What Would Herman Munster Do?

The following is a case study I wrote in a Marriage and Family counseling class. Some of the terms may be hard to understand if you are not familiar counselor jargon. However, if you remember the Munsters, now you can understand what was really going on in their family. haha! ( Most of the story is completely fictitious, but it is fun to read!)

The Munster Family has come to counseling to seek understanding on how to handle the stress of their marriage, along with understanding Eddies problematic behavior.

The Munster Family, while decidedly odd, have fairly typical family dynamics. Herman, is the sole wage-earner in the family. Lily Munster is the nurturing stay at home mother. While Herman is the head of household, Lily makes many decisions also. Herman and Lilly have an only child, Eddie who desperately wants a little bother. Grandpa, a retired scientist, is Lillys father who lives with them in the basement of their home. Grandpa is considerably close to his daughter and oftentimes feels excluded from the family. In addition, Herman has a twin brother, Charlie, who has is cut off from Hermans parents. 
Against Herman’s wishes, Grandpa has recently built a little brother robot, Freddie, for Eddie. However, Eddie has become resentful and of the attention given to Freddie by his mother. Eddie has been disrespectful to Lilly and will no longer listen to her directions. Additionally, Herman blames Grandpa for the turmoil between Lilly and Eddie.
Presently, Herman’s absent twin brother, Charlie, has coxed Lilly into believing that he is destitute. As result, he is staying at the Munster home against Herman’s wishes. Consequently, Herman has become spiteful of Lilly.
*The first technique in understanding the family dynamics is to construct the Genogram . Within the Genogram I am distinguishing the core issues of the Munster Family. The Genogram will note the adverse family patterns that have been unintentionally passed down to the present day.
*Additionally, while conducting a group family counseling session, I am examining the fusion within the the family dynamic. Considering the emotional reactivity of each person, I will pinpoint the level of self differentiation of each family member. I will also be looking for the possibility of emotional triangles within the Munster family. Noting the nuclear family emotional system, I will investigate the means of communication of each family member. Considering the emotional cutoff of Charlie will be a consideration in unresolved issues between he and Herman. Futher,I will be noting the multigenerational transmission process. Understanding Eddies sibling position will be another objective in understanding this family.
*While noting the fusion in the family, I recognize that Lilly tends to be over-adaptive when under pressure. I also notice the triangulation of Lilly and her father in relation to Herman and Charlie.Assisting the Munster family in transition, I will take an objective stance focusing on educating and reaffirming the family process. 


Not Just A Quarterback Coach

My Freshman year in college was met with many growing pains. These “pains” made me mad, sad, frustrated and lonely. Nevertheless, my happy-go-lucky personality fooled many into believing I was just fine. However, there was one person who saw through my facade. In a weightlifting elective class,  I met my teacher, who was the rugged and tough Quarterback coach that never smiled. Yet, I could see through his tough exterior! I joked and kidded with him hoping to get him to smile. Needless to say, he was always matter-of- fact. One day, at the end of class, he said, “Tonya, you need to work on loving yourself.” I thought, how did he know? I said, “ok Coach Robins how do I do that?” He said,” write down 5 positive things about yourself, put them on your bathroom mirror and say them everyday.” I will never forget those wise words. 

Highlight The Important Stuff

My parents knew something was going on with me because I remember being tested for my hearing several times when I was in elementary school. However, my hearing was perfect .My parents were at a loss. All throughout my schooling, reading was  a struggle and I couldn’t fathom why someone would read for pleasure. I remember a tutor trying to get me to read Readers Digest books! How boring is that?! These books had absolutely no pictures in them ! As I grew older, I was only interested in reading things I could actually learn from like self-help books or biblically based books.

In 1992, my freshmen year of college, after variety of IQ tests. I found that I had Auditory Processing Disorder. Knowledge of the disability helped me with my academic weaknesses. Also, I sought out assistance from the University I was attending. This was a huge confidence boost and I was able to graduate in four years!

What does Auditory Processing Disorder look like?

A characteristic of someone with Auditory Processing Disorder is that they often get mentality fatigued. Additionally, because of slow processing, comprehension and memory is effected. It takes longer than average, but individuals with APD eventually “get it” !  Individuals with APD have difficulty following more that one direction at a time. While growing up, I had a hard time following directions. For example, my mom might say,” get clothes off the floor in the guest bathroom after 3:00 on Thursday, then separate the red from white clothes and put the white ones in the washer on cold.”Huh? What? To this day, I don’t separate! I just throw everything in the washer!  In regards to reading, writing and comprehension, an individual with APD may have a difficult time understanding grammar rules. Thinking back, learning the way sentences were structured was always a foreign concept to me. Additionally, I had problems developing vocabulary and understanding language. To this day, I still don’t understand phonics! Another struggle for me and others with APD may be deciphering the main point of an assignment. When highlighting the important stuff, I tend to highlight everything because it is all important!




While in elementary and middle school I did not have a school counselor. However, the teachers in the small school I attended were very in-tune to my emotional and educational needs. I am a twin and I followed my twin sister, Sonya, to a fault. Even though my parents were intentional about separating us in many aspects of our lives, my comfort came from mirroring my sister. My second grade teacher, Mrs Blair, recognized that I had not developed my own individual personality and I also feel she noticed my learning disorder. Looking back, I think she and my mother spoke of me taking piano lessons. I vividly remember Mrs. Blair bringing in a piano for me to play for the whole class. I also remember a time when I won the second grade spelling bee. To this day, I’m not sure how I won that spelling bee, but that experience gave me the confidence I needed. I am not sure if the correct testing was available in the 1980’s to detect learning disabilities, but I feel that my sweet teacher did all she could to give me the best educational experience possible. Mrs. Blair set the tone for me in regards to my education.

Significant Other

Over the past ten years, I’ve grown into an optimistic thinker.  I credit my husband, who has modeled how to change my thought patterns. My natural tendency is to be a realist and at times, pessimistic. Who would have thought changing my tone of thoughts to a happier one would produce a more desired result?!? ha ha!