Structural Family Therapy Essay

1952 Words Apr 22nd, 2007 8 Pages
"The road is not the road; the road is how you walk it." – Juan Ramon Jimenez
Since not all changes affect all family members, and changes in one individual are not going to affect the rest of his or her family, it seems families can use whatever methods facilitate smooth functioning. Then, what is the definition of family and how family therapists help families when problems do arise? A family is an aggregate of individuals, and family therapists have inevitably been dealing with individuals within families. Thus, it is somewhat challenging for family therapists to deal with the family as it requires seeing people as individuals and as part of a whole. Structural family therapy views a family as an aggregate of individuals that works
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By focusing on the consistent, repetitive patterns of family behavior, therapists are interested in the emotional boundaries and coalitions, as they help them to understand the structure of family (Minuchin & Fishman, 1981).
The family becomes an important factor in the therapeutic process, as therapy stresses individuals in their social context. Dealing with the process of feedback between circumstances and the person becomes an important factor in structural family therapy since persons make changes in their circumstances and feedback to these changes is directly connected to the next step.
Structural family therapy does not interpret or explore the past, but rather, it modifies the present. Although it seems theory is not interested in the past, it believes that the individuals are connected to both past and present circumstances. Individuals' past and unique characteristics form their social context, and this context influences them. With memory, the individual can produce his past, and through his present circumstances, his past can be qualified or modified. Structural family therapy utilizes this framework of conceptualizing an individual within his or her circumstances (Minuchin, 1974).
Family usually brings the symptoms of one family member into therapy. In addition, it can be assumed that the identified patient's symptoms maintain the

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