Applying Structural Family Therapy through Assessment and Treatment Planning
The three dimensions of structural family therapy, i.e., boundaries, alignment, and power, overlap with the three
dimensions of the circumplex model, i.e., family adaptibility, cohesion, and communication. For this
assignment, you will be provided with an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of Harry Aponte’s
structural family therapy with Pam and her parents by developing structural and functional hypotheses to guide
further work with the family.
Step 1: Assess the family’s cohesion and adaptability using the circumplex model. Use the Circumplex
Worksheet (DOCX, 15KB) download to complete and score your circumplex model assessment.
Step 2: Rate the family’s communication skills
Step 3: What is the family focal problem?
Step 4: Present your structural hypothesis by answering these overlapping questions:
How do boundaries, alignment, and power affect family transactions in relation to the focal problem?
How does family adaptability and cohesion affect family transactions in relation to the focal problem
Step 5: Present your functional hypothesis by discussing the history and motivation that determines how family
members transact with one another around the focal problem
Step 6: Based on your circumplex assessment and the structural and functional hypotheses, discuss the
What concrete issues will you focus on?
What experiences will you enact? i.e., “talk to your wife about…”
What relationships will you restructure?
How will you join the family?
How will you build on strengths?
What everyday experiences will be created that involve structural change?
Formatting your paper:
Include the Steps as “section headers” to organize your work
Include a title page
Include page numbers
Page length: 2-3 pages (not counting title page)
Do not include any Canvas module references (i.e., the video)
When complete, save and upload your work to this assignment as a Word document (.docx)
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