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Peter, a 13 year old boy was having behavioral and academic problems in school and was taking part in a series of family therapy sessions. Family communication was negative in tone, with a great deal of blaming. Near the end of one session, the boy suddenly broke down and cried out, “I don’t want to be like her.” He was referring to his mother, who had been receiving treatment for Schizophrenia. He had often been frightened by her bizarre behavior, and he was concerned that his friends would find out about her condition. But his greatest fear was that he would inherit the disorder. Sobbing, he turned to the therapist and asked, “Am I going to be crazy too?”

1. Pretend you are the therapist seeing Peter and his mother at his school where he is exhibiting behavior problems. Explain to Peter the potential for him to suffer from Schizophrenia in his adult years. Make sure to include in your explanation time frames, the diasthesis-stress theory, and what early symptoms may look like in terms that he can understand.

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