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Integration of Structural Therapy Approach on Family Counseling

Updated on November 14, 2014

The purpose of this hub is to discuss and explain on how I intend to integrate the structural approach on Family counseling. It is the opinion of the writer in pointing out that finding a balance between the theories, and family systems in particular may be very significant in offering a framework for family counseling within the basis of Christianity. I will also quite essential to incorporate biblical teachings on all the counseling sessions since such teachings will be able to solve the psychological challenges affecting the family members. I also do understand the right of clients in choosing for themselves on what they particularly want for their lives since such responsibilities is God given.

Proverbs 20: 5 says, “The purpose of an individual’s heart is profound waters, but an understanding person draws them out”. I do understand the relevancy of evaluating and solving the actual causes of the problems afflicting the family. My goal will be specifically to assist the client’s circumstances in the present situations in a way that is positive. Since the name” Immanuel” is translated as “God the almighty with us”, my counseling process will be aimed at establishing an experience where the dynamics of redemption will come into play between the client and myself. This means that I will cultivate a closer relationship with the clients not only in a therapeutic situation in suggesting and recommending proper clinical treatment. My belief is that a considerable healing and development happens in an environment of good relationships.

As a family councilor, I do understand that the family as being an important unit which operates and lives within a community, culture or organization. Such as a system is not static but grows and changes as time goes by. However, there comes a time when this family get “stuck” because of the problems and therefore, leading to psychological matters to either of the family members.

Before embarking on the counseling process, I will have to find and consider issues that are causing a dysfunction on the structure of the family. Although I do not believe that the transactions or interactions may be the lead cause of this pathology, I do understand that these factors do encourage or facilitate the occurrence of the symptoms. I will have to do assessments on how the family members interact with one another on a daily basis. For instance, the interaction of a mother to her daughter may be in the form of an overprotective and controlling mother. In another case, there could be a circumstance where the relation of a brother and his younger sibling may be inform of overpowering and bullying by the older brother.

I do understand that it is through everyday interactions and transactions that the daily functioning and rules, which in turn create the family structure, are established. Assessment of the family interactions will ultimately be my priority. During the evaluation, I will have to figure out the hierarchy, alliances and general structure of the family. For instance, I will have to find out the relationship between the mother and son towards the father, or brother against another brother or sister. After this evaluation, I will then need to plot a flow chart or map in describing the structure and process in that particular family. My goal as a therapist is to alter this structure so as to move it from its position of being “stuck” and free it from harmful interactions and transactions that facilitate the occurrence of problems in that family.

In utilizing a combination of structural therapy and Christian values, I will as counselor work to establish proper boundaries in the interactions or transactions of family members. For instance, it would be proper that parents create boundaries between them and their children so that they can grow and develop in a health way. Such boundaries may include but not limited to household obligations, curfews, and limitations in proper social behaviors and so on. If the aspect of proper boundaries becomes ignored, crossed over, or distorted, the structure of the family may become dysfunctional. For instance, if a boy who has reached adolescent stage begins to take or abuse drugs, determining his own social engagements, curfews, and the mother becomes ignorant in preventing such activities, what then will develop between these two people is ultimately a dysfunctional relationship.

According to me, pathology occurs through many sources. This may include but not limited to negativity, biology/physiology, illogical, ineffective, self-talk, bad thoughts, lack of good relation to God or delineation from God, through peer and world pressure. If a client is experiencing some kind of dysfunction, the root causes may be either one or two of the stated elements. However, it would be in inadequate to treat such a patient based on these causes alone. This is because such a treatment may not be very much effective. As a therapist, I will have to assess and address all the possible causes of the identified problems to offer a counseling and treatment that is holistic.


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    • Nyamweya profile image

      Silas Nyamweya 3 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hello, I can be reached at