Structural Family Therapy : A Family Essay

1346 Words 6 Pages
Structural Family Therapy
Christine Miller
Brandman University

Structural Family Therapy
The foundation of structural family therapy rests upon the belief that the solution to a family’s presenting problem can be found by identifying and changing ineffective patterns in the structure or organization. A family is organized into different subsystems, including couple, parental, parent-child, or sibling subsystems. When a family enters therapy, the therapist actively seeks out understanding about how the family is organized and identifies ineffective patterns of interaction within and between the subsystems. In a functional family, effective interactions are supported by clear and consistent, but flexible, boundaries, and the resulting relationships are responsive and supportive to members of the family. Families with rigid boundaries will become disengaged, while families with diffuse boundaries will become enmeshed. In both these cases, interactions are less effective and can cause harm. Structural family therapists come to understand the interactions, intervene during enactments of situations to help families develop awareness about their interactions, and help them change their patterns. If families can bring about changes in the structure and patterns to develop effective interactions, they will be able to find their own solutions to their problems (Mendez, Qureshi, Carnerio, & Hort, 2014; Nichols, 2013). Structural family theory grew out of…

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