Psychology Topic Structural and Experiential Therapist Perspectives

Structural and Experiential Therapist Perspectives 4

Psychology: Topic:Structural and ExperientialTherapist Perspectives

The case presented of the 7 year old girl with school phobiaindicates that the girl comes from a family of five. Considering thisaspect, it is essential to use a form of therapy that would look intothe problem of the child, as well as the problems within the familythat might be affecting the child and making her develop schoolphobia (Prochaska &amp Norcross,2014). The two preferred therapists for the case above arestructural family therapist and experiential family therapist. It isclear from research that a structural family therapist would workmore efficiently with the client than the latter therapist. This isdue to the fact that the structural family therapist will go a stepfurther and look into the relationships between the family membersthat might be unproductive and unhealthy hence affecting the behaviorof the child (Nichols, 2012).

From the case above, a structural family therapist would view theproblem above from a family perspective. Research has indicated thatsuch therapists are more concerned with the relationships betweenfamily members and how to resolve them (Nichols,2012). The school phobia that the young girl in the case issuffering from might be as a result of broken family ties within herfamily. The therapist will seek to find out whether the relationshipamongst the family members is healthy. The main goal of a structuralfamily therapist is to med any broken relationships within a family.The therapist does not view the problem as an individual problem, butbelieves that the relationships amongst the family members arelargely to blame for individual problems. In this regard, thetherapist will seek to restore healthy and productive relationshipsamongst the family members(Dattilio, 2012).

There are a number of techniques that the structural therapist canapply to resolve the problem. To start with, the therapist can seekto find out any problems within the family. The therapist will firsttry resolving any broken relationships within the family.Additionally, the therapist will have a one on one discussion withthe patient who will explain her problem. Family members can also beinvolved in the discussion as they try to find out the source of thegirls school phobia. The therapist would also apply the technique ofestablishing the patterns and structures of the family relationships.This will help him improve such patterns and structuressignificantly. Such relationship systems may be parental or siblingrelationships (Gehart, 2014).

On the other hand, an experiential therapist will view the problemabove differently. Research has indicated that these therapists willfocus on individual problems as opposed to the entire family(Goldenberg &amp Goldenberg,2013). These therapists do not blame the problems of thefamily for individual failures. Therefore, in the case of the 7 yearold girl with school phobia, the therapist will view the problem asindividual and will involve the girl individually in trying toresolve the problem. However, it is worth noting that the therapistmay consider some of the existing family problems and how they mayhave contributed to the school phobia (Falicov,2013).

The main goals of experiential therapy include the attempt to createintimacy between the family members and making individual membersfeel fulfilled and contented with their roles in the family.Interaction between family members is an essential aspect for anexperiential family therapist. The therapist may seek to ensure thatthe individual members of the family communicate effectively witheach other. Additionally, the therapist may seek to ensure that theindividual family members respect each others’ ideas and opinions(Falicov, 2013). Thetherapist may apply the technique of role playing in attempting toidentify the problem that the patient is suffering from. It is worthstating that experiential therapists do not use oral therapy but usereal activities to resolve a problem. The therapist gets fullyinvolved in the therapy and his approach seeks to ensure that thefamily members are open to each other in order to enhance intimacy(Gehart, 2014).


Nichols, M. P. (2012). Familytherapy: Concepts and methods (10th ed.).Boston: Pearson.

Gehart,D. R. (2014).&nbspMasteringcompetencies in family therapy: A practical approach to theoriesand clinical case documentation.Belmont, Calif: Brooks/Cole Pub.

Falicov, C. J. (2013).&nbspFamilytransitions: Continuity and change over the life cycle.New York: Guilford Press.

Prochaska, J. O., &amp Norcross,J. C. (2014).&nbspSystemsof psychotherapy: A transtheoretical analysis.

Goldenberg, I., &amp Goldenberg,H. (2013).&nbspFamilytherapy: An overview.Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.

Dattilio, F. M. (2012).&nbspCasestudies in couple and family therapy: Systemic and cognitive perspectives. New York:Guilford Press