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Hank's Story

Hank is 25 years old. He works as a welder and is married with two kids. Recently, the boss has been telling Hank that he is not working up to his potential. His wife has been telling him that he seems down in the dumps and wants him to snap out of it. Hank does feel that something is wrong with him, but he can't put his finger on it. He goes to a counselor to get help.

Counselor: Tell me about your life growing up.

Hank: My family was very tense. It was like everyone was always waiting for a disaster to strike. Everyone was nervous. No one took a chance on the unknown. My father never changed jobs. He worked his whole life as a grocery store manager. He was actually a pretty boring person...no friends whatsoever. Anyway, if I took the car out, which I rarely did, and I was more than ten minutes late, you can be sure that my mother had already called the hospital to see if I had been picked up dead by the side of the road.

My mom was a serious person who, now that I look back on it, must have been lonely. She actually spent her whole life cleaning and organizing our house. Geez...I remember when I was really little, I wasn't allowed to leave out any toys. Right after I would finish playing with a toy, I would have to put it away. Things were really tense with her. No smiles, no laughter, nothing. No one ever wanted to come over to our house.

Right when I was 18, I moved out to live with a family I knew through church. I think they had felt sorry for me. I got a job through a friend of theirs, as a matter of fact, it's where I am working now. I got married to Becky at 19 and here I am six years later, married to a beautiful wife, with two healthy kids and a good job. I should be happy, but I am really on edge. I don't know why you want me to talk about the past. All I know is that I need help right now.

1. How would you describe Hank's childhood?

2. What would you have done differently if you were Hank's parents?

3. How can the past affect a person's life?

4. What would you do if you were Hank?

5. What would you do if you were Becky?

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