Running Head: PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
Pursuit of Happyness: Using Solution-Focused and Narrative Therapy Approaches
PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
Pursuit of Happyness is a movie where a man, Chris Gardner is a salesman that goes from one medical facility to another trying to sell portable medical x-ray machines. When his sales do not go as planned, Chris and his family end up losing their home, his wife leaves, and he is left to provide for his 5 year old son. As the movie progresses, Chris and his son must go from living in a motel, to a homeless shelter, to living wherever he could find to sleep. In my paper, I will present the issues of the family, challenges that they faced, and the use of Solution Focused Therapy and Narrative Family Therapy to aid the family in addressing their presenting issues and finding ways to communicate their feelings of abandonment and sadness.
PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
Pursuit of Happyness: Using Solution-Focused and Narrative Therapy Approaches In the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a salesman who is trying to sell portable x-ray machines to various physicians. In the movie, Gardner was a struggling salesman that was having a difficult time selling the machines. In the movie the biopsychosocial issues that were affecting the family was that the wife, Linda was on the verge of leaving her husband Chris and their 5 year old son Christopher. The family was faced with financial issues and these issues eventually ended up with the family being evicted from their home. The mother left her family, which eventually became homeless and living in poverty. Chris and his son Christopher were homeless throughout the movie and were forced to move from one location to another. In the movie, Chris and his son moved from a motel room to a homeless shelter before being forced to move from one location to another after having to leave the homeless shelter. According to Macdonald (2006), Chris, determined to make a better life for his son, travelled to several locations to try to sell the machines and when he could not, he went into stock market office and asks to be a part of their intern program at Dean Witter. The family faced the challenge of being homeless and living in poverty. The family is also faced with the issue of being responsible for the machines, even when one is stolen. They also faced the challenge of Chris not having stock broker experience, but needed to become a part of Dean Witter’s internship program. The major strengths of the family were that they were not willing to give up. According to Macdonald (2006), after Chris saw the incorrect quote from the Declaration of Independence that spoke of the inalienable rights of all men, which is life, liberty and the PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
pursuit of happiness. The happiness was spelled happyness. Convinced that he wanted his son to learn what was correct in society, Chris went on a journey to find what he thought was the “pursuit of happyness” for his son and himself. Throughout the movie, the family goes through several developmental stages. The family goes from doing very well and being happy, to enter into a “world of poverty and homelessness.” According to Corey (2009), the developmental stages in which children develop can affect that child’s sense of self, not only through interactions with others, but a development of a personality. As Christopher travels from one location to another, he goes through several developmental stages. He not only develops a sense of self and personality, but a sense of competence that motivates his behaviors and actions. Throughout each stage, Christopher breaks through several of the psychosocial development stages. He moves from feelings of Trust and Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Confusion, and Intimacy vs. Isolation. According to Corey (2009), during the Trust and...
References: Corey, G. (2009). Case approach to counseling and psychotherapy (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
Etchison, M. & Kliest, D. (2002). Review of Narrative Therapy: Research and Utility. Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 8(1):61-66.
Greenberg, G., Gashorn, K., & Danikwich, A. (2002). Solution-focused therapy: Counseling model for busy family physicians. Can Fam Physician,47:2289-2295.
Macdonald, M. (2006). “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Will Smith’s on the money as a poverty-stricken dad.” Retrieved from http://seattletimes,com/html/movies/2003477755_pursuit15.html
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