Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Structural Family Systems Theory

"One of the central tenets of family systems theory is that the child, the identified patient, is serving an active role in holding the family together by helping the family avoid other problems."
In one study, when the behavior of disruptive boys improved, the families began to deteriorate in their general functioning.  This only occurred when only psychodynamic child therapy was used  to improve child behavior but did not occur when structural family therapy was used.
"Structural family systems therapy assumes that treating the whole family is important because it improves the symptoms and protects the family, whereas treating only the child may result in deteriorated family functioning."
"Structural family therapy (SFT) is well suited because of the match between this approach and the value orientations and interpersonal style of Latino families." 
"Underlying processes are seen as being primarily responsible for the symptoms.  SFT aims at symptom reduction.  SFT postulates that family interactions represent the intervening variable that needs to be modified in order to eliminate the symptom."
"Psychotherapy does not have the answers to poverty and other social problems."
"Therapeutic strategy focused on realignment of the structural relationships within the family. The therapeutic solution is in the modification of such structure - changes in positions of family members.  Hierarchical relations and coalitions are frequently in need of a redefinition." 
Szapocznik, J. (1989).  Structural family versus psychodynamic child therapy for problematic Hispanic boys.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57(5), 571-578. 

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