Urbanization is exponentially growing in the world while rural living is decreasing; over half the world's population lives in a urban areas (MeyerLindenberg, 2015). Urban being defined as an constantly builtup area with 50,000 or more residents with at least 1,000 residents per square miles as defined by the United States Census. Urbanized living is accompanied by many risk factors that are common to the development of mental health issues and disorders (Carol Strike, Paula Goering, & Donald Waylenki, 2002). Poverty, homelessness, gangs, inadequate housing and exposure to violence are some of the many risk factors involved in living in the inner city or urban area. (Adli, 2011). While these risk factors are prevalent in urban area so is the rate of single mother households. One in four children are being raised without a father and this number only increases in inner cities. (Dawn, 2015). This suggest councilors need to be aware of the heightened trials single mothers in urban cities encounter and what methods of counseling could potentially be the most beneficial. Structural therapy model can be applied to looking at these risk factors when dealing with single mothers and may be a beneficial therapy to manipulate while working with such a population.
Structural Family Therapy
“The trajectory of assessment in structural family therapy moves from linear perspective, in which problems are located in the identified patient, to an interactional perspective, in which problems are seen as involving other members of the family” Nichols and Tafuri (2013) stated to describe Structural Family Therapy (pg 207). Structural Family Therapy is based upon systems and identifies structural change as the primary goal of therapy (Colapinto, 1982, p. 1). Structural family therapy is one of the most widely used and taught forms of family therapy, and it has a well developed body of research on effectiveness (Figley and Nelson, 1990; Aponte, 1992, Henry, 1983). In structural family theory the patients problems is the poor state of the system they are involved in. Either there is too much or too little space. An example of this would be in a family system their needs to be more space between a parent and a child or less space for the system to improve. The therapist is directly involved in trying to restructure a system to create boundaries that support one another. Before a therapist tries to change the system they must listen and observe the family to truly understand its structure (Minuchin, 1974). A therapist or counselor may ask individuals to change practices or normal routines to see of changes occur and then reevaluate the family structure (Simon, 1995).
History of Structural Family Therapy
Structural Family Therapy matured at
Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic and was first
written about in
Families of the slums
(Minuchin, Montalvo, Guerney, Rosman, & Schumer,
Its founder being Salvador Minuchin along with his fellow researchers (Colapinto, 1982).
Munich having an interesting history that includes being in the Israeli army was originally studying “i
ntrapsychic world of the delinquent adolescent” as stated by Colapinto but during this time Minuchin and his colleagues we
re drawn to research patterns of the family. Little did Minuchin know that one day his structural model of therapy would become the most influential approach to family therapy in the world (Nichols & Schwartz, 2004 pg 177). There is n o pinpoint
of when Minuchin founded Structural Family Therapy but rather a length of time it grew throughout Minuchin's career with the help of many colleges.
Structural Family Therapy approach has been explored with multiple different clinical populations and proven the relevance of the family therapy perspective (Minuchin, Roseman, & ...
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