A woman contacted our HMO Psychiatry Department saying she needed to learn how to better deal with her father, who was in jail. Her mother had divorced her father when the client was a child. After some time he had drifted off and would not be heard from for long stretches, but would recontact the family when he was in trouble and wanted something (such as money or a place to stay) . He had a reputation as a ne'er-do-welL a long history of alcohol and drug abuse, and had been in and out of jail on charges of petty theft, barroom fighting, and the like. One time, he had even threatened the life of the client's husband if he was not given a sizable loan, but quickly backed off when the loan was refused and police action was suggested.