Mark had been suspended from school for 15 days on Friday for cigarette
smoking. Rather than go home and face his parents, Mark spent the evening with a friend
and then was picked up by the police on Saturday afternoon. When the parents came to pick
Mark up at the police station, they had a loud altercation and Marks father
threatened to kill him. Because there was concern that he had been abusing drugs, Mark was
placed in a detoxication center. While he was at the center, Mark was caught huffing
deodorant with another youth, making threatening and physical gestures to the staff, and
experiencing suicidal ideations. Mark was then sent to a residential treatment center for
a 60-day evaluation.
In an effort to summarize Marks strengths and identify areas for improvement, the
BERS was completed by his primary therapist at the treatment center. It was anticipated
that the information would be beneficial in the assessment of Marks functioning as
well as for discharge and transition planning back to his home environment and school
setting. Marks scores on the BERS across the five subscales appear below.
|1. Interpersonal Strength
|2. Family Involvement
|3. Intrapersonal Strength
|4. School Functioning
|5. Affective Strength
Mark was rated very high on the Intrapersonal Strength subscale
which reflected the positive feelings he held about himself. Specific items that were
scored high included his ability to identify personal strengths, his popularity with
peers, his ability to enjoy a hobby, and his sense of humor. The other area in which Mark
evidenced skill was in the Affective Strength subscale. It was noted that he
demonstrated a willingness to talk with others about his problems, acknowledge painful
feelings, ask for help, and show concern for the feelings of others. On the Interpersonal
Strength subscale Mark was rated below average. His score reflected some of the
difficulties he has had with identifying the consequences of his behavior, reacting to
disappointments, and managing his anger. Mark was also judged low on Family Involvement
which reflected the tensions and conflicts in the family system. For School Functioning
Mark was rated as demonstrating limited strength. His score showed that Mark had
considerable difficulty with paying attention, completing tasks on time, and studying for
On the open-ended questions, Marks therapist learned that his favorite activities
and hobbies were roller blading, biking, and playing the trumpet for the school band, he
enjoyed playing soccer and baseball, he had a history of involvement with a church youth
group, and an important person in his life was Mr. Karl Quinn, the youth pastor from his
Transition Planning Team
Marks 60 day evaluation period at the residential center was ending. A transition
team was assembled consisting of Mark, his parents, the primary therapist at the center, a
child protective case worker, a school counselor, the familys outpatient community
therapist, and the youth pastor. The transition team members reviewed the psychological
report and the BERS to identify services and support strategies that could enhance
Marks transition to his home, school, and community. Working from a strength-based
orientation, the transition team developed a series of recommended goals, activities and
services. A summary of the recommendations appears below:
1. Increase Marks awareness of the relationship between behavior and consequences
by helping Mark set small concrete goals and determine actions needed to achieve those
2. Structure after school time and supervised social situations with same age peers
through participation in community sports programs such as soccer and baseball.
1. Provide support to parents in developing and maintaining behavior management skills
through in-home family preservation services.
2. Increase family communication by scheduling evening meals together at least three
times per week.
3. Hold family meetings at least once every week with the youth pastor being present.
1. Support Marks positive interests by enrolling him in the school band or in
organized sports clubs.
2. Schedule times when Mark can invite friends to the house or participate in a
supervised community activity with friends.
1. Schedule follow-up medical care to monitor effects of Marks use of Ritalan.
2. Hire tutors to assist Mark in math and study skills.
3. Teach Mark how to maintain an organizational notebook to track daily and weekly
1. Schedule Mark to meet with a counselor on a weekly basis to discuss concerns or
2. Identify a community program (e.g., child care center) where Mark can demonstrate
his ability to care for others.
3. Plan with Mark to reenter the church youth group.
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