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structural family therapy

a type of family therapy that assesses the subsystems, boundaries, hierarchies, and coalitions within a family (its structure) and focuses on direct interactions between the family members (enactment) as the primary method of inducing positive change. Structural family therapy stresses that when appropriately induced to do so, families with problems will discover their own alternatives to their ineffective patterns of relating to one another. For example, a structural family therapist working with a family whose daughter is anorexic would examine such family issues as the framework of authority, the rules that govern the assumption of roles, the various functions that members perform, and the coalitions created by the bonding of certain family members, and then would encourage all members to use this information to develop more productive patterns of interaction that in turn can mitigate the stresses within the family context surrounding the daughter’s condition. Also called structural therapy. [developed in the 1970s by Argentinian-born U.S. family therapist Salvador Minuchin (1921–  )]

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Psychology term of the day

April 17th 2024

lip pursing

lip pursing

a facial contortion in which the lips protrude in a manner that resembles pouting or a snout. First described (as Schnauzkrampf) by German psychiatrist Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum (1828–1899), it is most commonly associated with catatonic schizophrenia.