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What Is Structural Family Therapy (SFT)?

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Structural Family Therapy

Family is the bond that is connected with our loved ones. This is itself filled with the world’s essential and precious people, and maintaining this relationship is also vital and challenging on the other part. Family is necessary because it provides a sense of security and belonging. Maintaining relationships with family members is critical for spending quality time together, communicating openly, and showing appreciation for one another. A strong family bond can assist you through tough times and provide comfort and joy.

In this blog, we will discuss opting for the therapy that makes every relationship strong with the family. So, continue reading the blog to keep your family close and cherish your time together.

What Is Structural Family Therapy?

System theory is the foundation of the therapeutic technique known as structural family therapy (SFT). Its fundamental tenet is the conviction that a client’s presenting problem is the product of unfavourable family contact patterns. They call this their inter-connected social system.

The structural family therapist works with the family, assisting members in recognizing harmful habits and considering alternative approaches to coping with family problems.

When we talk about the historical background of discovering therapy, the 1960s saw the development of structural family therapy by psychiatrist Dr. Salvador Minuchin. After extensive work with disturbed teens, he was convinced of the value of parental participation in changing children’s behaviour.

The structural family therapy approach identifies several vital areas concerning family dynamics that must be investigated. These include boundaries, subsystems, alliances, coalitions, enmeshment, disengagement, and structure (or hierarchy). One of the most common types of family treatment is structural family therapy, a convenient method.

Primary Objectives Of Structural Family Therapy Include:

  • This therapy aspires in the short term to alleviate the problems or symptoms that have prompted the referral or recommendation for help.
  • The major objective of this family structural therapy is to assist the family in developing patterns of interaction that will promote happier and healthier family functions in the future.
  • This also provides a flexible structure to the family so they can easily maintain their relationship and assist in dealing with problems or challenges.
  • This also makes life happier as this flourishes the bond of the close ones.
  • Sometimes this is also beneficial in understanding parenting skills and keenly observing child behaviour changes.

How Does Structural Family Therapy Work?

Before going for therapy near me, it is essential to understand the major concept the structural family work. This will also be beneficial in understanding the methods that the therapist wanted to explain. So here it goes:

●    Structure:

The family unit’s behavioural patterns are referred to as its structure. If the structure is dysfunctional, more problems will arise within the family and among its members. Finding out the fundamental workings of a family plays a prominent role in determining what needs to be changed in the family structure to make it more functional. Families with available structures occasionally encounter dysfunction but can better recover from these incidents before the behaviours become a habit.

●    Subsystems:

Smaller members of the bigger family unit are called subsystems. This could be a sibling dynamic, a sibling and parent dynamic, a sibling and mother dynamic, a male sibling vs a female sibling dynamic, an older sibling versus a younger sibling dynamic, etc. Each family unit’s subsystem is unique to the interactions and dynamics found there. Unpacking how these subsystems affect the family requires understanding their genesis.

●    Boundaries:

Boundaries are established guidelines for how members of a family or subsystem should relate to one another. These rules may be explicit or implicit. According to the circumstances, borders may contain more grey areas than strict black-and-white lines and can be both concrete and abstract.

These are the best ways through which the therapy works effectively.

When Is Structural Family Therapy Used?

A better family structure can be gained by highlighting appropriate boundaries and enhancing family member relationships and communication. SFT is also applied while working with people to examine how they relate to others daily.

What To Expect From Structural Family Therapy?

After seeing how your family members interact, the therapist will form a rough map or graph of your family’s structure. This diagram aids in identifying the hierarchy, boundaries, and subsystems, or sub-relationships, that exist within the family, such as the bond between parents or the relationship between a specific child and one parent. Using this blueprint, the therapist may also determine what needs to change and what actions can aid in reorganizing the family. To assist break a bad habit within a family subsystem and alter the dynamic of the connection, family members may be encouraged to role-play a challenging event. The therapist may sometimes appear to be “taking sides” in this activity.


We hope you enjoyed the blog and now understand how family therapy can help keep your relationships healthy and strong. It can also help you understand your child’s needs and observe their changes as they grow. Plus, it can even help you become a better parent!

If you’re interested in taking family therapy, you can book an appointment with Edmonton Counselling Services. Our experts will make sure your bond with your family is cherished and celebrated.

So what are you waiting for?

Get in touch with us today!