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Copy of Structural Family Therapy

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Tracy Larson

on 13 April 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Structural Family Therapy

The Structural Outloook Strengths Role of the Therapist Roleplay Key Concepts and Definitions Basic concepts common in family therapy: family rules, roles, coalitions, subsystems, boundaries, wholeness, organisation Structural Family Therapy Metaphorically become a part of the family
Maps the family's structure (roles, alliances, boundaries, subsystems
Intervenes to transform structure by helping the family to recognize its own strengths and redefine roles Watch the future pros in action •Families organise themselves into subsystems to carry out basic functions•
Subsystems can be based upon gender, generation, common interests, or function•
Each family member can be part of multiple subsystems•
‘Spousal Subsystem’ - key in maintaining family stability•
‘Parental Subsystem’ – function of raising children•
‘Sibling Subsystem’ – first experience of peer group Presented By Future Family Therapy Experts: main Parts Individual patterns are rooted in
the context of family patterns The therapist must take a driving
role in therapeutic process to
change structure or context
that the symptom is embedded in Change in family structure
must occur before symptoms
can be relieved Main Theses Divided into 3 Minuchin and followers propose that to determine the wellbeing of any individual family member’s wellbeing, the therapist must emphasise: The wholeness of the family system The influence of the family’s hierarchical organisation The interdependent functioning of its subsystems Underlying organisational structure and flexibility
in responding to change that determines
level of (dis) functionality Facilitation of organisational changes
in the dysfunctional family, with
individual changes, and symptom
reduction, naturally following on
from changes
to overall family structure “…is to be an instrument of change –
to actively engage the family as a whole, to introduce challenges that force adaptive changes, and to support and coach family members as they attempt to cope with the ensuing consequences…”
(Colapinto, cited in Goldberg 2013, p. 274) • Psychiatric background and psychoanalytic training
(like Bowen and Whitaker) - William Alanson White Institute
• Wiltwyck school – work with “delinquent adolescents”
• Developed brief, direct, concrete, action-oriented problem
solving interventions to bring about change through
restructuring the family; can see link to solution focused
• 1965, wanting to test his theories on a broader class sample
of families
• Philadelphia Child Guidance Centre; Braulio Montalvo and
Jay Haley; strong collaborative relationship
• From 1981 focus moved to teaching and training
•1981 -1986 Family Studies Inc. (now Minuchin Centre) consultation esp. for work with poor families Salvador Minuchin Primary role of therapist: Psychiatrist Jorge Colapinto,
Foster Care Project, Ackerman Institute •Social worker, Marianne Walters, Women’s Project Key Published Texts: Psychologist Marion Lindblad-Goldberg Social Worker Harry Aponte Charles Fishman Other Leading Figures Therapeutic Techniques Monitoring Family Dysfunctional Sets Restructuring Transactional Patterns Assessing Family Interactions Joining & Accommodating Attempts to 'disarm' family members who be suspicious or fearful of being challenged or blamed
The therapist shows respect for the family hierarchy by asking first for the parents observations - so the parents don't feel they are being blamed for the family problems
"As a therapist, Minuchin (1974) describes himself as acting like a distant relative, joining a family system and respectfully accommodating to its style
The therapist might tell personal experiences ("I have an uncle like that") or mimic family behaviours
The idea is to build trust as the therapist becomes part of the system Assessment overlaps with joining the family
Therapists ultimate concern in any family appraisal are the family's hierarchical organisation, the ability of the subsystems to carry out their function, the family's possible alignments and coalitions, the permeability of its current boundaries, and its pliability or ridgity in meeting the needs of individual members as circumstances command.
The purpose of early assessment is not to diagnose family weakness - but to develop a 'road map' for entering the family
Diagrams in graphic form can help map out relationship patterns. This is known as 'family mapping'
Family mapping can clearly show family boundaries, alliances, affiliation, coalitions and so on Monitor / help modify problematic
transaction patterns

• Boundary making
• Unbalancing
• Tracking
• Enactment Changes in:
• family rules and realignments
• patterns supporting undesirable
• sequence of interactions

• Intensity
• Stress
• Reframing
• Relabelling Andrea Ada
Caroline Brown
Thomas Connell
Harriet Denton
Darilyn Galanos
Riley Minns
Helen Sloneck The ‘wholeness’ of the family system (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013)Society and contextStrengths-based approachThe conceptualisation of Minuchin’s model (Simon, 1995) CRITIQUES Feminists Other Criticisms Social context accounted for, but not gender difference (McGoldrick, 1989)
Power and hierarchy-
Position of women and children Aggressive, confrontational,
non-collaborative with families
(Hammond & Nichols, 2008)
Directive and manipulative
Cultural bias
Potentially disempowering for families -Determining some family relationships as ‘pathological’
-Privileging one model of family functioning
-Emphasises the relational aspects of family dysfunction
-Ability to address violence and abuse Postmodernists References
Goldenberg, H. & Goldenberg, I. (2013). Family Therapy: Overview, 8th Ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cenage Learning.
Hammond, R., & Nichols, M. (2008). How collaborative is structural family therapy? Family Journal, 16(2). 118-124.
McGoldrick, M. (1 989). Women through the family Iife cycle. In M. McGoldrick, C. M. Anderson & F. Walsh (Eds.), Women in families: A framework for familv therapv (pp. 200-226). New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Simon, G. M. (1995). A revisionist rendering of structural family therapy, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 2(1). 17-26. NOW IT'S YOUR TURN TO PUT YOUR STRUCTURAL THINKING CAP ON!
•“A family’s structure is the covert set of functional demands or codes that organizes the way family members interact with one another” (Minuchin, 1974)
•Provides a framework for understanding how a family organizes itself to maintain stability
•Transactional patterns become structures
•Once established, structures are resistant to change Family Structure Family subsystems Family Dysfunction •“When a family runs into difficulty, one can assume that it is operating within a dysfunctional structure” (Rosenberg, 1983)•“A dysfunctional family by definition has failed to fulfill its purpose of nurturing the growth of its members” (Colapinto, 1991)•The rules for transactions have become inoperative or inappropriate and require renegotiation•Family stress can come from a range of sources/sauces Boundaries • Define subsystems within the family structure
• Need to be strong yet permeable
• Excessively rigid or inflexible boundaries lead to impermeable barriers between subsystems
• Disengaged – Large interpersonal distance, little support and family loyalty
• Diffuse boundaries are excessively blurred and indistinct, and thus easily intruded upon by other family members
• Enmeshment – family members are over concerned and overinvolved in each other’s lives 1965 at P.C.G.C., focus on family context in psychosomatic conditions in medical conditions like diabetes and anorexia
Role of family functioning in other diagnosable conditions like Minuchin et al research data: locus of pathology in context of family not the afflicted child
Common symptoms in psychosomatic families: enmeshment, subsystems poorly functioning, boundaries among members too diffuse
Symptoms emerge when stress overloads family dysfunctional coping system Psychosomatic Families
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