Mapping in Structural Family Therapy
Mapping is the visual representation of a family and of its members’ relationships with each other and with the outside world.
Mapping is a primary assessment technique used in Structural Family Therapy.
Rationale for the Strategy or Intervention
Structural therapy poses that problematic behaviors are embedded in a family’s relational patterns. Visually representing those patterns on a diagram serves the dual purpose of identifying how problems are maintained by the family’s dynamics and guiding the therapeutic intervention.
The first draft of the family map may be drawn on the basis of the referral information. Who live in the household? What are their genders and ages? How are they related to each other? This gives the therapist a basic sense of the “shape” of the family: “trigenerational,” “blended,” “single parent,” “one-child.” The referral information may also include data on the larger system: individuals and organizations that are...
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