Family Therapy: The Cultural Context and Ethics


Culture is defined as collectively agreed knowledge, experience, values, ideas, attitudes, skills, tastes, and techniques, which are passed from one generation to another. Since its inception, language has been used as a transmitting tool, conveying cultures from one generation to the other. In this regard, interpersonal skills are utilized in maintaining stability in marriage (Horne, 2000). In addition, the family counselors impart knowledge to their clients using these skills. Therefore, the culture of maintaining marriage stability and family counseling demands ethics. Ethical codes advocate that family therapists should undertake deterrence work (Horne, 2000). However, many physicians do not include prevention within the scope of their practice. Family therapists and counselors are responsible for addressing numerous family issues in our society. Through this, marriage counselors are required to improve on family relationships. As a result, both married couples and marriage counselors should collectively be involved in the process, practice, and research aimed at improving the family relationships in our society.

Based on the family setup cultures, multiple approaches have been formulated to help couples address these challenges. Similarly, family counselors use the theories to provide counseling to unstable couples. For this reason, multiple approaches continue to evolve to address the dynamism of families (Horne, 2000).

Structural Approach

Structural approach theory suggests that family conflicts can be prevented when certain structures prevail in the family. To achieve these goals, several strategies have been developed by the family therapist experts. Among the approaches developed are structural, strategic, narrative, and behavioral theories (Horne, 2000). These structures include the hierarchies between different generations in a family. The system allows the free flow of information between the parents and their children. A family therapist may be engaged in this process to make the family structure approximate and normative. Similarly, the technique should include all other practices aimed at restoring the hierarchies in the family. In doing so, family challenges affecting modern families can greatly be reduced. Through this, numerous responsibilities within the family setup can be shared and handled with equity (Horne, 2000).

Strategic Systemic Therapy

Strategic systemic therapy is based on the theory that symptoms of a family conflict can be suppressed by seeking its causes. For instance, women with low self-esteem are known to provoke their spouse’s overprotectiveness, a solution that perpetuates the presenting problem. Usually, their spouses view these actions as unselfish acts aimed at protecting them from outside intruders. Through the application of this preventive approach, family therapists argue that once the changes are achieved, domino effects are supposed to be set to counteract the wayward approaches. In this regard, problems that arise in the family setup will be addressed accordingly with consideration of all members (Horne, 2000).

Cultural Effective Prevention Methods

To reduce the rising number of social conflicts in our society, family therapists advise that family individuals should recognize the influence of their social position, values, perceptions, opinions, and knowledge in their interactions with others. Similarly, families should provide and promote an atmosphere through which the similarities and differences of all family members can interact. In addition, family counselors encourage the use of a variety of learning and participation styles and approaches aimed at building a better community. As a result, the growth of family bonding will be enhanced (Matta, 2006).


Currently, there are considerable ethical and cultural models practiced by a systemic therapist, thus the need to find and adapt to specific effective models, depending on the type of approach and context (Matta, 2006). It should be noted that different preventive techniques require different working contexts and different matched conditions with scientifically evaluated solutions. Through this process, the families should continue to act with self-reliance to promote their unions’ stability (Matta, 2006). For the counselors, it is essential to incorporate the community systems when administering treatment to families with challenges. As a result, counselors will maintain the needed motivation in the families. In addition, the challenges that come with the dynamism of family setup should be redefined to keep the success of the profession. Based on this, any matters of family challenges will be addressed appropriately (Matta, 2006).


The relationships that exist within a family should always be promoted to enhance family setup. In this regard, the families should learn to address their responsibilities, and means of raising their offspring with morality. Through this act, the family environment will be convenient and friendly for all members. In instances where challenges emerge, family members should develop means of addressing their problems appropriately. In this case, any problems should be fully addressed to prevent future recurrence (Matta, 2006).

Family counselors play a crucial role in society and have to be skillful to provide successful therapy. Therefore, the approaches are vital to instilling the necessary language. Some of the most important interpersonal skills include empathy, active listening, and rational reasoning. Through this process, they will administer the appropriate therapy. Based on these, they will stabilize the unions of families and enhance marriage successes.


Horne, A. M. (2000). Family counseling and therapy (3rd ed.). Itasca, IL: F.E. Peacock Publishers.

Matta, W. J. (2006). Relationship sabotage: unconscious factors that destroy couples, marriages, and family. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers.

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PsychologyWriting. "Family Therapy: The Cultural Context and Ethics." October 12, 2023.