when, in fact, the situation isn’t like we think it is. Lastly, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a collaborative effort between the therapist and the client. Therapists seek to learn what their clients want out of life (their goals) and then help their clients achieve those goals.
The therapist’s role is to listen, teach, and encourage, while the client’s roles is to express concerns, learn, and implement that learning. Cognitive-behavioral therapists have a specific agenda for each session. Specific techniques / concepts are taught during each session. CBT focuses on the client’s goals; clients are not told what their goals “should” be, or what they “should” tolerate. Assigning homework in between sessions such as reading assignments and encouraging clients to practice the techniques learned is advantageous in their psychological healing.