In a 2- to 3-page paper, address the following:

  • Summarize the key points of both structural family therapy and strategic family therapy.
  • Compare structural family therapy to strategic family therapy, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each.
  • Provide an example of a family in your practicum using a structural family map. Note: Be sure to maintain HIPAA regulations.
  • Recommend a specific therapy for the family, and justify your choice using the Learning Resources. 

The American Journal of Family Therapy, 42:167–174, 2014
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 0192-6187 print / 1521-0383 online
DOI: 10.1080/01926187.2013.794046

The Intersection of Facebook and Structural
Family Therapy Volume 1

NINA ANNE MÉNDEZ, MISBHA ENAM QURESHI, RENATA
CARNERIO, and FLORINA HORT

Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Facebook has quickly been made into a household name with more
than 700 million users worldwide (Carpenter, 2011). With the pop-
ularity of Facebook continuously growing, it is important to analyze
the influence of Facebook on relationships. This article examines
the intersection of Facebook and family therapy. More specifically,
Facebook is viewed through the lens of structural family therapy.
Key concepts in structural family therapy are provided along with
a case vignette to demonstrate how Facebook can be used as a tool
to help heal struggling relationships. Suggestions for future recom-
mendations related to treatment and research are discussed.

A TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD

The word “connection” has transformed to a different meaning due to the
many technological advances that have occurred over the past few decades.
In a world that once communicated through telegrams and standard letter
mail, human communication is being completed simply by the click of a
button. The culture of communication is focusing less on human-to-human
connection and more on human-device-human connections. More and more
people are communicating with one another through the use of social net-
working sites, cell phones, face-to-face video streaming (i.e., Skype, Ovoo),
and e-mail.

In 2010, the Nielsen Company reported that there are over 300 million
cell phone users in the United States. In addition, within those 300+ million
users, by 2009, 21% of United States households converted to cellphone-
only homes, ditching the once popular land line telephone (Nielsen, 2010).
Further statistics support the enormous amounts of communication being

Address correspondence to Nina Anne Méndez, 2056 East Arizona Street, Philadelphia,
PA 19125. E-mail: [email protected]

167

168 N. A. Méndez et al.

completed through the use of various technologies. The Wireless Association
reported in 2009, American’s used 2.3 trillion cell phone use minutes and
sent 152.7 trillion text messages (The Wireless Association, 2009). Beyond
cell phone use, Skype is keeping over 37.5 million people connected through
face to face streaming on the computer (Wolff, 2012).

The unprecedented popularity of social networking sites is prevalent in
the world’s most popular internet site, Facebook.com. Facebook has become
a household name that is reaching dominance in cultures beyon

The American Journal of Family Therapy, 42:167–174, 2014
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 0192-6187 print / 1521-0383 online
DOI: 10.1080/01926187.2013.794046

The Intersection of Facebook and Structural
Family Therapy Volume 1

NINA ANNE MÉNDEZ, MISBHA ENAM QURESHI, RENATA
CARNERIO, and FLORINA HORT

Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Facebook has quickly been made into a household name with more
than 700 million users worldwide (Carpenter, 2011). With the pop-
ularity of Facebook continuously growing, it is important to analyze
the influence of Facebook on relationships. This article examines
the intersection of Facebook and family therapy. More specifically,
Facebook is viewed through the lens of structural family therapy.
Key concepts in structural family therapy are provided along with
a case vignette to demonstrate how Facebook can be used as a tool
to help heal struggling relationships. Suggestions for future recom-
mendations related to treatment and research are discussed.

A TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD

The word “connection” has transformed to a different meaning due to the
many technological advances that have occurred over the past few decades.
In a world that once communicated through telegrams and standard letter
mail, human communication is being completed simply by the click of a
button. The culture of communication is focusing less on human-to-human
connection and more on human-device-human connections. More and more
people are communicating with one another through the use of social net-
working sites, cell phones, face-to-face video streaming (i.e., Skype, Ovoo),
and e-mail.

In 2010, the Nielsen Company reported that there are over 300 million
cell phone users in the United States. In addition, within those 300+ million
users, by 2009, 21% of United States households converted to cellphone-
only homes, ditching the once popular land line telephone (Nielsen, 2010).
Further statistics support the enormous amounts of communication being

Address correspondence to Nina Anne Méndez, 2056 East Arizona Street, Philadelphia,
PA 19125. E-mail: [email protected]

167

168 N. A. Méndez et al.

completed through the use of various technologies. The Wireless Association
reported in 2009, American’s used 2.3 trillion cell phone use minutes and
sent 152.7 trillion text messages (The Wireless Association, 2009). Beyond
cell phone use, Skype is keeping over 37.5 million people connected through
face to face streaming on the computer (Wolff, 2012).

The unprecedented popularity of social networking sites is prevalent in
the world’s most popular internet site, Facebook.com. Facebook has become
a household name that is reaching dominance in cultures beyon

Techniques of Structural Family Assessment:
A Qualitative Analysis of How Experts Promote
a Systemic Perspective

MICHAEL NICHOLS*
SYDNEY TAFURI*

To read this article in Mandarin Chinese, please see the article’s Supporting Information on Wiley
Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/famp).

The trajectory of assessment in structural family therapy moves from a linear perspec-
tive, in which problems are located in the identified patient, to an interactional perspective,
in which problems are seen as involving other members of the family. Minuchin, Nichols,
& Lee (2007) developed a 4-step model for assessing couples and families consisting of: (1)
broadening the definition of the presenting complaint to include its context, (2) identifying
problem-maintaining interactions, (3) a structurally focused exploration of the past, and
(4) developing a shared vision of pathways to change. To study how experts actually imple-
ment this model, judges coded video recordings of 10 initial consultations conducted by
three widely recognized structural family therapists. Qualitative analyses identified 25 dis-
tinct techniques that these clinicians used to challenge linear thinking and move families
toward a systemic understanding of their problems. We discuss and locate these techniques
in the framework of the 4-step model.

Keywords: Family Assessment; Systemic Family Therapy; Structural Therapy; Techniques

Fam Proc 52:207–215, 2013

Every first session presents the fundamental challenge of being a therapist: A group ofstrangers walks in and hands you their most urgent problem and expects you to solve
it. “My fifteen-year-old is failing tenth grade. What should I do?” “We never talk anymore.
What’s happened to our marriage?” “It’s me: I’m depressed.”

There are landmines in these opening presentations: “What should we do?” “What’s
wrong with Johnny?” These people have been asking such questions for some time, maybe
years—and they usually have fixed ideas about the answers, even if they do not always
agree. Furthermore, they have typically evolved strategies to deal with their problems,
which, even if unsuccessful, they insist on repeating. In this they are like a car stuck in
the mud, with wheels spinning while they sink deeper into the mire.

The stress of life’s problems makes for anxiety, and anxiety gives rise to rigid thinking.
And so families who come to treatment tend to hold tenaciously to their assumptions: So
and so is “lazy,” “angry,” “withdrawn,” “disloyal,” “weak,” “passive,” “childish,” “rebel-
lious”—or some other negative quality residing in the complicated mechanisms of the stub-
born human psyche. These days this kind of thinking is reinforced by themedical model: He
or she is “hyperactive” or “bipolar,” or both, has “Asperger’s disorder” or “OCD.”

The point of structural family therapy is not to dispute that problems exist

THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE AND RETENTION IN BRIEF
STRATEGIC FAMILY THERAPY: AMIXED-METHODS

STUDY

Alyson H. Sheehan, and Myrna L. Friedlander
University at Albany/SUNY

We explored how the therapeutic alliance contributed to retention in Brief Strategic Family
Therapy by analyzing videotapes of eight-first sessions in which four therapists worked with
one family that stayed in treatment and one family that dropped out. Although behavioral
exchange patterns between clients and therapists did not differ by retention status, positive
therapist alliance-related behavior followed negative client alliance behavior somewhat more
frequently in the retained cases. In the qualitative aspect of the study, four family therapy
experts each viewed two randomly assigned sessions and commented on their quality without
knowing the families’ retention status. A qualitative analysis of the audiotaped commentaries
revealed 18 alliance-related themes that were more characteristic of either the retained or
the nonretained cases.

In recent years, researchers have increasingly turned their attention to effectiveness trials that
assess, in community settings, the success of manualized treatments that have withstood the scru-
tiny of controlled clinical trials. The effectiveness of any theory-based treatment model, however,
depends not only on adherence, but also on the quality of important nonspecific therapeutic pro-
cesses, most notably the working alliance. Indeed, the alliance has been cited as the most critically
important aspect of change, more critical to outcome than the unique aspects of any specific theo-
retical approach (Fife, Whiting, Bradford, & Davis, 2014). A recent meta-analysis on the relation
of alliance to outcome in couple and family therapy (CFT; Friedlander, Escudero, Heatherington,
& Diamond, 2011) produced an average weighted effect size of .26, comparable to the effect size
reported by Horvath, Del Re, Fl€uckiger, and Symonds (2011) for individual psychotherapy.

In Friedlander, Escudero, and Heatherington’s (2006) conceptual model of the working alli-
ance in CFT, the System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances (SOFTA), Bordin’s (1979) clas-
sic alliance conceptualization is captured in two dimensions, Engagement in the Therapeutic
Process (ENGAGE) and Emotional Connection to the Therapist (CONNECT), whereas the two
other SOFTA dimensions reflect unique characteristics of the conjoint modality: Safety within the
Therapeutic System (SAFETY) and Shared Sense of Purpose within the Family (PURPOSE).
SAFETY refers to an individual’s degree of comfort interacting and taking risks in a therapeutic
context with family members, whereas PURPOSE refers to the degree of within-family collabora-
tion and their valuing of conjoint therapy for addressing family concerns.

With few exceptions, most previous SOFTA studies have been conducted in the context of
nonmanualize

The American Journal of Family Therapy, 41:110–120, 2013
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 0192-6187 print / 1521-0383 online
DOI: 10.1080/01926187.2011.649110

Low-Income Families With Potential
Adolescent Gang Involvement: A Structural

Community Family Therapy Integration Model

SHARDE’ N. MCNEIL
Marriage and Family Therapy, Department of Family and Child Sciences, Florida State

University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

JENNIFER K. HERSCHBERGER
Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility, Liberty Behavioral Health Corporation, Pendleton,

Indiana, USA

MARY N. NEDELA
Marriage and Family Therapy, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Purdue University

Calumet, Hammond, Indiana, USA

The purpose of this article is to propose a community structural
intervention for low-income families who present to therapy with
the concern of an adolescent at risk for gang involvement. Families
are affected by multiple interacting systems. In congruence with
systems theory, changing a part of the system will essentially af-
fect the interrelated parts of the system. The proposed intervention
utilizes structural family therapy and community family therapy
as a model to impact change at the family system, its interrelated
systems, and the system at which the family is embedded.

Marriage and family therapists, along with a myriad of other professionals,
focus on promoting social change; therefore, family therapists not only have
a responsibility to the family system but the system in which the family is
embedded. According to Minuchin (1985), the major principles of systems
theory are 1) any system is an organized whole; objects within the system
are necessarily independent; 2) the whole is greater than the sum of its
parts; 3) systems are composed of subsystems; 4) patterns in a system are
circular rather than linear; 5) complex systems are composed of subsystems;

Address correspondence to Sharde’ N. McNeil, Department of Family and Child Sciences,
College of Human Sciences, Florida State University, 225 Sandels Building, Tallahassee, FL
32306-1491. E-mail: [email protected]

110

Structural Therapy and Gangs 111

6) systems are homeostatic mechanisms that maintain stability of their pat-
terns; 7) evolution and change are inherent in open systems. Understanding
these ideas in relation to families as a subsystem of a larger environment,
will allow family therapists to induce a larger and more sustained change in
families.

The system also includes interactions between any of the parts of the
system. When conceptualizing the family as a part, the relationship of the
family with other parts such as the community, peers and socioeconomic
status are important for interven

Running head: COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORY 1

Cognitive Behavioral Theory Versus Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory

Kayla C. Sharpe

Walden University

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORY 2

Cognitive Behavioral Theory Versus Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory

Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory (REBT)

are two psychotherapeutic techniques that are used in the treatment of mental health disorders.

CBT has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of many emotional and behavioral

issues (Wheeler, 2014). CBT is often the treatment of choice for most patients who need internal

resources and enhanced coping skills (Wheeler, 2014). REBT is the original form and one of the

main pillars of CBT, and has served as the basis for the development of CBT (David et al.,

2018). In REBT, irrational beliefs are considered central factors of emotional distress (David et

al., 2018). The focus of REBT is changing irrational beliefs into rational beliefs, with the aim of

changing dysfunctional emotions and maladaptive behaviors into functional and adaptive ones

(David et al., 2018). As a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, it is important to

understand the implications of both CBT and REBT in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

This week’s assignment will focus on the similarities and differences between CBT and REBT,

and explain which therapy I will utilize as a future PMHNP.

Similarities Between Theories

As REBT is one of the main pillars of CBT, there are many similarities between the two

therapies. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that challenges negative patterns of thought about the

self and the outside world, in order to change unwanted behaviors. The basic premise of CBT is

that depression and anxiety are the result of cognitive distortions and these distortions are learned

errors in thinking (Wheeler 2014). The individual’s view of the self and the world is central to

the determination of emotions and behaviors and thus by changing one’s thoughts, emotions and

behaviors can also be changed (Wheeler, 2014). The premise of REBT is that mental illness

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORY 3

comes from inappropriate thoughts, and the elements that make up these thoughts are irrational

beliefs (Xu & Liu, 2017). These beliefs are irrational, nonexperimental and non-functional and

do not confirm the realities of people’s lives and cause emotional and behavioral harm (Xu &

Liu, 2017). These therapies focus on changing destructive thought processes that impact daily

lives, and there are many simila