Short Paper #2-Families
Structural family therapy views a family as an aggregate of individuals that works in a system as a united whole. It presents a framework to help families modify their family structure or the underlying organization of family life. In structural family therapy, each individual becomes a subunit of his or her family also described as an ecosystem which was explained by Schriver. In an attempts to meet the Daniels family where they are currently at, it appears they are currently in the Separation stage of the Family Life Cycle for Divorcing Families. The first step of this stage is mourning the loss of the intact family. This step is hindered by the multiple agencies involved with each having different agendas.
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The second step of the separation stage is the restructuring marital and parent-child relationships and finances; adaption to living apart. This step is facilitated by Mrs. Daniels setting limits on how much interference she would take from her mother and her husband about her care of her sister and daughter. After the sessions, she had a positive outlook and was energetic about Nadine and Shirley not living in her home. Mrs. Daniels stated she is working and was able to set boundaries around her supervision of the children and assumed control of her life. This was demonstrated by acknowledging she can’t force her sister or daughter to live with her and also acknowledging she can’t satisfy everybody’s needs. This step is hindered by Howard’s scrutiny of Mrs. Daniels as well as his unwillingness to work as a team with Mrs. Daniels. This is demonstrated by Mr. Daniels choosing to stay with his biological daughter rather than participate in the counseling sessions as a united family. The last step of this stage is the realignment of relationships with extended family; staying connected with spouse’s extended family. This step is facilitated by the consultant shifting the focus from Shirley and Nadine to creating a connection between Mrs. Daniels and the girls by talking about the love between them. The consultant helped make the connection that the girls’ and Mrs. Daniels were more similar than not and were