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STRUCTURAL FAMILY THEORY David Potts
Origins and Social Context <ul><li>Salvador Minuchin </li></ul><ul><li>Pediatric physician from Argentina </li></ul><ul><l...
Origins and Social Context <ul><li>In common with cognitive and behavioral theories </li></ul><ul><li>Complimentary to Fam...
Major Concepts <ul><li>Subsystems </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Rul...
The Nature of  Problems And Change <ul><li>Power Imbalances </li></ul><ul><li>Subsystem Boundaries too rigid or too diffus...
Assessment And Interventions <ul><li>Social Worker / Client Relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>In...
Assessment and Interventions (cont.) <ul><li>Problem Tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching Stress Management Skills </li></u...
Spirituality In Structural Family Theory <ul><li>Focused on organization rather than family life </li></ul><ul><li>Theory ...
Attention To Social Justice Issues <ul><li>Focus on change issues related to poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and ot...
Evidence in Effectiveness <ul><li>10 year study </li></ul><ul><li>Results vary </li></ul><ul><li>Children with health issu...
Criticisms Of The Theory <ul><li>De-emphasizes emotional lives </li></ul><ul><li>Biases on appropriate family structure </...
Conclusion <ul><li>Architecture of a given family considered </li></ul><ul><li>Help families with multiple problems </li><...
References <ul><li>Walsh, J. (2006). Theories For Direct Social Work Practice. Thomson Brooks/Cole. Belmont, CA. </li></ul...
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  1. 1. STRUCTURAL FAMILY THEORY David Potts
  2. 2. Origins and Social Context <ul><li>Salvador Minuchin </li></ul><ul><li>Pediatric physician from Argentina </li></ul><ul><li>Israeli Army </li></ul><ul><li>Psychoanalytic practice </li></ul><ul><li>New York State Wiltwyck School for Boys </li></ul><ul><li>Work with delinquent boys </li></ul><ul><li>Post WWII </li></ul><ul><li>Theory applied to non-traditional inner city families </li></ul><ul><li>Suitable for families with single parenthood, illness, acting-out members, drug addiction, crime, and violence </li></ul>
  3. 3. Origins and Social Context <ul><li>In common with cognitive and behavioral theories </li></ul><ul><li>Complimentary to Family emotional systems theory </li></ul><ul><li>Concrete interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Structural functionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Social institution </li></ul>
  4. 4. Major Concepts <ul><li>Subsystems </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Roles </li></ul><ul><li>Triangles </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Alliances </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Other Concepts </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Nature of Problems And Change <ul><li>Power Imbalances </li></ul><ul><li>Subsystem Boundaries too rigid or too diffuse </li></ul><ul><li>Disengaged Members </li></ul><ul><li>Enmeshed Members </li></ul><ul><li>Pervasive Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Failure of the System to Realign </li></ul><ul><li>Member Resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Action Precedes Understanding </li></ul>
  6. 6. Assessment And Interventions <ul><li>Social Worker / Client Relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Repetition </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting System Strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Relabeling </li></ul>
  7. 7. Assessment and Interventions (cont.) <ul><li>Problem Tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching Stress Management Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion and Mutual Decision Making </li></ul><ul><li>Manipulating Space </li></ul><ul><li>Sculpting </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Skills Training </li></ul><ul><li>Role Plays </li></ul><ul><li>Role Reversals </li></ul><ul><li>Ending Structural Interventions </li></ul>
  8. 8. Spirituality In Structural Family Theory <ul><li>Focused on organization rather than family life </li></ul><ul><li>Theory does not explore belief systems </li></ul><ul><li>Effects more important than content </li></ul>
  9. 9. Attention To Social Justice Issues <ul><li>Focus on change issues related to poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice </li></ul><ul><li>Families not receptive to office based needs, weither for cultural reasons or because they do not have transportation resources </li></ul><ul><li>Two tier: Primary focus on structure of family intervention and secondary focus family invited to participate in multiple family support group meetings </li></ul>
  10. 10. Evidence in Effectiveness <ul><li>10 year study </li></ul><ul><li>Results vary </li></ul><ul><li>Children with health issues </li></ul><ul><li>Children with ADHD/Hyperactivity Disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Substance Abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Adolescents with behavior problems </li></ul>
  11. 11. Criticisms Of The Theory <ul><li>De-emphasizes emotional lives </li></ul><ul><li>Biases on appropriate family structure </li></ul><ul><li>Cross Cultural considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding Assumptions </li></ul>
  12. 12. Conclusion <ul><li>Architecture of a given family considered </li></ul><ul><li>Help families with multiple problems </li></ul><ul><li>Used in case management </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Used for over 40 years and continued today as society is rapidly changing </li></ul>
  13. 13. References <ul><li>Walsh, J. (2006). Theories For Direct Social Work Practice. Thomson Brooks/Cole. Belmont, CA. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.minuchincenter.org . retrieved March 1, 2009. </li></ul>
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