Essay on Structural Family Therapy

5661 Words 23 Pages
Family Therapy Research Paper

COUN 601

Structural Family Therapy


This work explores the model of family counseling and therapy known as “Structural Family Therapy”. In this study SFT is explored in its original form as well as in a form that is presently being used and has been effectively used specifically in SFT initiatives in families that are working with the issue of acculturation. The studies of Minuchin and Haley are focused upon and the work of Todd (2006) is also taken into consideration. This work explores how SFT might effectively be applied by a minister of the neighborhood organization PACT and how the Christian principles
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Some of those are "detouring, attacking (also known as scapegoating)” (Todd, 2006) in which a union is formed against another family member who is labeled as 'bad' receiving the blame in full. Further there are the relationships that are described as "detouring, protecting" (Todd, 2006) in which two of the parties in conflict join to assist or help another in the family who had been labeled as defenseless, sick, and helpless and is a pattern noted in families that are psychosomatic and in families that have children who are known to be psychotic.
Finally in what is referred to as a stable coalition a parent unites with a child or children in a union against the other parent and is generally noted when a "parent is the symptomatic member" (Todd, 2006) The most stressful coalition or alliance that the child copes with is the pattern labeled triangulation in which both parents prevent a "stable coalition with the other parent" (Todd, 2006) In triangulation the child is under the complete scrutiny of both parents with each parent seeking proof as to which side the child is on.
The goals in SFT therapy are first to focus on reduction of the symptoms of the dysfunction and do so through modification of the rules of transaction within the family and in staking out boundaries that are appropriate for interaction within the family thus rendering structural change and actual change as well. As stated by Todd (2006) the

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