Strategic/ecostructural family therapy, a therapy of social action

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Morrow, Judith Elaine
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Families with school-aged children face s range of difficulties. This practicum report describes a model of strategic "brief" therapy integrated with ecostructural family therapy to address those difficulties. Techniques and concepts from structural and solution-focused "brief" therapies are woven into the strategic model used in this report. The historical context of family therapy as well as key assumptions and emphasis of strategic, structural, solution-focused and ecostructural models of therapy provide a knowledge base. The ecostructural model pays special mention to unique aspects of working with a population of "the new poor," where underorganizat on is chronic. Therapy, of necessary in these situations, moves beyond the boundaries of treatment "in office" into the ecology of the family. One case example illustrates the use of "in office" clinical strategies. Two other cases, exemplifying multiple stressors with a minority population, show both the utility of work on personal issues, and a method of extending into the larger systems that intersect with the family. Practice is evaluated through a variety of measures. Client self-scaling scores, school reports of behaviour and school grades, the FAM General cale, and Problem Checklist were used. Results suggest that the elements of brief models can be effectively employed by therapists in some situations, and that expanded interventions are effective in others.