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Experiential Family Therapy Case Study

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Case Analysis of Theresa Jimmie Cross

Glenda J. Chandler

Northcentral University

Case History
Theresa Cross was born in Sacramento, California on March 12, 1946. She was the youngest child in her family. Bill and Clara Tapp are from their mother’s previous marriage. Rosemary and Theresa were the daughters of Jim and Swannie Cross. Both Jim and Swannie gave preference to boys and Jim was rather disappointed that he only had daughters. Jim wanted a son to carry on his name. He charged Clara $60.00 a month for room and board in their home. Clara was also made to care for her two younger half-sisters while their mother worked. “Sometimes she was forced to stay home from school for weeks at a time” (McDougal, 1995, p. 14). Theresa was her mother’s favorite and Theresa fought Rosemary for the attention of their mother. Swannie was a strict mother and made her daughters do all the housekeeping. She never allowed her daughters to leave their own yard. Swannie let her son do pretty much whatever he wanted. She often made excuses for Bill when he was caught stealing. He did not see this as a second chance, but as permission to continue. He eventually ended up divorced and in prison for the remainder of his life. The preference to boys was apparent in this family due to the fact that the oldest daughter, Clara, never received a legal name until she was 20. She demanded that her mother sign the paperwork to grant her a full name on her birth certificate. Until that time, her birth certificate had read “Baby Tapp.”
At the end of the 1950s, Jim Cross was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He was unable to work due to his disability. He did not spend much time with his daughters, but adored his wife. Jim’s life was his work and when he lost that, he became depressed. His wife became the sole provider for the family. Swannie died on…...

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