The goal of BSFT is to improve youth behavior by improving family
relationships that are presumed to be directly related to youth
behavior problems, as well as to improve relationships between
the family and other important systems that influence the youth.
BSFT assumes that each family has its own unique characteristics
and properties that emerge and are apparent only when family
members interact. This family "system" influences all members of
the family. Thus, the family must be viewed as a whole organism
rather than merely as the composite sum of the individuals or
groups that compose it. BFST uses a strategic approach that
includes pragmatic, problem-focused, and planned interventions.
There are three intervention components: joining, diagnosis, and
restructuring. "Joining" involves the use of techniques designed
to address family resistance and engage families in treatment.
Diagnosis involves identifying interactional patterns (structure)
that allow or encourage problematic youth behavior. Restructuring
involves the development of specific plans for changing the
family interactions and individual and social factors that are
directly related to the child's problem behavior. BSFT therapists
use a range of techniques that fall within three broad
categories: working in the present, reframing, and working with
boundaries and alliances. The implementation of BSFT in the
Spanish Family Guidance Center illustrates the development of a
culturally specific family approach. 25 references