Marriage and Counseling

Topics: Family therapy, Family, Salvador Minuchin Pages: 6 (1820 words) Published: December 3, 2013

Research Paper

Research Paper for Marriage Family and Counseling

Jordan Reid Golson

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

COU/SWK 4413.70


The structural family therapist goes about helping the entire family instead of singling out the specific person with the issues. When families have good relationships with each other it is mainly when each family member has their specified role and fulfills that role to its entirety. This type of psychotherapy was created by a researcher name Salvador Minuchin, from New York. The primary strategy of this therapy is to develop a bond between the family members that are having problems within their family. The therapist's goal in this theory is to develop a bond with every member of the family so he or she can figure what the problem is and how to solve it. The structural family theory also brings in a biblical perspective to psychology. This therapy will help shed a new light on how God planned families to be and what roles he wanted each of them to have.


Every person in the world has a family. Some people may be closer to theirs than others but that does not negate the fact that they have a family. With that being said, each family has a different way of functioning. The majority of families raise children and they grow up to be fair adult citizens. Although the majority of families raise their children with no problems, there are still those that have their share of misconceptions. The structural theory specializes in individuality. It examines each person of the family with their own characteristics and aspirations, while being apart of their entire family. The basic concept to structural therapy looks at rules of a family, roles of each individual, wholeness and organization. ( Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013). A therapist analyzing this data thinks that a person can either function or not function. Functional families make changes and shifts as the members of the unit develop and go through different developmental stages (Becerra., & Michale., 2012). A dysfunctional family is not open to change and seeks to keep the members of the unit stuck in the way things always have been and does not foster growth within the individuals members of the family. (Becerra., & Michale., 2012).


The relationship individuals have with their families is a source of mental stability for each individual. (Becerra., & Michale., 2012). This theory thinks that when families talk to each other through speaking and non-verbal communication it is passed down through the generations of their family. Aside from those dysfunctions, structural therapist's looks at the way families form family triangles, coalition, and family belief systems ( Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013). Structural theory believes that every member of the family have a different role to play as it related to the workings of their family. Healthy families are not families that have no conflict, rather healthy families are able to see the conflict and handle it in an appropriate manner (Harway., Kadin., Gottlieb., Nutt., & Celano,. 2012). Everyones family has their own element of growth and sometimes this causes problems within the family. While going through these growing pains it causes the family members to not be able to adapt to things without their dysfunctional family.

Development of The Theory

Research was conducted and clinical data was collected on different family systems to understand the patterns of psychosomatic families. Research was conducted at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center, where Salvador Minuchin was the director of the center (Goldenberg, & Goldenberg, 2013).A vast majority of these families came from normal homes with each of them having problems within their family. A psychosomatic family is when the child or children in the family develop severe psychosomatic problems as a result of...

Bibliography: Becerra, M., & Michale, M. (2012). Applying structural family therapy with a
American family with children with disabilities
Crabb, L (1977). Effective Biblical counseling: A model for helping caring Christians become
capable counselors
Goldenberg, H. & Goldenberg, I. (2013). Family therapy: An overview (8th ed.). Belmont, CA:
Hammond, R., & Nichols, M. (2008). How collaborative is structural family therapy? The
Family Journal, 16(2), 118-124
Harway, M., Kadin, S., Gottlieb, M., Nutt, R., & Celano, M. (2012). Family psychology and
systemic approaches: Working effectively in a variety of contexts
McLendon, D., McLendon, T., & Petr, C. (2005). Family-directed structural therapy. Journal
of Marital and Family Therapy, 31(4), 327-339
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