goal of structural therapy
role of structural therapist
an interaction stimulated in structural family therapy in order to observe and then change transactions that make up family structure
leading figures in structural family therapy
Salvador Minuchin and Braulio Montalvo
3 different types of boundaries
rigid, defuse, and clear
a structural family therapy term for accepting and accommodating to families to win their confidence and circumvent resistance
the way a family is organized into subsystems whose interactions are regulated by interpersonal boundaries
smaller units in families, determined by generation, sex, or function
emotional and physical barriers that protect and enhance the integrity if individuals, subsystems, and families
elements of a system automatically adjust to coordinate their functioning; people may have to work at it
negotiating the boundaries between members of a relationship and between the relationship and the outside world
_____ families accommodate to changed circumstances; _____ families increase the rigidity of structures that are no longer working
(1) healthy; (2) dysfunctional
family functioning based one clear generational boundaries, where the parents maintain control and authority
an inappropriate alliance between a parent and child, who side together against a third member of the family
general steps of structural family therapy
(1) joining and accommodating, (2) enactment, (3) structural mapping, (4) highlighting and modifying interactions, (5) boundary making, (6) unbalancing, (7) challenging unproductive assumptions
Minuchin's term for changing maladaptive transactions by using strong affect, repeated intervention, or prolonged pressure
encouraging and reinforcing productive behavior rather than criticizing dysfunctional behavior
the reciprocity that is the defining feature of every relationship
A clear boundary enables children to interact with their parents but excludes them from the spouse subsystem and establishes a hierarchical structure in which parents exercise a position of leadership. Considered "normal"/healthy
Coalition, may be overt or covert. Cross-generational coalitions develop when one or both parents trying to enlist the support of the child against the other parent.
Detouring - a type of triangulation. Detouring occurs when parents, rather than directing anger or criticism toward each other, focus the negativity on the child and the parent-child conflict thus serves to distract from the tension in the marital subsystem; sometimes called scapegoating
In enmeshed families boundaries are diffuse and family members overreact and become intrusively involved with one another. Enmeshed parents create difficulties by hindering the development of more mature forms of behavior in their children and by interfering with their ability to solve their own problems.
Rigid boundaries are overly restrictive and permit little contact with outside subsystems, resulting in disengagement. Disengaged individuals or subsystems are independent but isolated. On the positive side, this fosters autonomy. On the other hand, disengagement limits affection and assistance.
Conflict between mother and father becomes a cross-generational coalition with the mother and child becoming enmeshed and excluding the father
An alternate but equally common pattern is for the parents to continue to argue through the children. Father says mother is too permissive; she says he’s too strict. He may withdraw, causing her to criticize his lack of concern, which in turn causes further withdrawal. The enmeshed mother responds to the child’s needs with excessive concern. The disengaged father tends not to respond even when a response is necessary. Both may be critical of the other’s way, but both perpetuate the other’s behavior with their own. The result is a cross-generational coalition between mother and child, which excludes the father.
Mother and father divorce and create a clear boundary separating the spouses but allow for contact with the children by father and mother. Mother remarries, and the family then readjusts to create functioning boundaries between the mother and children and the stepfather.
Failure to integrate the stepfather into the family leading to enmeshed boundaries between mother and children, and a rigid boundary between stepfather and the rest of the family.
Sometimes it’s hard for a mother and children to allow a stepfather to participate as an equal partner in the new parental subsystem. Mother and children have long since established transactional rules and learned to accommodate to each other. The new parent may be treated as an outsider who’s supposed to learn the “right” (accustomed) way of doing things, rather than as a new partner who will give as well as receive ideas about childrearing. The more mother and children insist on maintaining their familiar patterns without modifications required to absorb the stepfather, the more frustrated and angry he’ll become. The result may lead to child abuse or chronic arguing between the parents.
Enmeshed boundary between Mother and Johnny lead to Johnny becoming disengaged from his outside interests