Based on your knowledge of relationship models and scripture, how would you
respond to these situations? What specific relationship models can you pinpoint in each? Answer
TWO case studies fully (address Social Styles, Personality Styles, Love Styles, and Attachment
Theory for each character; and address if URT, SET, and/or ET are present).
Case Study One:
Justin is a twenty-one year old college student from a small farming town in Iowa. He loves his family and the freedom farm life provided him during his formative years. However, after finishing up an art degree at a prestigious art school on the west coast Justin’s eyes have been opened to the possibilities of the world. He wants to pack his bags and move to Europe with some of his art buddies. However, he is torn between his sense of loyalty to the family farm and his sense of adventure. He wants to please both his family and his friends. So, he decides to put his excellent listening skills to the test and talk his options over with his parents. Justin’s mom and dad, Susanna and Joe, are supportive but realistic people. They discuss the pros and cons with Justin and then leave the decision up to him. However, Justin is still torn and unsure what to do. If you were Justin’s mentor, what would you suggest? How would you help him make a decision?
Case Study Two:
Carrie and Timothy are newlyweds and just had their first marital dispute. Tim grew up in a very traditional family where his mom did all of the household chores, cooking, and shopping. However, Carrie grew up in a single parent home where all chores and household responsibilities were divided among all members of the family. So, Carrie is quite surprised when she asks Tim to stop by the store on the way home to pick up a few items she forgot for dinner and he replies, “Why do I have to do that?” Carrie sits silently in shock for a moment and then loses it on the phone with Tim. She quickly, and loudly, unpacks all the things she’s done since they were married a few months ago: laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and working full-time. Tim cannot understand why his happy-go-lucky wife is seemingly yelling about such minor details and tasks she is supposed to do. A few hours later when Tim arrives home, without the items Carrie asked him to pick up; she storms out of the house and doesn’t return until later that night.
What is going on here? What is at play in this newlywed’s marriage? If you were counseling
Carrie and Tim what would you do?
Case Study Three:
Jamie is a recent college graduate. Just a few weeks after graduation she accepted a position as a
full-time nanny for a wealthy family. She is excited about the possibilities of traveling to exotic locations,
using her early childhood degree, and caring for the three young children in the family: Jonny, age 5, Betti,
age 3, and Julianne, 15 months. However, just a few short months into her new position Jamie finds
herself exhausted. She had no idea what being a full-time nanny would entail. She has had little time to
herself since beginning the position in late June and has been expected to not only have the children in
tip-top shape for large events and house parties but also present herself as a socialite. Jamie has
discovered she is utterly overwhelmed. She wants to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Jenson, her employers, but
doesn’t know what to say or how to bring up the conversation. What might you be able to determine
about Jamie from this information? If you were her best friend, what might you encourage her to
Case Study Four:
Sandra and Shawn have been dating for just over a year. Early on, Sandra was attracted to Shawn’s free spirit and spontaneous ideas. However, she has become more and more concerned about Shawn’s disposition and fears he will “never grow up.” As they begin to discuss marriage Sandra brings up some of her concerns. Shawn is taken back by her fears and is unsure how to respond. After the conversation Sandra notices Shawn is distant, almost withdrawn. She is unsure how to bring up the conversation again but wants to resolve the seeming conflict and restore peace. What do you suspect is going on? What might be a part of their upbringing? What would you do if you were counseling them?
Case Study Five:
Paul and Carmen are twins but the only children in the family. Since childhood, Paul has been
independent, curious, and a quick learner. Carmen, however, has been more interested in social settings,
chatting, and playing creatively—making up wild stories with dolls and other toys. As the two aged they
became more and more different even though they were raised in the same home, with the same
surroundings. Paul is a high achiever, makes decisions decisively, is an excellent problem solver, and can
keep to himself focusing his time on a few close friends. Carmen is lively, has lots of friends, and can be
quite intense. When there is a problem Carmen always calls her dad for help, usually in tears, while Paul
is content being self-sufficient and just fixing the problem. How might their personality and social
styles impact their futures? What “types” of spouses do you think each will seek out?
Case Study Six:
Gracie has just been picked up by DSS and placed in your home as a temporary foster child. She
seems withdrawn, quiet, and shy. The officer who drops her off tells you she believes Gracie is an extreme
introvert and will be quite difficult to “get out of her shell.” However, having studied personality
development, social styles, and attachment theory you suspect something else is going on. You notice
Gracie does not make eye contact. She does not seem to mind being shuffled from her home, to the police
station, to DSS offices, to a temporary children’s home, to your home. She appears to be pretty go-withthe-flow for a six year old. Over the next few days you notice Gracie does not warm up to you or other
members of your family. She is content taking care of herself and seems to quickly adapt to finding what
she needs: bowls, spoons, milk, cereal, toiletry items, etc. She was both surprised and shocked the first
evening in your home when you told her you were going to be cooking dinner for the family and asked
her what she would like to eat. She responded that she’d never had a cooked meal at home and just
thought she’d have cereal. What patterns of attachment, or lack of attachment do you suspect? How
to you think Gracie’s social style is developing? Do you think the officer was correct, is she an
Case Study Seven:
Stephanie just started a new position with a large corporation. She has been assigned to work with
Matthew on a large project with a deadline and specific check-in points. As a new employee Stephanie
wants to impress her superiors and get to work right away; however, Matthew has been employed by the
company for fifteen years and has little interest in getting started on the project immediately. Matthew is
more interested in getting to know Stephanie, understanding how she prefers to work, and spending long
periods of time brainstorming ideas. However, Stephanie would prefer to jump in and get the task done.
Ultimately, Stephanie would prefer to work alone and avoid the exhausting conversations with Matthew
about her work style and personal life. Matthew, on the other hand, has thoroughly enjoyed getting to
know Stephanie, how she works, and about her family—he is energized by the conversations and sees
potential for working together on the project. If Stephanie came to your office asking for your help,
suggesting her project partner was challenging to work with, what would you suggest? What do
you notice about their social and personality styles? How could you encourage and educate this
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