Structural Family Therapy Techniques, Working, and Benefits

3 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Many families have arguments, and this is completely normal. But if the family has conflicts whenever members interact with each other, it signals that there’s a deeper issue that needs to be solved. It’s hard to admit this, though, especially when the parties involved don’t want to listen to one another. 

This is a situation where structural family therapy can help. But what is this type of therapy and what can it do? Keep on reading to find out more. 

Structural Family Therapy Working

During structural family therapy, the therapist will work to shift the family members’ interactions with each other. They will also try to bring communication improvements and help resolve conflict in the family. 

Structural family therapy working will be influenced by the interactions between people in the family. The therapist will spend some time assessing the structure of the family, then work with the family members to find issues and establish ways to have better interactions and avoid and resolve conflict. Open communication between family members will be encouraged. 

Sometimes, the new approach may involve developing new boundaries and roles, and even changing roles. It’s important to know that the therapist will not take sides during the therapy – their role is to stay neutral and simply act as someone who is there to give you the tools necessary for resolving family tensions. 

What Are the Benefits of Structural Family Therapy?

Structural family therapy is part of family system therapies. It was created by Salvador Minuchin in the early 1960s, and its goal is to help determine what makes a family dysfunctional, what each family member does wrong, and how to change the interactions between family members to improve communication and resolve conflict. 

Now, this type of therapy comes with a few benefits. For instance, it will:

  • Focus on the entire family as a unit
  • Find and establish healthy boundaries
  • Improve relationship dynamics
  • Aid family members to change their reactions for the better
  • Correct family imbalances
  • Decrease resentment and anger
  • Improve family system hierarchies
  • Improve communication
  • Raise parental satisfaction and competence

Structural Family Therapy Techniques

Various techniques are used during structural family therapy, including:

  • Redirecting

Redirecting is a technique that involves changing the focus of the conversation. This allows the family to avoid negative emotions or conflict. For instance, when the family is arguing about a certain member’s habits, the therapist might talk about interests or hobbies to change the subject and thus avoid more arguing. 

This technique helps talk about something more positive to avoid negative feelings.

  • Reframing

The reframing technique involves the therapist telling the family members to think about a certain situation and then reframe what they think about it. Simply put, it changes the way the family sees the problem, also shifting the way the members of the family deal with it.

  • Role-Playing

As the name suggests, this is a technique that involves playing different roles. Family members will get into different roles in order to understand the thought processes and points of view of their loved ones. 

  • Family Sculpting

During family sculpting, the therapist makes a sculpture of the family members. Each one will be represented by a particular color. Then, the therapist asks the family members to talk about the colors and their representations.

The goal of this therapy technique is to make people improve their communication and see each other in a new light.

The Bottom Line

Structural family therapy can do wonders when a family is dysfunctional. If your family is always dealing with conflict and members fail to understand each other, consider structural family therapy. It can help change family dynamics and make sure children grow up in a healthier environment.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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