Strategic family therapy (SFT) is a form of family systems therapy focused on overcoming resistance and encouraging rapid change in the client family’s presenting problem. The therapist assumes the responsibility of guiding change and avoiding harm. Strategies are designed to solve the family’s problems by modifying hierarchy and behavior sequences within the family unit. Insight is not considered necessary. Interactions between clients and their immediate social systems are highlighted and changed using techniques such as goal setting, homework, reframing, and paradoxical interventions. SFT was influential in the development of various family therapy approaches and is still used in some settings, mainly in the form of brief strategic family therapy (BSFT). This entry discusses the historical context and development of SFT, key concepts and tools, and ...

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