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Structural Family Therapy: A Case Presentation Elaine Shpungin, Ph.D. Director, Psychological Services Center [email protected] PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Structural Family Therapy: A Case Presentation Elaine Shpungin, Ph.D. Director, Psychological Services Center [email protected] The Family Systems Perspective. Individuals understood in context of family

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Structural Family Therapy: A Case Presentation Elaine Shpungin, Ph.D. Director, Psychological Services Center [email protected]

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Structural Family Therapy: A Case PresentationElaine Shpungin, Ph.D.Director, Psychological Services [email protected]


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The Family Systems Perspective

  • Individuals understood in context of family

  • Family seen as living organism; individuals play roles in overall functioning of organism

  • Individual symptoms seen as manifestation of difficulty/dysfunction within family

  • Individual symptoms may serve “useful” function within family

Example?


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Structural Family Therapy

Salvador Minuchin


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Step 1: Structural Assessment

  • Boundaries – how close are family members? how flexible are the rules?

  • Subsystems – what are the dynamics between family “clusters”? who aligns with whom? who gets left out?

  • Roles – what repetitive patterns do family members play out with each other? who has what “job” in family? are roles appropriate among members and/or clusters?


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Step 2: Intervention

Goal: Re-alignfamily boundaries and roles to be more adaptive for all family members


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Step 2: Intervention

Goal: To re-align family boundaries and roles to be more adaptable for whole family

Sample Techniques:

  • Enacting patterns within session (exercises; seating arrangements; organically)

  • Creating new communication channels (“Tell her, not me.”) (“Interpreting” for family members)

  • Creating disequilibrium; escalating stress

  • Assigning new roles

  • Establishing new boundaries

  • Providing support, education, guidance, hope


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Garcia Family: A Case Example

Mrs. Garcia

(European

-American)

Mr. Garcia

(1st gen

Latino)

Spousal discord

Spousal discord

Emotional adjust.

Sylvia (12)

(Latina)

Adopted

at birth

Jeremy (16)

(American-born)

Disobedience

Physical aggression

Disrespect

“Bad attitude” (towards mom)

Alex (6)

(Russian)

Adopted 1 yr ago

Sergei (5)

(Russian)

Adopted 1 yr ago

Behavior probs

Emotional adjustment

Katya (15)

(Russian)

Adopted

1 mo ago

Olga (7)

(Russian)

Adopted

1 mo ago

Emotional adjustment Language difficulty


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Thank You

Elaine Shpungin

[email protected]


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Structural Family Therapy(Salvador Minuchin)

  • Family Structure = invisible set of rules governing family transactions (family members’ behaviors towards each other)

  • Family Subsystems (e.g., parents) have appropriate functions and tasks

  • Family transactions and subsystems are governed by boundaries (e.g., closeness of members, flexibility of rules)

  • Therapist’s role: Re-align structure of family – i.e., change interaction patterns between family members and family subsytems to be more functional


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