Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Michael Nichols

Committee Members

Cheryl Dickter

Angela Leruth


The study examined the effectiveness of the four step model of structural family therapy developed by Minuchin, Nichols, and Lee (2007). It also examined the role of empathy in the therapy process, as well as sex differences. Seven therapy recordings were used, which were obtained from the archives of the Minuchin Center for the Family. Three undergraduate raters rated how the adult clients responded in regards to each of the four steps. Two undergraduate raters and an expert structural family therapist rated the therapists on their implementation of the four step model, and their empathy towards each adult client. Results showed that the therapist’s adherence to the four step model was positively correlated with positive client responses indicating in-session change, but contingent on empathy expressed towards that client. Empathy was shown to be a moderator in the relationship between therapists’ adherence to the four step model and client response. The therapy process is also talked about in depth.

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Creative Commons License
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