Structural Family Therapy
31, May 2014
This research paper discusses Structural Family Therapy in relation to its development, tenets, application, and comparison to other methods. It was established that Minuchin was at the forefront of developing the approach due to the realization that human problems cannot be solved individualistically. Instead, they should be solved in the context of family structure since it affects behavior profoundly. Some of the critical tenets of SFT included the family and the presentation of the problems as an issue of the system rather than the affected party. In regard to the process of application, it was noted that a family does not need to meet given requirement in order to enable the application of SFT.
Identification and Overview of the Approach
Development of Structural Approach
Components of SFT
Process of Therapeutic Change
Application of the Approach during Family Therapy
Similarities, Differences and New Lessons Learnt
Identification and Overview of the Approach
Structural Family Therapy (SFT) is found as a model of family treatment that is based on systematic theories conceived by Salvador Minuchin with the help of other psychologists at the Child Guidance Clinic of Philadelphia (Carr, 2000). In essence, the approach is found on the premises that effective therapy is fostered by the change of structure within the family setting. It stipulates that the treatment process must focus on the details of personal change so that individuals restructure to attain a healthy pattern of relations. It seeks to address the afflictions experienced in the functioning of the family by helping the members to understand the informally stipulated rules that govern its relationships and roles. This implies that the essence of family therapy does not rest on the individual prospects, but the ideologies of the family system in entirety. One of the most crucial aspects of SFT is the fact that therapist, in their attempt to bring positive change, integrate with the family, become temporal members, and start learning the ways of the system in order to transform it (Dallos & Draper, 2010). Development of Structural Approach
In essence, the conception of SFT was necessitated by the need to provide a way of treating family problems based on the system rather than using individualistic approaches. The history of this approach dates back to 1960 when the Minuchin conducted therapy in one of the schools in New York known as Wiltwyck (Dattilio & Jongsma, 2010). Whereas the conception of this approach cannot be necessarily situated at that point, its development is attributed strongly to the Minuchin’s effort to establish it in this school. In other words, his application of the approach in Wiltwyck School is considered as a critical undertaking that catalyzed the entire development of SFT. In this regard, the boys from Wiltwyck School originated from disorganized families that had multiple problems occasioned by poverty. The psychologist noted that the society relied on psychotherapeutic methods that required verbal articulations and targeted the middle class. As a result, the techniques resulted to very negligible transformational impacts on the students. In fact, it was discovered that most of the students lost the insight once they returned home (Doherty & McDaniel, 2010). Consequently, it called for psychologists to develop alternative approaches for the counseling. Minuchin started developing the method by seeking to change transform families into therapeutic entities. The focus shifted from the individualistic perspective to the use of techniques that manipulate family structures when solving delinquency problems (Gehart, 2012). Having focused on the problem as a family matter, Minuchin developed techniques that were suitable for the diagnosis of poor socioeconomic families in the...
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