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Elements of the Emotional System

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Cayman Tirado

on 9 March 2016

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Transcript of Elements of the Emotional System

Elements of the Emotional System
Within a symbiotic relationship.......
Individuals sacrifice their own personal goals and self-needs to ensure short term peace and harmony. In this kind of relationship, any attention paid to someone or something outside of the relationship is viewed with either feelings of jealously, abandonment or both. Any and all decisions may have to be made with the others approval, even seemingly insignificant ones.
-The dynamics of a triangle preserve equilibrium
in a three party system.
-The involvement of a 3rd person decreases the
anxiety around the dyad and allows tension to
shift around the triangle.
-To a degree this happens in all families,
prevents over-heating or erupting, may never
become a problem.
"A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming or regarded as forming a collective entity"
Murry Bowan discovered during his work with schizophrenics & families that as patients began to improve, family members would complain that they had observed
symptoms or that
someone else in the family had become ill or dysfunctional
At some point, one or both individuals involved in the relationship may become angry or frustrated with having to sacrifice so much for the relationship, especially if they feel they are not getting enough in return.

As tension begins to surface, it incorporates a wider relationship. Bowen calls this fusion. This wider relationship may now involve parents, siblings, or someone outside the immediate family. When this fusion occurs, the relationship changes from a
(2) to a
According to Bowen, symbiosis is a two-person system in which responsible individuality
does not

Family emotional systems contain the same basic components that require consideration.
Each person lives only for and vicariously through the other. Each person is compelled, no matter what, to ensure the other person's emotional comfort.
What do you want for dinner dear?

Oh, whatever you want dear.
Effects of a triangle
Triangles can
a twosome.

Our daughter really helps me see how much I love you.
Every since we had a baby, I feel like you never have time for me?
The more enmeshed a family is, the more triangulation required to ensure some sense of emotional stability.
When tension become high and more individuals are brought in, this can create
interlocking triangles.
The process can continue until it spills over into the community, involving social workers, counselors, police, etc.
Lisa's father
Lisa's Mother
Baby Girl
Ed/Lisa Counselor
Ed's father
Ed's Sister
Ed's Bro in law
Anxiety generator
- first person in the triangle to become anxious about a situation and initiates the upset.
Anxiety amplifier
add to problem by reacting in an agitated and exaggerated manner to the anxiety generator.
Anxiety dampener
- remains emotionally distance in relation to the problem until pressure it to great and then attempts acts overresponsible to calm others.
The dampener only reinforces the triangle & no one take responsibility for their own anxiety.

In order for this change, emotional separation or differentiation, detriangulation must occur.
Effective detriangulation depends on emotional detachment and neutrality regarding the family

This can cause resistance from other family members creating a "if you're not with us, you're against us" mentality.
Emotional Maturity
Ability to adapt to a stress and distinguish between feeling & intellect.

Is one guided by feelings or thoughts & being engulfed int he problems of others?
Poor emotional maturity
High emotional maturity
-emotionally needy
-highly reactive
-think objectively about emotion
-communicates needs/wants
-assumes responsibility for self
Developmental Factors
-Each child comes in to the world dependent on others.
-Symbiotic relationships develop naturally, as the child ages he/she must go through developmental tasks.
-Families with high levels of emotional maturity permit the child to grow and, think, feel and act responsibly.
-In families with low levels of maturity, this does not happen. Child behavior is based on emotional reactiveness and they create dependent relationships.
Detachment vs. Disengagement
- family members that have physically and/or emotionally disassociated from the family. Conflict is not resolved. Emotional cut off.
- Emotional neutrality. Conflict is resolved. Able to see both side of the relationship and make a choice not to take side.
Multigenerational Transmission Process
-Process by which generations pass down levels of functioning,
strengths/weaknesses & family patterns
-Most basic component - deep emotional attachment between mother &
-A well entrenched symbiotic relationship can be seen as a mutual
projection process
-Mutual projection generally operates within the father-mother-child
-Parents tend to raise children at their emotional maturity level or lower,
the more intense a triangle, the lower the maturity level of the child
-Change is possible if the child decides to personally change and
develop neutrality.

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