Essay on A Structural Approach For Family Therapy

1987 Words 8 Pages
A structural approach to family therapy involves looking at the pattern of family dynamics focused on the components that make up the family. These are the structure, the subsystems, and the boundaries within that family (Nichols, 2013). A family is always dynamic, always growing and changing, and interactions mark the ways in which a family deals with these changes. Problems in families can generally be traced back to problems in the hierarchal structure within families, according to this view. Problems are maintained by the dysfunctional structure currently in place; a therapist job, is therefore, to alter the family structure so that the family can resolve the problem with their inherent resources. Structure refers to the way in which the family has formed subsystems, and the subsystems are regulated by relational boundaries among the members. The entire organizational framework of the family is accountable for the actions of each member. As actions are repeated, over time they become predictable and expected. A family structural organization is self-perpetuating, and is due both to universal and distinctive restrictions. Hierarchies are present in all families; all families typically have reciprocal and complementary functions. These again, over time, become ingrained and established as norms beyond consideration of the purpose or effectiveness of such (Nichols, 2013). The way to glean a family’s structure is by observing the family interact with each other.

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