Family Structural Theory in Marriage

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Family Structural Theory in Marriage

Question: Using the family structural theory how can families created following second marriages learn to function as one?

Families created following second marriages are not easy for children and have numerous challenges; one challenge is learning to function as one. This new transition presents various opportunities for new communication patterns, roles, and expectations. Minuchin established the family structural theory which provides specific therapeutic techniques that the structural family therapist may utilize to change communication patterns and systems within a family.


Family break ups such as divorce or remarriage obviously need shifting of family roles. Second marriages are not easy for children to cope with the transition given they were fixed on set norms and beliefs. Different families have different behavioral patterns and loyalties. These differences may establish dysfunctional family relationships in second marriages. The combination of two separate families creates both internal and external stressors.

The family structural theory enables therapists to temporarily observe family interactions so as to evaluate the unhealthy patterns and come up with productive means of family interaction. Children require good support to enable them cope with transition of going into two different families. In this regard, parents must set directions and rules of accommodating children in second marriages.

The advantage of using structural family theory is enabling proper observation of how these interactions take place in real life situation. The therapist (akin) needs to remain decentralized and objective when directing families towards proper psychosocial functioning as well as productive interactions.


In conclusion, this therapy is beneficial for second marriage families since the strengths and weaknesses of family communication are sufficiently observed and evaluated and thus enabling represent productive development, transitions, and shifts in family structures.


G-Pirooz, S., & Schwoeri, L. (2003). Textbook of family and couples theraphy. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishers. Retrieved from:

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