Salvador Minuchin developed the foundation of a family therapy technique called Structural family therapy. This technique focuses on the interaction of each family member. Observing how they interact, behave, communicate with each other gives insight on how the family dynamic operates. The family therapist can then help the family grow and develop the family as a unit and help them identify and outgrow other negative growth patterns.
Strategic therapy has five parts to strategic therapy including a brief social stage, the problem stage, interactional stage, the goal-setting stage and the task-setting stage. This family therapy technique focuses on creating change in behaviors more than changing the understanding of each family member. Identifying the dysfunctional behaviors in a family dynamic to then introduce a new more positive behavior is the ultimate goal of the technique.
Systemic Therapy is based on Murray Bowen’s research and has become a foundation of family therapy or family systems therapy. There are eight interlocking concepts to the Bowenian technique that all lead to a goal of creating an understanding of the emotional well-being as a family unit. Being a foundation of many therapy techniques, many therapists have adapted Bowen’s model away from linear causality.
Many of these family therapies focus on the family as a unit. Narrative therapy is different. Narrative therapy encourages the person to embrace the person’s individuality and to utilize their skills to address the problem by creating personal stories that help them identify who they are and empower them to navigate their lives. The ultimate goal of narrative therapy is to aid the person in finding clarity and support.
Transgenerational therapy focuses on examining the interactions between each family member across multiple generations. By observing and analyzing family interactions the core issues within the family dynamic can be resolved. This technique does not explore the causation of the conflict by shine light on the conflict and discuss is across generations.
Transgenerational therapy is often paired with another one of Murray Bowen’s models of family therapy. In regard to substance abuse, looking at how a younger sibling views drug and alcohol abuse could influence the struggling addicts decisions when they are sober and in recovery. This family therapy technique has the potential to influence the patterns of substance abuse in a family as each family member goes through each stage of life.