Re: structural family therapy

Greg Bail (
Thu, 21 May 1998 09:24:21 -0700

Chris Evans wrote:
>The traditional people for structural FT are Minuchin and Fishman and they =
>often criticised within the systemic/FT world for imposing their own constr=
>systems about families, gender, power and boundaries on the families they
>saw. That's probably a gross oversimplification (aren't these rotten tomat=
>throwing exercises always oversimplifying?!) and I think some of their work
>shows subtle sensitivity to the family members' own constructions of
>themselves, their relationships and the nature of "family". However, it's
>a pretty
>long way from their work to PCP with the PCP emphasis on the first P:
>Personal. What made you ask here?!
>Maybe I'm missing the point and someone knows of good published critiques o=
>structural FT from within a PCP perspective.

Actually, I found an excellent overview of PCP influences on FT (refers to
=B3constructivism=B2 or =B3Social Constructionism=B2 as =B3one of the major
influences=B2 on FT in the 1990=B9s) in:

>Nichols, M. P. and R. C. Schwartz (1995). Family Therapy: Concepts and
>Methods. Boston, MA, Allyn & Bacon.

The authors do refer to Minuchin as an =B3intuitive=B2 constructivist, meani=
his methods suggest underlying use of PCP theories, but a much broader
scope is presented. From Bertalanffy=B9s General Systems Theory in the
=8C60=B9s, through the MRI and Milan schools and Feminist critiques, to the
Solution-focused (deShazer and O=B9hanlon) and Narrative (esp. Michael White
and the Dulwich Center in Adelaide, Australia) theories currently in vogue,
this book not only presents an historical overview of the development of
these theoretical foundations, but it also undertakes a comparative
analysis of how these theories apply to clinical techniques. I couldn=B9t
recommend it more highly.

Now, when do I get a kickback from Allyn & Bacon?

Still lurking, Greg

Greg Bail, 2nd yr. MSW Student, UC Berkeley,
It seems common sense is not all that common....