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1Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy: A ComparisonNatalie PooleWalden UniversityNURS 6650, Psychotherapy with Groups and FamiliesDr. Josh HamiltonSeptember 17, 2018
2IntroductionFamily therapy is a type of psychotherapy that assists families in resolving conflict, and challenges through the use of improved communication (Nichols, 2014). This form of therapy seeks to problem-solve by looking closely at the interpersonal relationships within the family unit, nurturing change and development of improved functioning. This family unit can include members of a nuclear or extended family. Family therapy uses a wide range of counseling techniques and theoretical approaches to help members of a family reach optimal resolution and they are: (1) structural, (2) strategic, (3) systemic, and (4) narrative. The purpose of this paper is to examine, review and compare key elements of structural and strategic therapy with the goal ofgaining a better understanding of their strengths, and weaknesses. Additionally, this paper will provide a structural map of a family counseled during a practicum experience, providing a specific recommendation of the type of therapy that would prove most beneficial. Structural Family TherapyStructural family therapy (SFT) was founded by Salvador Minuchin who proposed that the cause of dysfunction within a family lies not in an individual but within the entire family unit(Minuchin & Fishman, 2004). This model since its inception, strives to understand the unspokenand individual rules of the family including its subsets and poor functioning. Structural family therapy draws from the systemic model and seeks to address family challenges by charting relationships between family members and their subsets, recognizing “man is not an isolate” (Minuchin, 2004). Attention to these charts reveal the dynamics of the family where greater focus is given to the structure of the family. In this form of therapy the therapist works to “join” the family by providing feedback that fosters and facilitates a family system restructure that is
3therapeutic, and sustainable. This form of therapy tends to be gradual in nature embedded by interventions that reveal dysfunction/root cause through introspection that motivates change.

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