Techniques in Marriage and Family Therapy

Techniques in Marriage and Family Therapy

A good relationshipbetween parents and children is encouraged by both the parents andchildren, as a free part and parcel of the entire family. In case ofmisunderstanding, proper way that will solve the challenges in amicusway should be embraced. Due to ideological differences in thefamilies and the challenges that may be experienced, there is alikelihood of stress and later develop into depression. Marriedpartners need to have a therapist, so that counseling may beconducted in such moments. The children are part and parcel of thefamily, and they should be advised so as to solve the challenges thatmay emanate. The paper aims to discuss the techniques that can beused in marriage and family therapy as noted by Sherman and Fredman(1986).

The role of thefamily is to make sure that change and those development issues canbe addressed in a way that will not divide and separate the couples.A favorable environment for both couples and the children should beembrace. Marriage and family therapy according to Sherman and Fredman(1986) encourage good relationship so that each and every member ispsychologically healthy. I do support Sherman and Fredman idea basedon that if good relationship and communication do not exist in thefamily set up stress and other related psychological problems may beexperienced. In regard to this, it is important for the family toconsider therapist whether the issue is a personal or family issue.Through direct participation in a counseling session, offeringstrength and support the couples can handle their problems in adiverse manner and solve the challenges.

According to Shermanand Fredman (1986), they encourage structural family therapy (SFT)theory. The aim of the approach is to make sure that all the problemsthat affect the family are addressed in an organized way that willnot cause hatred and separation. The married couples should be awareof the rules that make the family continue functioning as intended.Challenges are experienced in the family that destabilizes it and ifthe rules that govern the family are not followed, then, there is thelikelihood of the family breakage. The goals of structural familytherapy are to encourage the couples and the siblings to avoidrepeating issues that may offend the other partner. The theoryfollows the subsystem in which each and every member will interactwith the other person. The hierarchical structure is developed andrules given on how power in the family is distributed. The theoryencourages the partners and the children to have proper behaviors sothat they can interact freely and corporate without challenges. Thetheory according to Sherman and Fredman encourages reframing. Itimplies that any problem can be placed at a different angle so thatthe partners can be given counseling and solve the problem withoutnecessarily looking at the negative side of it so that it can beworkable. It also encourages enactment. It deals with those personalissues that the family is unable to communicate so that the therapistcan intervene and give the way forward. Lastly, the theory deals withdisruption of the current hierarchical structure that existed so thata new interaction is created.

From the theory, Iunderstand that therapist needs to know the bottom of the problem andthose personal issues that are affecting the family. The rules thatthe family uses to make it function as intend must be followed in thehierarchical manner so that interaction in the family can beembraced. Failure to respect each other in the family implies thatproblems are going to be experienced. Whenever the head of the familyor each and every member is not given the maximum respect that he orshe deserves, it indicates that low-self esteem is experienced. WhatI don’t like about the theory is that reframing is used as a methodto deal with psychological problems so that the couples can have thesolution. Reframing means that some issues that one of the partnershas been talking about may be ignored and thus assume that theproblem is solved.

According to Shermanand Fredman, (1986), the next technique in marriage and familytherapy is strategic family therapy. The theory encourages familyissues to be settled in a shorter time. The method helps theparticipants to present his or her problems, and the therapist willdirect what do be done so that the clients can benefit from thesession. To solve the psychological problems that exist, thetherapist gives the family time to interact where a favorableenvironment is given and encourage each and every member to take partin the discussion. The clients may be asked why they are there andwhy they need psychological health. The family is encouraged todiscuss the problems that have made them be in the session so thatthe counselor can understand their issues. A therapist may take theissues that he or she needs to be analyzed and discussed.

The method iscrucial since I have realized that the technique plays an integralpart in the family set up. This is based on the fact that therapistwill give credit where it deserves. The issue here is to address theproblem and solve it once and for all. The counselor offers support,and he or she is ready to intervene and sacrifice his or her time andmake sure that the family change has occurred. I have also understoodthat responsibility needs to be defined since it’s a significantchallenge that has affected a lot of family. In case of incomechallenges, couples should try to cope with the situation and try tohelp each other.

The next techniquethat is used by Sherman and Fredman is the transgenerational therapythat deals with beliefs and behaviors of the couple. One of thecouples may have queer behaviors that may lead to problems that mayaffect the other partner mentally. For example, the issue of adulterymay result in divorce and separation. Those queer behaviors are dealtwith by therapist so that the family belief and behavior can beembraced. Fantasy and imagery in this part play an integral partwhere the partners are encouraged not to practice sexual relationshipoutside marriage. Fantasy and imagery tend to ruin families based onthe fact that a choice has consequences.

Sex issues are amajor challenge, and I can conquer with Sherman and Frendman sincewhenever couples do not enjoy intimacy then communication, stress anddepression may be experienced. It is imperative that if a partnerdoes not have a good relationship with intimacy issues they are goingto look the same intimacy from other people. It is painful to bothcouples since they will experience low self-esteem and thus likely toseparate. The therapist encourages good sexual relationship whilecounseling the families. From my point of view, biblically sex wasordained by God and thus couples should enjoy.

According to Shermanand Fredman 1986, the family choreography is a technique that plays asignificant role in family treatment whenever there are problems.Each and every member should play his or her role without interferingwith other people role. Family choreography from my point of viewdeals with how the family should respect each and every partner forsmooth communication. Just as Sherman and Fredman state couples,conferences should be held so that each and every member can know theroles that they are supposed to carry. The conferences shape thecouple`s mind and treat each other with the respect deserved. Iencourage the families to have caring days where they can join othersand celebrate their marriage together and their children.


Sherman and Fredmanhave discussed the family rituals that are supposed to be held.Through the rituals the generation boundaries are supported. Theboundaries are passed from one generation to the next thus making thesiblings to be aware of what marriage is and how one should treateach other in the family.


Sherman, R. and Fredman, N. (1986). Handbook of Structured. New York:Brunner/Mazel Inc. ISBN 0-87630-424-2