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Keywords:

  • Structural family therapy

Structural Family Therapy was developed by Salvador Minuchin and colleagues during the 1960s as part of the growing interest in systemic ways of conceptualising human distress and relationship dilemmas, and in working therapeutically with those natural systems and relationships, thought to give rise to distress. Structural family therapy is underpinned by a clearly articulated model of family functioning, and has been developed and used most consistently in services for children and families. A growing body of empirical evidence attests to the efficacy of structural family therapy. As an approach it was extensively critiqued during the 1980s by feminist writers and during the 1990s by those interested in the implications of a social constructionist position. Structural family therapy continues to evolve in response to challenges mounted from within and outwith the systemic field, and as part of integrative practice and multisystemic approaches, with practitioners ever mindful of the need for regular feedback from family members themselves.