Strategic Family Therapy

The "strategic" school of therapy is less well defined than some of the other schools. Cloe Madanes, in her 1981 book, Strategic Family Therapy, suggested that it is the "responsibility of the therapist to plan a strategy to solve the client's problems." She saw strategic therapy stemming from the work of Milton Erickson, who often used indirect means of promoting change in his patients. These means are discussed below in the section "Indirect Interventions and Injunctions." A problem with the term "strategic therapy,'' however, is that presumably every effective therapist uses strategies of some sort in attempting to assist families make the changes they seek. It is thus somewhat imprecise.

This brief overview comes nowhere near to covering all the schools of, or approaches to, family therapy. It is presented to make the point that there are many possible approaches to the task of helping families change.

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