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Due to a wide range of circumstances, relationships between family members can become strained and broken. This can result in short and long-term conflict situations which can be difficult to resolve without the intervention of a professional therapist.

Through family therapy, conflicts can be overcome and a deeper understanding can develop between one another. 

Structural Family Therapy is one form of therapy that we provide at Peaks Recovery. Keep reading to learn more and then get in touch with our team if you would like to use our services. 

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy is a type of professional therapy that can help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. Such therapy is usually short term, and it will consist of several counseling elements that are dependent on the family’s situation.

What is Structural Family Therapy?

Structural family therapy is a form of family therapy that was originally devised by Salvador Minuchin in the 1960s. It is one of the most widely used forms of family intervention used today and is recommended to any family looking to improve communication and strengthen relationships. 

The main goal of this form of therapy is to help a family reorganize (or restructure) the way individual members interact with one another. This will help them to work more cohesively as a unit and it will give them the tools necessary to adapt and deal with any stressors that pop up in the course of their family life. 

When families sign up for Structural family therapy, they can expect to undergo some or all of the following techniques. 


The therapist will get to know more about the family, show their support to each of them, and explain the techniques used within structural family therapy.

Family mapping

Using the process of family mapping, the therapist will seek to understand more about the family’s problems by creating a visual representation (genogram) of the family structure and the hierarchy, boundaries, and relationships that exist within it. This lets the therapist know more about the family setup and after input from each family member, it can be used to explore the issues the family is experiencing. 


Boundaries are important in any family structure but when they are blurred or non-existent, problems can arise. The therapist will help the family to a) adopt clear boundaries and b) help them adjust hierarchal positions where needed.


In a non-confrontational way, the therapist will challenge each family member and help them re-consider how a family operates.


Under the therapist’s guidance, the family will act out scenarios that identify patterns of behavior and dysfunction. They will then enact alternatives that help them to improve family dynamics.


The therapist will help family members see things from a different perspective to help them get a better understanding of the situations and relationships that they are struggling to manage.  


Once the therapist understands the family structure and the issues within, they will work with the family to identify a plan of action for the family to execute. 

What can Structural Family Therapy be used for?

Structural family therapy can be recommended to families affected by:

  • Divorce or separation
  • Trauma
  • Sickness
  • Death
  • Drug use
  • Mental health (such as a family member with depression)
  • Significant life changes (such as a family member coming out as gay)

This list is not meant to be exhaustive. 

Blended families, intergenerational families, single-parent families, and traditional family setups can benefit from this form of therapy.

What are the benefits of Structural Family Therapy?

Structural family therapy can help families…

  • Establish healthy boundaries
  • Improve communication
  • Improve hierarchies within the family system
  • Reduce conflict
  • Improve individual attitudes and reactions
  • Increase parental competence
  • Correct imbalances within the family setup

Peaks Recovery Can Help

Are you experiencing conflict within your family? Are family relationships breaking down because of a particular issue? If so, Peaks Recovery is here to help. Our highly-trained team can give you and your family members all the support you need, so don’t assume you need to handle any conflicts and family breakdowns alone. 

You can learn more about our family program here so have a read and then get in touch with our friendly team if you would like further information about the types of therapy that we can offer your family. 

Medical Disclaimer: Peaks Recovery Centers uses fact-based content about recovery treatment, addiction medicine, and behavioral health conditions to improve the quality of life for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction or mental health disorders. This information is not intended to replace professional medical guidance, diagnosis, care, or treatment. This information should not be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified healthcare provider and/or your physician.