In-home Therapist: Monica Morales

Intensive In-Home Family Therapist: Monica Morales


You are able to meet with Monica Morales in person. She is casually dressed and explains that she has an appointment that afternoon. In most cases, she schedules three- to four-hour sessions three times a week, “spent with the family on their home turf. These families are in danger of losing their children. They have multiple problems to address and need very concrete support. It’s not armchair therapy, that’s for sure.” She responds to your questions about the Greene family and tells you that:

One of her first projects was to take Marky and his mom to the thrift store to get some clothes for Marky that fit him. Judy seemed uninterested in finding clothes for Marky. “I had to redirect her and keep her focused on the task we went there to accomplish. Marky helped with the shopping and he is proud of his new clothes.”

Marky told her he enjoys taking baths and showers. He loves going to school looking “like a regular person.” They dealt with the head lice and will treat him again after 10 days. “Before I came into the house, the shower had become a clothes storage closet for clothing no one was even wearing. I’m not sure how they were bathing, but I think Roy used the hose out back.”

“I will be with the family for six weeks max. If a family doesn’t respond in that amount of time, it’s not considered appropriate to keep providing my wrap- around ‘Cadillac’ services. If they don’t turn this around, they could lose Marky.”

Judy’s violent temper is concerning. “She has little impulse control and reacts with anger when she feels threatened, which is often. I am working with her on ways to stay cool. We’re also learning to discipline effectively without hitting. It’s actually good that the puppy is there because he gives us plenty of opportunities to practice.”

Marky almost never needs discipline. He’s more likely to be scolding his parents. He’s a classic “parentified” child, one who is more responsible than the adults in the home. “He takes on more responsibility than a child should. He will need to learn how to be a kid.”

“I know they have financial problems but I’m not sure why. Roy makes a good paycheck and the trailer rent is low. We’ll be working on a budget soon.”

  • What difference does this information make to the case?
  • What are your follow-up questions?