Summarize the key points of both structural family therapy and strategic family therapy.

Structural family therapy (SFT) is a type of psychotherapy that views the family as an integrated system and uses interventions to change patterns of interaction and communication within the family. It was developed by Salvador Minuchin in 1968, who believed that the structure of a family could be used to modify problem behavior and bring about changes in interactions (Gardner, 2019). The principles of SFT are based on systems theory, which states that families are complex networks of interrelated parts. Structural therapists focus on how these parts interact with each other and how they can be altered to help improve relationships between members.

A central concept in SFT is “structural boundaries”—the degree of closeness or distance among family members. According to Minuchin’s view, healthy families have well-defined structural boundaries while dysfunctional families do not. To help create healthier structural boundaries in the family setting, SFT practitioners often use intervention strategies such as boundary making, reframing, enactment, joining and restructuring (Gardner & Williams-Anderson,, 2018). Boundary making involves creating differences between individuals according to their roles and age; reframing involves changing the perspective on an issue; enactment refers to role playing certain situations; joining means building coalitions with parents or children; finally restructuring entails redefining interpersonal relationships within a given context.

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