Structural Family Therapy Quiz

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48 Questions

What is the primary source of leadership and direction in the family system?

Adults, typically parents

What is the consequence of rigid or inflexible boundaries within the family system?

Disengagement

What does enmeshment result from in the family system?

Diffuse boundaries

What is the purpose of family mapping in the therapeutic process?

To identify boundaries, structures, and relationships

What does complementarity refer to in the family system?

Functioning as a team to achieve tasks

What is the purpose of the therapist's mimesis in the family system?

To gain temporary acceptance into the family

What is the goal of unbalancing in the family system?

To alter hierarchical position

What is the purpose of enactments in the therapeutic session?

To observe dysfunctional aspects of the system

What is the therapist's focus during tracking in the family system?

Paying attention to family members' interactions

What is the primary focus during the early/middle phase of treatment in the family system?

Highlighting and modifying interactions

What is the therapist's role during the end phase of treatment in the family system?

Reinforcing structural change

What is the primary goal of the therapeutic interventions in the family system?

To alter dysfunctional transactional patterns

What is the main focus of structural family therapy?

Restructuring family organization

What does the concept of 'alliances' refer to in structural family therapy?

Subgroups based on gender and generation

In structural family therapy, what is the role of the therapist?

Active and involved

What is the theory of change in structural family therapy based on?

Remodeling the family’s organizational structure

What does 'alignment' refer to in the context of structural family therapy?

How family members group together or relate to one another

What is the primary consequence of rigid boundaries within the family system according to structural family therapy?

Stagnation and dysfunction

What is the main concept of 'subsystems' in structural family therapy?

How a family partitions itself based on different needs and tasks

What do 'coalitions' refer to in the context of structural family therapy?

Alignments against another family member

What is the primary goal of the therapist's mimesis in structural family therapy?

To mimic family members' behavior

What is the purpose of 'enactments' in the therapeutic session of structural family therapy?

To observe family dynamics in action

What is the main goal of unbalancing in structural family therapy?

To challenge existing family alliances

What is the primary source of leadership and direction in the family system according to structural family therapy?

The therapist

What are the underpinnings of Salvador Minuchin's structural family therapy?

Action-oriented approach that teaches action precedes understanding. Symptoms are viewed as a consequence of family transactional patterns and for those symptoms to change, the family structure must be reorganized.

According to Minuchin, how does change occur in structural family therapy?

Change occurs by remodeling the family’s organizational structure to include clear boundaries and a proper family hierarchy.

What is the role of the therapist in structural family therapy?

Active and involved (stage director) Work in collaboration with the family Joins with family by adapting to their style of interaction, including their affective range, mannerisms, and language.

What is the concept of 'Family Structure' in structural family therapy?

The invisible set of functional demands that organizes the ways in which the family members interact.

What are 'Alliances' in the context of structural family therapy?

Subgroups based on gender, generation, and developmental tasks.

What does 'Alignment' refer to in structural family therapy?

This refers to how family members group together or relate to one another. They may include affiliations or splits from individuals or subsystems; they could be short-term or ongoing; however, they all develop for the purpose of maintaining homeostasis.

What are 'Coalitions' in the family system according to structural family therapy?

Alignments where two or more family members join together to form a bond against another family member.

What are 'Subsystems' in the context of structural family therapy?

How a family partitions itself based on different needs and tasks. They consist of two or more members of the system based on common characteristics such as gender, generation, interests, or function.

What is the purpose of 'Enactments' in the therapeutic session of structural family therapy?

To observe and understand the family's transactional patterns and interactions in real-time.

What is the concept of 'Enmeshment' in the family system according to structural family therapy?

It results from over-involvement and lack of differentiation between family members, leading to blurred boundaries and individual autonomy.

What is the primary goal of the therapist's mimesis in structural family therapy?

To adapt to the family's style of interaction, including their affective range, mannerisms, and language, in order to join with the family.

What is the theory of change in structural family therapy based on?

Change occurs by remodeling the family’s organizational structure to include clear boundaries and a proper family hierarchy.

What is the purpose of family mapping in structural family therapy?

Family mapping is used by the therapist outside of the therapeutic session to identify boundaries, structures, and relationships within the family system.

What is the concept of complementarity in the family system?

Complementarity refers to when two or more individuals function as a team and recognize that they depend on each other to achieve particular tasks.

What is the therapist's role during the process of joining in structural family therapy?

The therapist gains temporary acceptance into the family by engaging with individual members and subsystems.

What is the purpose of enactments in the therapeutic session of structural family therapy?

Enactments encourage the family to act out a relationship dynamic during the therapeutic session, providing the therapist an opportunity to observe dysfunctional aspects of the system.

What is the goal of unbalancing in the family system?

The goal of unbalancing is to support someone who is in a one-down position with the goal of altering their hierarchical position.

What is the primary focus during the early/middle phase of treatment in the family system?

The primary focus is to highlight and modify interactions, utilize enactments of issues to challenge participants, and unbalance the system.

What is the main concept of 'subsystems' in structural family therapy?

Subsystems refer to smaller units or groupings within the family system, such as parent-child or sibling relationships.

What is the consequence of rigid or inflexible boundaries within the family system?

Disengagement is caused by rigid/inflexible boundaries.

What is the primary goal of the therapeutic interventions in the family system?

The primary goal is to help the family understand how family structure (relationships and hierarchies) can be changed.

What is the primary source of leadership and direction in the family system according to structural family therapy?

Leadership and direction are typically provided by adults, usually parents.

What is the primary consequence of rigid boundaries within the family system according to structural family therapy?

Enmeshment is caused by diffused boundaries.

What does enmeshment result from in the family system?

Enmeshment results from diffused boundaries, where boundaries are blurred and there is little sense of separateness within the family system.

Study Notes

Structural Family Therapy

  • Founded by Salvador Minuchin, focusing on an action-oriented approach.
  • Symptoms are seen as a consequence of family transactional patterns, and changing these patterns requires reorganizing the family structure.

Theory of Change

  • Change occurs by remodeling the family's organizational structure to include clear boundaries and a proper family hierarchy.

Role of the Therapist

  • Active and involved, acting as a "stage director" who collaborates with the family.
  • Joins with the family by adapting to their style of interaction, including affective range, mannerisms, and language.

Main Concepts

Family Structure

  • The invisible set of functional demands that organizes the ways in which family members interact.

Alliances and Coalitions

  • Subgroups based on gender, generation, and developmental tasks.
  • Coalitions: Alignments where two or more family members join together to form a bond against another family member.

Subsystems

  • How a family partitions itself based on different needs and tasks, consisting of two or more members with common characteristics.

Power Hierarchy

  • Leadership and direction must be provided by adults, typically parents.

Boundaries

  • Rigid/Inflexible: Clearly defined and not open to change, leading to disengagement.
  • Diffuse: Blurred boundaries, causing enmeshment.
  • Clear: Balance between separateness (I) and belonging (we) in the family system.

Family Mapping

  • A diagram developed and used by the therapist to identify boundaries, structures, and relationships within the family system.

Complementarity

  • When two or more individuals function as a team, recognizing their interdependence to achieve particular tasks.

Mimesis

  • The therapist tracks the family's style of communication and behaviors, then mimics it to gain acceptance.

Joining

  • The therapist gains temporary acceptance into the family by engaging with individual members and subsystems, allowing them to eventually disrupt and alter dysfunctional aspects of the system.

Reframe

  • A technique that redefines the original interpretation of an issue, offering a new, more constructive perspective.

Enactments

  • An intervention that encourages the family to act out a relationship dynamic during the therapeutic session, allowing the therapist to observe dysfunctional aspects of the system.

Tracking

  • The therapist pays close attention to family members and their relationships during an enactment or spontaneous behavioral sequence, noticing boundaries, coalitions, roles, rules, etc.

Unbalancing

  • Supporting someone in a one-down position to alter their hierarchical position, promoting change.

Treatment Goals

  • Help the family understand how family structure can be changed.
  • Create clear and healthier boundaries.
  • Strengthen the spousal subsystem and the family's hierarchy.
  • Restructure the family system to allow for symptom relief and constructive problem-solving.
  • Alter dysfunctional transactional patterns.

Interventions

  • Acts like a "distant relative" through joining with the family.
  • Deliberately increases stress through enactments.
  • Observes interactions during enactments and spontaneous behavioral sequences.
  • Reframes presenting symptoms as responses to the family structure.
  • Disrupts dysfunctional patterns of communication and replaces them with functional interactions.
  • Reinforces healthy boundaries and disrupts unhealthy ones through boundary making.
  • Challenges the family's outdated rules.
  • Explores how new patterns of interaction can be integrated into the family.

Phases of Treatment

  • Beginning: Joining and accommodating, assessing family interactions through family mapping, learning about coalitions, subsystems, alliances, and reframing presenting problems.
  • Early/Middle: Highlighting and modifying interactions, utilizing enactments to challenge participants and unbalance the system.
  • End: Reviewing progress, reinforcing structural change, and providing tools for the future.

Test your knowledge of structural family therapy with this quiz. Explore the underpinnings and action-oriented approach of the founder, Salvador Minuchin, and understand how change occurs through remodeling family organizational structure.

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