Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy Essay

Posted: January 17th, 2023

Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy Essay

Structural Family therapy and Strategic family therapy Refer to Gerlach (2015) for guidance on creating a structural family map. The Assignment In a 3-page paper, address the following: • Summarize the key points of both structural family therapy and strategic family therapy. • Compare structural family therapy to strategic family therapy, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each. • Provide an example of a family in your practicum using a structural family map. Note: Be sure to maintain HIPAA regulations. • Recommend a specific therapy for the family, and justify your choice using the Learning Resources. Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy Essay

Key Points of Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy

Salvador Minuchin founded the structural family therapy by proposing that, dysfunctional causes within families lie within an entire family unit rather than an individual (Wetchler & Durtschi, 2014).  The structural family therapy model, therefore, aims at understanding the silent rules that exist within families and dysfunctional patterns. It, therefore, draws frameworks from systemic models and the relationships that exist between family members (Robbins, 2011).  It is a gradual form of therapy that is embedded by interventions which reveal the root causes via introspection to inspire change.

Strategic Family Therapy was founded by Milton Erickson with the major purpose of achieving change within the shortest period through a psychological review of the issues that people within a family unit face at the individual level. It is considered to be a more caring and practical model that observes the internal and external environment of a therapy setting for efficiency (Horigian, Anderson & Szapocznik, 2016). T The complexity of the model inspires congruency within a family unit by providing alternative options which certainly improve individual strengths and inspire change in case of difficulties. Therefore, it needs a collaborative approach among family members.Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy Essay

Comparison of Structural Family Therapy To Strategic Family Therapy

Structural family therapy based on the argument that, by changing the structures of a family that is dysfunctional, challenges are adequately addressed to lead to cohesion and a well-rebalanced family network. In comparison, strategic family therapy focuses on hierarchy, processes, and patterns within the family unit (Wetchler & Durtschi, 2014).   It tends to modify individual interactions in an attempt to address dysfunctions with the ultimate goal of changing the structure of a family. Structural and Strategic family therapy have a similar goal of changing family units through the modification of behavior, disrupting hierarchical patterns and enhancing communication. Both forms of family therapy aimed at changing interpersonal relations within family members for good and successful family outcomes. The major difference between structural and strategic family therapy is the interventions used to influence positive family change and the way change within the family is approached (Wetchler & Durtschi, 2014). While strategic family therapy asserts that changes and modifications in the structure of a family take place naturally, structural family therapy focuses on the change of a family structure  by changing dysfunctional relational communications (Szapocznik et al., 2015).


Strengths and Weaknesses

A major strength of strategic and structural family therapy is that they both consider the influence that internal and external networks have through the processes of assessment, interpretation, evaluation, and modification that contribute to dysfunctions within a family unit. Therefore, they can adequately provide sustainable solutions to conflicts within family systems (Williams, 2016).  The structural family theory is simple, direct and concrete, making it easier to use due to its ability and versatility. However, it primarily bases on adolescents and children with minimal evidence on its effectiveness among adults. It also does not look at power and gender within the family unit. As an action-focused therapy, its theoretical basis is weak and eliminates issues such as abuse and trauma from the past which usually contributes to maladaptation’s within the family in the present(Williams,2016). The therapist is also the one who controls the entire process thus disempowers individuals and the family in change.Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy Essay

Both models spend a lot of time on interpersonal relationships but rarely address issues with emotions and personality and the impact that this would have on the family network. On the other hand, strategic family therapy is a perfect model that addresses the fear of change in an individual. It is however not appropriate and has a basis which is much weaker for individuals with cognitive dysfunctions and Axis II personality disorders (Szapocznik, et al., 2015).

Structural Family Map with A Recommended Therapy

In this assignment, the family map includes the members of Brian’s family: Ms. Brian, a divorced mother aged 40years and her two children. Her daughter Sherry is 15 years old and her son Brandon is 9 years old. In the past 5 years, Ms. Brain has lived in Texas after fleeing an abusive marriage in Georgia. The severity of the abuse contributed to the involvement of the police and having a restraining order which prohibited contact with the children or mother.Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy Essay

After a thorough review of strategic and structural family therapy, it is highly recommended that structural family therapy is used since both the mother and children were struggling with the change in a new environment, a new structure within the family and adjustment to divorce. To further determine alternative solutions and resolutions to eliminating maladaptive behaviors, it will be necessary to further explore some subsystems. It should be noted that interpersonal relations which exist between a child and a mother are guarded and strained making structural family the most ideal to apply in this case.Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy Essay

Strong relationship

Minimal Connections


Strong Connection


Robbins, M.S. (2011). Brief strategic family therapy versus treatment as usual: Results of a multisite randomized trial for substance-using adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(6), 713-727

Horigian, V.E., Anderson, A. R., & Szapocznik, J. (2016). Taking Brief Strategic Family Therapy from Bench to Trench: Evidence Generation across Translational Phases. Family Processes, 55(3), 529-542.

Williams, A. E. (2016). The Viability of Structural Family Therapy in the Twenty-first Century: An Analysis of Key Indicators. Contemporary Family Therapy, 38(3), 225-2261

Wetchler, J. L., & Durtschi, J. A. (2014). Structural family therapy. An introduction to marriage and family therapy (pp. 139-174). Routledge.

Szapocznik, J., Muir, J. A., Duff, J. H., Schwartz, S. J., & Brown, C. H. (2015). Brief strategic family therapy: Implementing evidence-based models in community settings. Psychotherapy Research25(1), 121-133. Structural Family Therapy and Strategic Family Therapy Essay

Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
Live Chat+1 (631)333-0101EmailWhatsApp