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Minichun Model for Clinical Supervision in Family Therapy, Term Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1367

Term Paper

Family therapy is an ever evolving field in which many therapy approaches are used in trying to help a family find solutions in order to make their family work. The aspects of family therapy focuses on the methods in which help in treating the individual and the family. While there are several therapy approaches that have been made, Structural Family Therapy (SFT) a psychotherapy method created by Salvador Minuchun addressed many problems with how a family is functioning. In looking further into the concepts and ideas that Structural Family Therapy has spawned, this paper will focus on the development, as well as how and why it is used still in the present. The focus of Structural Family Therapy (SFT) was created in order repel against the traditional models for family therapy and model that addressed the changing times of demographics, and the troubles they endured.

Back in the late 1960s, Minuchun was publishing works that focused on the need for social and political change in which he saw that ended the ideas of Social Darwinism. A race based nonfactual concept in which thought that Caucasians were the superior race in intelligence, and the less inferior where poor and of African descent. His theory was created out of experimentation and the willingness to do something different. Commenting on his own work, he recounted, “It was a great adventure. We didn’t know anything. And since we didn’t know anything, we invented everything.” (Lappin, 1988) His methods along with other social scientist was putting a one-way mirror up in which they would monitor each other, and create a theory based on what they saw. Besides the one-way mirror, which was considered an innovative technique at the time, Munichun also used intensive liver supervision of family sessions, and videotapes that serves as guides for therapists. According to research, “Minuchun’s group began to view families as systems comprised of subsystems demarcated by boundaries, which govern the behaviors of family members.” (Herrin, 2009) The views and concepts of Structural Family Therapy focus on the functionality of the family’s capabilities to adequately negotiate the demands of society outside of the family. To successfully adapt to these demands, the family must be willing to change within the social environment so that it can be more supporting to the functioning of the family. The families will have a sense of belonging while also supporting the individuation of the family members performing essential tasks. The family subsystems would then have to interact with each other’s approaches that uses its own resources to benefit collectively.

Therapists that utilize the Structural Family Therapy approach will see “family as an organism: a complex system that is under functioning.” (Herring, 2008) More accordingly, Munichun states, “a family is functional or dysfunctional based upon its ability to adapt to various stressors (extra-familial, idiosyncratic, developmental), which in turn, rests upon the clarity and appropriateness of its subsystem boundaries.” (Munichun, Lapin, 2011) The family subsystems or hierarchies of power are possibly the parental units that rule over the children units. Within the healthy family model, their boundaries are often clear and semi-diffuse, in which the interaction between the children and parents are clear. The authority is negotiated between their goals and their chosen methods of parenting. In looking at the children’s side of this concept, the children have a degree of sibling autonomous, in which socialization is produced from peer interaction. On the opposite side of the spectrum for dysfunctional families, they “exhibit mixed subsystems (i.e. coalitions) and improper power hierarchies, as in the example of an older child being brought in to the parental subsystem to replace a physically or emotionally absent spouse.” (Minichun, Lappin, 2011) The concepts and techniques of the Structural Family Therapy are not only unique, but there are an innovative approach in to dealing with the parameters of the family diagrammatically, with the focus on the different substructures in the family system.

The goals of the Structural Family Therapy approach is to restructure the family dynamics into a more healthy family structure. Unlike other therapies, this method requires the need for manipulating the format of the therapy sessions, as wells as isolating some subsystems from other family members, through removing entirely, viewing through a one-way mirror, or by the seating. Unlike other models, the SFT looks at a five-step model in which to treat the family by: bringing each member of the family system together; evaluating the correct treatment plan and creating goals; identifying dysfunctional patterns; developing a new family structure in order to maintain stability; and closing out the therapy process.  According to Minichun, “The basic goal of Structural Family Therapy is the restructuring of the family’s system of transactional rules, such that the interactional reality of the family becomes more flexible, with an expanded availability of alternative ways of dealing with each other.” (Mnichun, Lappin, 2011) In that regard the concepts that free the members of their stereotypical functions and positions in which help in using the underutilized resources in which help to cope with conflict and stress. The three big concept that are used commonly that other therapy approaches do not use includes: joining, reframing, and enactment. During the last phase in enactment, this the stage in which change is expected, and a plan of action is set in place so that things will get done instead of talking about the goals.

In seeing this process in action, we can look at the supervisory context in which the supervisor will take a clear and active role in monitoring the activities. The client that comes for counseling will have a problem or a behavior that is deeply embedded in their personal dynamic. It is the responsibility of the counselor in supervising to acknowledge the problem or issue that is maintaining the problem. The conceptualization will be on the present oriented and the problem focused. The supervisor role would then be to guide the supervisee in devising a type of intervention without the concern for the history of the family or the client in order to unblock or resolve the problem that is keeping the individual stuck in that behavior. At the point when a family first comes to therapy searching for help with a particular issue, the role of the supervisor will be to perform an evaluation. Which includes talking with the majority of the family individuals together and watching recognizable examples of separation and enmeshment amid exchanges and authorizations. There are four measurements inside the evaluation process. The primary includes surveying contemporary improvement weights then evaluating the structure of the framework. The following part of the assessment is to look deeper ever. Finally, it is vital to inspect the methodology of the framework. The substance of what the family individuals present is not as essential as the procedure by which they convey and participate in systemic examples of conduct.  As Minichun points out:

“It is important to keep in mind that the Structural Family Therapy model is not just a cluster of techniques with specific indications, but rather a consistent way of thinking and operating, derived from the basic tenet that human problems can be understood and treated only in context.” (Minichun, Lappin, 2011)

The supervisor takes a clear an active role in training, as well as collaborating with the supervisee in coming up with a plan for interventions that will be helpful to the individual. The supervisor will monitor sessions such as live visits, or could also monitor the sessions on the phone. Supervisors have the task of mentoring the supervisee in developing skills useful in assessing the structure of the family system in order to develop change. In the Structural Family Therapy approach, the techniques that have been creative were thought of as innovative, and there are still useful in clinically helping individuals and families resolve their problems from the root of the family system, to the when their plans into action.

References

Herrin, Taylor Cameron. (2009). The Analysis of an Integrated Model of Therapy Using Structural and Gottman Method Approaches: A Case Study. Digital Commons. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1363&context=etd

Lappin, Jay. (1988). “Family Therapy: A Structural Approach”. Paradigms of Clinical Social Work. New York: Brunner/Mazel. http://www.minuchincenter.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/the_case_family_therapy.65165254.pdf

Minichun, Salvado, Lappin, Jay. (2011). Instructor’s Manual for Salvador Minuchin on Family Therapy. Psychotherpy.net. Retrieved from https://www.psychotherapy.net/data/uploads/5113e45715ce5.pdf

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