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Discussion: Examining Structural and Strategic Theories

This week, you will continue your analysis of family systems with two new theories commonly used in couples and family counseling, structural theory and strategic theory. Structural theory explores family patterns and interactions with close attention payed to boundaries and subsystems within the family.

Strategic theory is focused on changing behaviors to reach family goals and often challenges the family norms with paradoxical interventions. Understanding the similarities and differences between models of couples and family counseling can allow counselors to tailor their approach to the specific needs of the couples and families with whom they work.

As you have learned in this course, when counseling families it is vitally important to provide neutrality. Using a systems approach that allows a counselor to focus on the whole system can not only aid a counselor in staying neutral but can provide a view through observable dynamics of how the system impacts family functioning.


Discussion: Examining Structural and Strategic Theories

Consider the theories you explored this week. Do either really stand out or resonate with you? Does one seem to make more sense to your personal style of counseling? For this Discussion, you will review structural and strategic theories presented this week and you will consider the questions posed above.

As you respond to the above questions, you do not need to have a theory of choice at this point. However, recognizing the distinct differences in each theoretical approach will be critical to your professional practice.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources related to structural and strategic theories.
By Day 3

Post the following:

What are your thoughts concerning the theories presented this week?

What aspects of the theories resonate or make more sense to your personal style of counseling?

What aspects or concepts within these theories do you think would be a challenge for you, and why?

Apply titles to each of the theories covered.


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