Triadic Restructuring (TR)

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Triadic Restructuring (TR) is the Triadic-relational configurations Substrate


Triadic Restructuring (TR) is a method of restructuring or re-patterning that encompasses an array of techniques which occur in three-person and larger systems. Thus, TR utilizes techniques which alter process, structure, hierarchy, and function of triads and family systems at domain Level III (triadic-relational) of the total ecological system. Viewing the system using an increasingly macroscopic lens, TR techniques tend to focus on dyads which are unstable having engaged a third-person to stabilize the dyad. Whereas, DR is concerned with self-other configurations, TR emphasizes a dyad + another. These techniques are primarily derived from family systems approaches but may also be used individually. Triangular configurations may exist in multiple configurations, both generationally and muti-generationally.


The function of triadic restructuring is to enhance the self-other differentiation in a dyadic configuration where there is a lack of intimacy and closeness, or an avoidance of conflict that results in the necessity for a third party to stabilize this configuration (Guerin et al., 1996, p. 56).[1]

Goals of Restructuring:

The goal of triadic restructuring is to alter the processes that occur in three-person configurations which can be depicted as triads.

  • Subtypes of Triadic Restructuring:
  1. Relational Triadic Restructuring: focus on three-person relationships in vivo
  2. Symbolic-relational restructuring: focus on individual or dynamics in triad not physically present

Methods & Techniques:

Subtypes of Triadic Restructuring:


  1. Guerin, P. J., Fogarty, T. F., Fay, L. F., & Kautto, J. G. (1996). Working with relational triangles: The one-two-three of psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press

Additional References

Fogarty, T. (1979). The distancer and the pursuer. The Family, 7(1), 11-16.