Structural Family Therapy
by Harry Aponte
Watch Harry J. Aponte, a highly regarded therapist who worked closely with Salvador Minuchin, demonstrate his unique approach to Structural Therapy in this compelling family therapy session.

Part of the 10-video series: Family Therapy with the Experts
Adrian and Judy are skeptical about therapy. They have been to several therapists to try to understand their daughter Pam’s anger, and are frustrated with the lack of improvement in Pam’s behavior. Finally, in this session with Aponte, they are on their way to making positive changes in the family dynamic. Aponte masterfully forms an alliance with Pam, a difficult-to-reach woman in her thirties with developmental limitations, by connecting with her humanity through curiosity and direct engagement. He demonstrates key principles of Structural Therapy by focusing on concrete day-to-day issues and engaging actively with all three family members to help them understand the underlying conflicts beneath Pam’s anger. Aponte strikes a delicate balance of meeting the family on their terms, and yet confidently making observations as well as asserting what they need to do to make the changes they so desperately desire.

In this three-part video, Aponte discusses his approach to family therapy, conducts a real session with this challenging family, and then offers commentary about the session. Aponte’s responses to questions from an audience of therapists further elucidate the rationale behind his interventions. If you’ve ever struggled with how to engage a hard-to-reach client or are curious about applying a structural approach to therapeutic work with challenging families, this video will prove to be both inspiring and instructive.

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What therapists are saying…

"Like life, like therapy–this thought-provoking video with master therapist, Harry J. Aponte, is more than the sum of its parts. A  seasoned Structural Family Therapist, Aponte brings to life the roots of the hallowed Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic led by Sal Minuchin–a place where community, poverty, clinicians, researchers, the streets and the families were all held with a respectful diversity for ideas and for people. What we are treated to in this video is slice of what real growth and self-inquiry looks like. Aponte’s genuine engagement, his own honest and deep capacity to connect, to look into his own soul, and to acknowledge the spiritual life in himself and others, is what sets his work and this masterful lesson apart. A real treat!!"

-- Jay Lappin, LCSW
"I’ve seen this DVD at least 12 times, and have learned something new each time I have watched it! I am planning to continue to view it, as it has greatly enhanced my own work with families. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn from a true master."

-- John Turner, LCSW, Lynchburg, VA
In Depth
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CE Test
Note that this is the same family as in  Bowenian Family Therapy  and the Object Relations Family Therapy, so it is interesting to contrast the styles of these two master therapists.

By watching this video, you will:
• Learn the theoretical components of Structural Family Therapy.
• Identify specific techniques and interventions characteristic of Structural Family Therapy.
• Observe how a clinician employing a Structural Therapy approach conducts an initial family therapy session.

Length of video: 01:54:00

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

This DVD plays in All Regions

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-224-7

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-225-5

Harry J. Aponte, LCSW, LMFT is a professor in Drexel University’s Couple & Family Therapy Department. He also has a private practice in Philadelphia. He has written several important articles and chapters in addition to his book, Bread and Spirit: Therapy with the new poor.  He has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Among other honors, he received the award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy and Practice from the American Family Therapy Academy in 1992, and the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy from the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in 2001.  He also received the I. Arthur Marshall Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Menninger Clinic in 1997.

See all Harry Aponte videos.

CE credits: 3

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the theoretical components of Structural Family Therapy.
  • Identify specific techniques and interventions characteristic of Structural Family Therapy.
  • Observe how a clinician employing a Structural Therapy approach conducts an initial family therapy session.
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