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    Structural Family Therapy

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    Using structural family therapy:

    - What would be sample questions for this couple?
    - What are accurate hypotheses about this couple?
    - Using Hequembourg's (2004) article(Unscripted motherhood: Lesbianmothers negotiating incompletely institutionalized family relationships, Amy Hequembourg, Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo), what are several multi-systemic and cultural challenges that lesbians and gay couples face as they consider parenthood?
    - What are some beliefs and values that a therapist that may create obstacles in developing an optimal therapeutic?

    Case study:

    A lesbian couple, both in their later 30s, has been together for nine years when they come to see you about a major transition they are taking in their life and the disagreements they are facing. They both want to have a child and disagree about how to make this happen. Ariana wants to have artificial insemination or become impregnated by a close friend of theirs. Due to her Russian and Jewish heritage, it is important to her and to her family that she give birth to their child. Marilyn wants them to adopt a child, which she feels would create more equality for them as parents. She is worried and anxious about her family's response to their decision to have a child.

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    Solution Preview

    (1) Using structural family therapy:

    The assumptions underlying Structural Family Therapy (Munchin, 1974 as cited in Archer & McCarthy, 2007) include the belief that human must be a part of a social group to survive. The family is considered the basic family unit. From the perspective of SFT, the family has two functions: (a) internal (i.e., psychosocial protection of its members, and (b) external-the accommodation of a culture and the transmission of that culture (p. 345). Another assumption, according to Archer and McCarthy (2007), the relationship between the individual and the family should take priority in the counseling process.

    (2) What would be sample questions for this couple?

    (a) What is the nature of the problem? The goal of SFT is to reduce the symptoms of what is causing the dysfunction
    (b) When does the problem or behavior occur? The therapist gives particular attention to patterns to determine how the family structure is related to the problem. The structural ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution describes a structural family approach for a case study in couple counseling, specifically for lesbian clients.