Sunday, August 30, 2015

Structural Family Therapy

Normal Family Development

o A normal family has the structure to deal with their problems.
o This is accomplished with accommodation and boundary making.


Development of Behavior Disorders

o In the face of external pressures and developmental transitions, less adaptive families increase the rigidity of structures that are no longer functional.
- Disengaged families or subsystems

o Boundaries are rigid and the family fails to mobilize support when its needed
- Enmeshed families or subsystems

o Boundaries are diffuse and family members become dependent on one another
- Cross-generational Coalition

o An inappropriate alliance between parent and child, who side together against a third member of the family


Goals of Therapy

o Structural treatment is designed to alter the organization of the family so that its members can better deal with their own problems

o The therapy goal is structural change; problem solving is a byproduct.

o The family is changed by the therapist joining the family, probing for areas of flexibility, and then activating dormant structural alternatives.
- Joining gets the therapist into the family
- accommodating to their style gives the therapist leverage
- Restructuring maneuvers transformations in the family structure.

o The first task is to understand the family's view of the problem.

o Then the therapist reframes these formulations into one based on an understanding of family structure.

o The therapist works with the structure that they see, not what the family members describe.