Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Training Strategic Family Therapists

  • Nathan C. D. PerronEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_661

Name of Concept

Training Strategic Family Therapists


The strategic family therapy (SFT) is a highly focused approach where therapists learn to take an active role in the treatment process (Henderson and Thompson 2016). Training therapists in SFT involves providing a core knowledge of family systems theory, in combination with strategic, intentional, and direct methods for targeting problems and symptoms within the family environment. Therapists learn about designing a plan for directly solving problems through homework assignments and planned interventions. The word strategic among strategic family therapists “refers to the development of a specific strategy, planned in advance by the therapist, to resolve the presenting problem as quickly and efficiently as possible” (Henderson and Thompson 2016, p. 495).

The goal of SFT is to change the system, including the behavior patterns that maintain the system (Fall et al. 2004). In SFT, the family is a system consisting of both...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Counseling@NorthwesternThe Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA