Understanding the level of cohesion of a family  system is important in order to determine an effective treatment plan.  Olson (2000) developed the Circumplex Model, which has been used in the  areas of marital therapy and with families dealing with terminal  illness.

For this Discussion, you again draw on the “Cortez Family” case history.

Post your description of the  Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems and how it serves as a  framework to assess family systems. Apply this framework in assessing  the Cortez family. Use the three dimensions (cohesion, flexibility, and  communication) of this model to assess and analyze. Describe how  assessing these dimensions assists the social worker in treatment  planning.


Holosko, M. J., Dulmus, C. N., & Sowers, K. M. (2013). Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chapter 9, “Assessment of Families” (pp. 237–264)

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2013). Sessions case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing.
“The Cortez Family” (pp. 23–25)


Smokowski, P. R., Rose, R., & Bacallao, M. L. (2008). Acculturation and Latino family processes: How cultural involvement, biculturalism, and acculturation gaps influence family dynamics. Family Relations, 57(3), 295–308.


Olson, D. H. (2000). Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems. Journal of Family Therapy22(2), 144–167.