Essay on Structural Approach to Family Counseling

3687 Words Sep 29th, 2013 15 Pages
Structural Approach to Family Counseling
Beverly Manning
COUN 601 – Marriage and Family Counseling I
Liberty University
July 5, 2013

ABST RACT Families are always growing and changing. They are considered living systems made up of many components. If families can’t adjust to change, the capability of the family and its individual members can be compromised. Structural family therapy (SFT) is a therapeutic approach that identifies that families have a lot of strengths. SFT tries to push families past dysfunctional patterns of interaction. This report details the application of the structural family therapy model, and I will specify my own therapeutic technique and explain how I would include faith into my
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SFT draws from the systemic model which emerged in the 1960s and 1970s (Minuchin & Fishman 1981). The new model included simple ideas that were effortlessly transferred to the therapy setting (Minuchin & Fishman 1981). According to Minuchin and Fishman (1981), the main features are its prominence on structural change as the focal point of therapy, which acquires dominance over the details of individual change, and the interest given to the therapist as an important part in the process of restructuring the family. STF is still looked as the most commonly used approaches for family therapy (Wetchler 2003). STF spotlights the person within the family system, instead of on the individual (McGoldrick & Carter 2001). One of the main points of this approach is that in order to better understand an individual's symptoms that are best examined in the context of family interactional patterns (Griffin & Greene 1999). According to Griffin and Greene (1999), this concept shows the change that occurred in family therapy during the 1980s. The idea was different from the traditional model which centered upon individual pathologies. Structural family therapy recognizes that "man is not an isolate" (Minuchin, 1974, p. 2). Every member is affected by the other member in this family system. This ideal embraces the bigger picture of a larger society as well. According to Minuchin (1974), as people interact with their environment, they begin to