An application of structural family therapy

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Regehr-Neufeld, Elsie
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Inherent to the life of the family are the inevitable challenges related to transitions in its normal development over time as well as to possible idiosyncratic stressors such as divorce, remarriage, chronic illness, or domestic violence. Demands both internal and external to the family can impede its ability to adapt to these various types of stress. A family's failure to adapt will hinder its function of nurturing the growth of individual family members. The goal of the structural therapist is to join the family in a therapeutic system and to restructure it in such a way that family members will be set free to try new, more functional patterns of interacting. This practicum report reviews the theoretical constructs of structural family therapy and describes the application of the model in work with families in a practice setting. Common themes arising from this practice are considered.