Structural family therapy SFT is a method of psychotherapy developed by Salvador Minuchin which addresses problems in functioning within a family. Structural family therapists strive to enter, or "join", the family system in therapy in order to understand the invisible rules which govern its functioning, map the relationships between family members or between subsets of the family, and ultimately disrupt dysfunctional relationships within the family, causing it to stabilize into healthier patterns. SFT utilizes, not only a special systems terminology, but also a means of depicting key family parameters diagrammatically. Its focus is on the structure of the family, including its various substructures. In this regard, Minuchin is a follower of systems and communication theory , since his structures are defined by transactions among interrelated systems within the family.
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He studied child psychiatry in the United States. He returned to Israel to treat Holocaust orphans and children displaced by wars, then came back to New York to train in psychoanalysis at the William Alanson White Institute. He went on to work as a child psychiatrist at the Wiltwyck School for delinquent boys in the Hudson Valley, where he developed his theory of structural family therapy.
In the mids, he was the director of psychiatry at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, director of the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic, and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He retired as the clinic's director in and served as director emeritus and head of training until He retired in He died from heart disease on October 30, at the age of Charles Fishman, M.
Fishman maintains private practice in both Princeton and Philadelphia. Family Therapy Techniques. The authors cover the skills needed to become an effective agent of change. Understanding the family, joining the family, and planning treatment are basic moves explained.
More specific techniques include enacting the problem, refraining it, and intensifying it to the point of crisis. Still other tactics that every therapist must master are changing boundaries between family members, upsetting the balance of relationships, and reinforcing areas of harmony.
Finally, the authors show how to construct alternate realities for the family, use paradoxical interventions, and emphasize strengths. Beyond Technique. Case Index. General Index. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality New York: Doubleday, , for a discussion of everyday thought and the role of experts in articulating specialized thought.
Structural family therapy
Family Therapy Techniques