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accommodation

Elements of a system automatically adjust to coordinate their functioning: pepole may gave to work at it

boundaries

A concept used in structural family therapy to describe emotional barriers that protect and enhance the integrity of individuals, subsystems, and families.

coalition

an alliance between two persons or social units against a third

cross-generational coalition

an inappropriate alliance between a parent and child, who side together against a third member of the family

disengagement

Minuchin's term for psychological isolation that results from overly rigid boundaries around individuals and subsystems in a family

empathy

Understanding and acknowledging what someone is really feeling: in structural family therapy, empathy is used to help clients stop bickering and talk about their feelings.

enactment

an interaction stimulated in structural family therapy to observe and then change transactions that make up family structure

enmeshment

Minuchin's term for loss of autonomy due to a blurring of psychological boundaries

family structure

the functional organization of a family that determines how family members interact

hierarchical structure

family functioning based on clear generational boundaries, where the parents maintain control and authority.

intensity

Minuchin's term for changing maladaptive transactions by using strong affect, repeated intervention, or prolonged pressure.

joining

a structural family therapy term for accepting and accommodating to families to win their condifence and circumvent resistance

reframing

Relabeling a family's description of behavior to make it more amenable to theraputic change; for example, describing some one as, "discouraged" rather than "depressed"

shaping competence

Reinforcing positives rather than confronting deficiences

structure

recurrent patterns of interactions that define and stabilize the shape of relationships.

subsystem

Smaller units in families, determined by generations, sex, or function

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