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Family Therapy ch6
Structural Family Therapy ch6

Additional Psychology Flashcards




Ch6 The Organization of Family Life p122
  • structural family therapy framework: brings order and meaning to families interactions
  • emotional boundaries and coalitions of family structure are abstractions
  • family clrs look beyond the specific problems to the family's attempts to solve it
  • structural family therapy recognize the overall organization that regulates those interactions
  • ex one parent enmeshed with child, the other the angry outsider; they wont be able to disciple their child until they first mend their relationship with each other
  • family are organized into subsystems and have varied interpersonal boundaries
  • insight refers to the clr regulating the contact family members have with each other
  • enactment technique use to therapy - in which family members are directed to speak to each other in session, permiting the clr to observe and modify the interactions
  • Salvador Minuchin's structural theory
Ch6 Theoretical Formulations p124-126
  • structural family theory has 3 constructs which define the structural theory: family structure, subsystems, interpersonal boundaries
  • family structure - the way family is organized into subsystems whose interactions are regulated by interpersonal boundaries; you must look beyond the interactions to the organizational framewk within which they (interactions) occur; keep in mind what goes on in one part of the family affects the whole family system
  • family transactions are repeated over time and foster expectations and establish enduring patterns (rules)-they are set, roles are assigned and things take on the same/predictable patterns daily; these expectations (patterns) now established rules reinforces the family structure.
  • ex. rule family looks out for each other-they wake ea other up, lie for each other, defend ea other against others-these are isomorphic sequences qone acts the same and behave the same - structured
  • family structure has hieracrchial levels adults vs children and reciprocal/complementary functions
  • structural fam clr can observe the family structure, subsystems, interactions, transactions, hierarchial structure, who has the power, family sequences in the sessions.
  • families are differentiated into subsystems demarcated by interpersonal boundaries- these subsytems are based on gender, generation, function.
  • these interpersonal boundaries vary from rigid to diffuse-rigid boundaries are restrictive and permit very little contact between subsystems/hierarchial structure as well; clear boundaries when each subsystems know their place hierarchial structure is intact; diffuses boundaries are when subsystems are too involved with each other enmeshed or isomorphically set by family rules.
  • rigid boundaries lead to disengagement; disengaged subsystems are isolated and independent; they foster autonomy; they limit affection and support-these families must come under extreme stress befor seeking outside assistance-a member is ill no one notices until it becomes very severe then action is taken
  • diffuse subsystems result in enmeshment; enmeshed subsystems offer closeness/overinvolement; little independence between parents and children, hierarchial structure is diffused-all are on the same level, no distinction between parents and children; cripples subsystems initiatives
Ch6 Development of Behavior disorders p127-129
  • external pressures leads to family modifications which could be accommodating for healthy families, diffuse or rigid for other dysfunctional families.
  • healthy families accommodate to changing circumstances;
  • disengaged (dysfunctional) families boundaries are rigid wont notice the ailing child until his illness has advanced, then they reach out for help;
  • enmeshed (dysfunctional ) families are too involved; parent won't allow their children to work out their differences which leads to underdeveloped children who do not have the ability to solve their own problems
  • problems viewed by clrs: when parents are unable to resolve their personal conflicts, they divert to their children;
  • some parents may argue thru their children - cross generational coalition perpetuating their own behaviors: ex. mother constantly criticized husband becomes overinvolved in children even speak thru them which pushes the husband away even further into the arms of another woman;
  • scapegoating: detours the conflict unto the child; symptoms of the identified family member affects the entire family's relationship: ex. child w/ADHD hyperactive draws mother attention, disrupts spouse subsystems and other siblings
Ch6 Structural Family: Goals of Therapy p129-30
  • structural clrs believe that problems are maintained by dysfunctional family organization; the therapy is focused on changing the family structure so they can solve their own problems
  • clrs believe the structural problems are viewed as a failure to adjust or accommodate to changing circumstances
  • clrs- their goal is to active latent adaptive patterns (lay dormant in unconscious) that family already possesses ex. re-establish the structural hierarchy
  • another goal of structural clrs to assist family in establishing the executive subsystems where older siblings are recruited to assist with younger children
  • with enmeshed families, structural clrs wish to differentiate the individuals and subsystems by strengthening the boundaries around them
  • with disengaged families-the goal is to increase contact-too rigid-by making boundaries more permeable.
Ch6 Structural Family: Condition of Behavior Change
  • structural therapy changes behavior by introducing alternative interactional patterns  that can modify the family structure-activating dormant ones
  • empathic technique used is joining the family; probing for flexibility then activating latent structural (patterns)alternatives; joining gets clr into the family, accommodating orient him to their style giving him leverage and restructuring manuevers transform family structure
  • structural clr then uses enactments to observe patterns qthing including spontaneous behavioral sequences
Ch6 Structural Family-Therapy Assessment p131-32
  • assessment: joining a family to build alliance and use of enactments; structural assessment extends beyond the presenting problem: ex child is troubled (presenting problem) clr notice connection to father and both parent are fighting (beyond)
  • structural clr believe focus on problem and the family's response to it, reveals other structural issues-structural clrs would explore the parents relationship - talk to them about their own childhood and how their past is shaping the way they react to the current situations (latent material)
  • steps to therapy:
  • 1. ask questions about the presenting problem until family members realize that the problem goes beyond the symptom bearer (child) but includes the family
  • 2. help family members see how their interactions maybe perpetuating the presenting problem
  • 3. a brief exploration of their past childhood experiences and how the adult came to develop their perspectives on parenting that influences their interactions
  • 4. explore options the family members might take to interact in more productive ways-to create a shift in the family structure and help resolved the presenting problem
Ch6 Structural Family - Techniques p132-38
  • structural mapping-one techinque used by Structural clrs-first session preliminary assessments made, family induct clr, takes into account the problem and family dynamics, clr plays an active role; clr tries to put fires out
  • highlighting/modifying interactions second technique - clr begins to see problem transactions and focuses on the process, he initiates enactment; he modifies noted maladjusted pattern by forceful intervention; intensity-clr achieve intensity by selective regulating affect, repetition, duration; intensity interrupts destructive coalitions. clr also employs empathy and shaping competence-alter the direction of flow by reinforcing the positives/strengths of the family
  • boundary making - design to strengthen interpersonal boundaries; family members are encouraged to speak for themselves, interruptions arecblocked, dyad help to finish conversations w/out intrusion -enmeshed family. disengaged families -clr challenges conflict avoidance and block the detouring in order to help them break down the walls between them. clrs shift family discussions in circular perspectives by stressing complementarity-help each other to change
  • unbalancing- clr aim to realign relationships between subsystems-this is boundary making; unbalancing goal is to change the relationship within the subsystem-clr support and join one family member or subsystem. ex. he may side with parent then with children to accomplish homeostasis
  • challenging unproductive assumptions-clrs challenge family on the way they see things. changing they way they view their situations enables them to change the way they interact with each other. cl act as teachers offering info/advice about structural matters observed-restructuring maneuver and must minimize resistance; effectively challenging the family describe what they are doing and their actions eventual consequences
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