Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy

  • Marion Lindblad-GoldbergEmail author
  • Edward A. Igle
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_328


Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy (ESFT) is an empirically supported treatment/supervision/training model developed by Marion Lindblad-Goldberg in the 1970s and further elaborated at Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Center.

ESFT trains family therapists to go against the cultural grain by empowering caregivers and nurturing resilient patterns of family and community connection.

Family therapists face three key clinical challenges when they are working to strengthen transactional patterns that weaken a family’s ability to nurture its children. These challenges are: (1) to see the family as ensnared in a set of negative interactional patterns fueled by avoidance and abdication; (2) to understand the therapist’s role to help caregivers envision new transactional patterns; (3) to respond to the family through a collaborative partnership with the caregivers and the at-risk child.

Prominent Associated Figures

The development of ESFT was influenced by Salvador...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training CenterPhiladelphiaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Kearns
    • 1
  1. 1.Iowa CityUSA