Family Therapy Models
Family Therapy Models
Family therapy models of psychotherapy can be divided into three classifications—ahistorical, historical, and experiential (Griffin & Greene, 1998, p. 3). The ahistorical classification includes structural family therapy, strategic family therapy, behavioral family therapy, psychoeducational family therapy, and communication models (Griffin & Greene, 1998, p. 3). The historical classification includes object relations theory and Bowen systems theory (Griffin & Greene, 1998, p. 3). The experiential classification contains only one model—the experiential family therapy model (Griffin & Greene, 1998, p. 3). While the historical models focus on changing the family’s patterns of interaction as a means of removing the presenting problems, the historical models are rooted in psychoanalysis, with a longer therapy intervention in which the therapist is less involved than in the other classifications (Griffin & Greene, 1998, p. 3). Experiential models, on the other hand, are more concerned with the patient’s growth, a process of both experiencing and monitoring internal problems, and the patient’s self-identity development within the family context (Griffin & Greene, 1998, p. 3). The history of the models and the therapist’s role in each differs, so given the size limitations of this paper, a separate history on each is not feasible. Each theory has its own major contributors. Among the ahistorical models, structural family theory, for example, was influenced by Gregory Bateson, who focused on verbal and nonverbal communication; the Palo Alto Team, which developed the concept of “family homeostasis;” and Salvador Minuchin, who saw families as functioning to socialize children and facilitate the mutual support of married couples, suffering problems when boundaries were either too porous or too rigid (Werner-Wilson, n.d., pp. 2-4). Of the historical...
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