There is no strict definition or set of characteristics for “a family.” A family can be young or old, big or small, blended, fostered, adopted, or adapted. A family can also be weak or strong, but sometimes it needs a guide to help family members identify their strengths and weaknesses, their current abilities, and areas that need improvement.
Strategic Family Therapy, or SFT, can help families get back on the road to a supportive and loving relationship.
What Is Strategic Family Therapy?
SFT combines the idea of a family as a unit and the belief that an outside advocate is needed to help draft a strategy the family can follow to achieve success. The strategic family therapist is not concerned with the origin of family dysfunction, but focuses instead on setting a concise goal with a well thought out plan that will lead to the conclusion of the problems.
You can think of a strategic family therapist as the coach of an athletic team or a foreman on a worksite. The athletes have the skills to win a game, construction workers know how to build a house, but without a leader with a clear game plan or blueprints, everyone just kind of bounces off of each other and hopes for the best.
Informal Steps In Strategic Family Therapy
Just as a family is dynamic, a strategic family therapy plan must be somewhat fluid and flexible. A therapist will consider the following steps:
- Identify the family dynamic issues
- Determine which problems are solvable through SFT
- Set SFT goals
- Develop a plan to meet strategic family therapy goals
- Review progress
- Evaluate the outcome
One of the key differences with strategic therapy is that the therapist takes the leading role. The SFT plan is set and “enforced” by the therapist. Family homework is assigned, sometimes employing paradoxical procedures which seem to be contrary to the goals, but in actuality, help to accomplish them.
Goals of Strategic Family Therapy
Your family will usually come to Brief Strategic Family Therapy with an idea of what you want to accomplish, but after identifying the family dynamics and dysfunctions, your therapist may set different goals. Some developments a therapist hopes you take away from the program are:
- Less restrictive family interactions
- Conflict resolution skills
- Ability to turn negative situations into positive solutions
- Self-sustaining changes
- Resolution of damaging behaviors/symptoms (substance abuse, depression, anxiety)
At Summit Malibu we understand that a family grows and changes organically, and because of this, the rules, beliefs, policies, and procedures, much like a workplace, must be reviewed and refined. Brief Strategic Family Therapy is that evaluation process.
Contact us today for more information about BSFT and our other successful mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.