Strategic family therapy combines two major therapeutic theories – strategic therapy and family therapy. This kind of therapy differs from other family therapy strategies in that it is a highly structured method of treatment rather than free forming. The goal is to plan, execute strategically, and measure outcomes to help solve inner-familial problems.
How Does Strategic Family Therapy Work?
Inside the safety of a therapy setting, strategic family therapists create scenarios in which the family must interact and converse. The therapist will encourage engagement and offer provocative questions and discussion. During these sessions, problems present themselves. The therapist engineers these situations so that everyone involved can realize and understand the issues taking place.
Finding a Family’s Strengths
During strategic family therapy, the goal is to empower a family to solve their problems on their own. Each member of the family might have different things they need to work on, such as:
- Communication Styles
- Anger Management
- Cultural Barriers
- Emotional Intelligence
- Empathy Training
What Are Some Issues that Strategic Family Therapy Can Help With?
While many different families can benefit from strategic family therapy, there are specific instances where this method is beneficial. For example, families struggling with any of the following might consider this form of treatment.
Families struggling with substance use disorders can lead to chaotic family life. Children of alcoholics or drug addicts may be experiencing neglect or inconsistent parenting. Strategic family therapy can help come up with specific strategies to help everyone overcome these issues.
Conflict-Driven Communication Patterns
Families that engage in frequence conflict-driven communication styles can cause stress disorders and attachment issues in children. These families pick fights and press each other’s buttons to create conflict because they do not know how to resolve problems peacefully. A family like this would be directed to practice better communication styles to resolve a dispute.
Authoritarian Parenting Style
Families who adopt authoritarian parenting make great demands but give little positive feedback. Children who grow up with this parenting style of “its my way or the highway” tend to have poor self-esteem or experience aggression or shyness. A family like this would likely need to explore the reason behind the parenting style to change it.
Emotionally detached families lack warmth. Children in these kinds of families bottle up their feelings and have a hard time opening up to others, leading to a series of failed relationships. This family would need to uncover the reasons behind the lack of attachment, past trauma, abuse, or mental illness.
While there are multiple family therapy strategies, strategic family strategies offer a clear-cut and organized way to resolve interfamilial issues. Therapists will create dialogs and encourage engagement that uncovers problems inside a family structure. The therapist empowers the family to work through their issues together. For example, strategic family therapy can help families struggling with substance abuse, dysfunctional communication styles, authoritarian parenting, or emotional detachment.
Family Strategies Counseling & Mediation is a therapy office serving the Chicagoland Area. We offer couples counseling and mental health services. Our therapists are skilled at working with those who are struggling to process traumatic events. Give our office a call at (708) 798-5433 or email us a info@Family-Strategy.com for appointment details.