Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Structural Family Therapy

Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_334-2


Structural Family Therapy is a method for understanding and treating behavioral problems within the context of the family. Its characteristic features are an emphasis on interactional context as the organizer of individual behaviors, the central role assigned to the family as the protagonist of therapy, and the reliance on “making change happen” in the therapy room.

Prominent Associated Figures

SFT is the brainchild of Dr. Salvador Minuchin. He recognized Braulio Montalvo as his “most influential teacher” (Minuchin 1974, p. iv). Other authors associated with the model are Harry Aponte, Jorge Colapinto, Charles Fishman, Jay Lappin, Patricia Minuchin, Michael Nichols, George Simon, and Wai-Yung lee.

Theoretical Framework

Core Concepts

Structural Family Therapy poses that individual behaviors are shaped by the relational contextwithin which they occur. If a father screams at her son, the structural therapist wants to know what is happening between and around them. What is...

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  1. Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Minuchin Center for the FamilyWoodburyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Kearns
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.Iowa CityUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA