Clinical Practice Journal: Applying Structural family therapy

Submit a clinical practice journal entry between 400 and 600 words in length. Informal Writing Assignment, no reference required! Please make sure to stay within the word count as I will be taken off points if it goes over.

In SFT, Structural mapping is used to diagram organizational problems in families. Consider the following case examples below. Choose ONE to write about, and complete the following: *(1) diagram the familys current structure; *(2) diagram the ideal family structure at the termination of successful therapy; and *(3) give the rationale and structural therapy techniques one would use to accomplish the goals.


1. Scapegoating. Brian (he/him) and Susie (she/her) are unable to resolve conflicts with each other. They divert their focus of concern onto their child; instead of worrying about each other, they worry about the child. This reduces the strain on Brian and Susie; however, it victimizes the child and is therefore dysfunctional.

2. Cross-generational coalition. Amy (she/they) and Tan (they/them) have been married for 10 years. They are unable to resolve their conflicts, so they continue to argue through the children. Tan says Amy is too permissive; Amy says Tan is too strict. Tan withdraws, Amy criticizes, and Tan withdraws further. An enmeshed relationship is perpetuated between Amy and their child, whereby Amy responds to the childs needs with excessive concern and devotion. Tan remains disengaged, not responding even when a response is necessary. Both Tan and Amy are critical of each others ways, but both perpetuate the others behavior with their own.

3. Failure to accept a stepparent. When divorced or widowed spouses remarry, structural readjustment must occur, or the stepfamily will experience transitional conflicts. One such conflict occurs when a mother remarries. A mother and her new husband fail to establish a clear boundary separating the couple from her children. In addition, mother and children fail to allow stepfather to participate as an equal partner in the new parental subsystem. Mother and children insist on maintaining their familiar patterns, without adjusting to the modifications required to absorb the stepfather. He becomes frustrated and angry, resulting in chronic arguing between the parents and abuse of the children.

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