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on 2 October 2013

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Transcript of Copy of THE BOWEN FAMILY THERAPY

The magic bullet
Illustrates where major event impact the family system
Illuminates response by the family
Used through all previous techniques
Questions illustrate events
Highlight changes in family dynamics
Give perspective on family reaction and adaptation
Asking Questions
Two family members relate to each other
Individuals relate personally
Issues are discussed that are personal
No triangling
The skills learned about detriangulation are practiced
Discussion does not displace to others
Person to Person Relationships

How parents are portrayed among the children’s eyes

How children are portrayed among the paren’ts eyes
Family Projection Process
 Spouses who are low on differentiation of self keep emotional distance from each other to rid themselves of anxiety. When distance cannot be kept and anxiety is too high, it is frequently manifested in three ways:

o   Marital conflict
o   Physical or emotional illness in one spouse
o   Projection of the problem onto the children
The Nuclear Family Emotional System
When members of a family avoid each other, either physically or psychologically, because of an unresolved emotional attachment with:
And other family members, like grandparents, aunts and uncles
Emotional Cut Off

Families who present a problem have had the forces of several generations shaping and carrying the symptoms.

In marriage, people tend to select partners at their own level of differentiation.

It has been found that strong, positive relationship between differentiation and martial quality is proven correct.
Multigenerational transmission process
When a person distinguish themselves from their family of origin, at both an emotional and intellectual level.

People vary as to the level of self-differentiation that they achieve at time, and the concept itself denotes a process.

Bowen hypothesized that most people do not reach a true differentiation of self until the age of 25
Differentiation of Self
Anxiety, Stress, Tension

Example: mother and father are experiencing stress in their relationship, the mother focuses on the new born baby and ignores the father.

Example: stress enters the relationship because husband and wife are constantly arguing over how much time they should spend with her side of the family. As a result, the wife increases her involvement with her mother.
By: Brianna Rogers, Caroline Moreno, Chris Ames, Isaiah Whitfield, Ana Cristobal, Renzo Roel
Use of genograms
Focus on the past
Concrete evaluation of progress
Time and Money

Unique Aspects of Bowen Family Theory Approach
Understand intergenerational patterns

Focus on changing intergenerational inferences

Fusion and unconscious relationships should be cleared up
Goals of Therapy
Healthy separation of thinking and feeling
Basic state to promote healthy family and self
Either enmeshed or separated
Both states require healing to gain some autonomy
Family of origin and present family
Fusion will repeat into present family when not resolved in family of origin
Differentiation of Self
In contact and emotionally separate
Two levels
One level a person resolves personal anxiety over family issues
Second level the person learns not to become triangulate.
Therapist models when in session with couples or family
In session, the therapist will model not becoming triangulated
Returning to the family of origin
Allows practice of differentiation of self
Improve person to person relationships
Practice detriangulation
Returning helps the individual in their present family
Genograms help illustrate repeating patterns
Returning helps break cycles and strengthen healthy family interaction
Going Home Again
Going Home Again
Person to Person Relationships
Differentiation of Self
Asking Questions
Treatment Technique
Bowen family therapist may lead family members into gaining a perspective on how well society as a whole.

Bowen believed that families with higher differentiation were better able to resist these destructive influences.
Societal Economical Process
The nuclear family, rather than the individual, is the emotional unit
The assumption is that people choose mates with equivalent levels of differentiation to their own.
 When two poorly differentiated people marry, they themselves become highly fused and will produce a family with the same characteristics. The result will be a nuclear family emotional system that will be unstable and will seek various ways to reduce tension and maintain stability.
The Nuclear Family Emotional System

This factor suggest that people can develop fixed personality characteristics based on their birth order.

The more closely a marriage replicates a couples sibling position, the better are the chance for success.
Sibling Position
 A three-person relationship system
It is considered the basic building block in a family’s larger emotional or relational systems because it’s the smallest stable relationship system. 
Triangles are linked closely with Bowen's concept of differentiation, in that the greater the degree of fusion in a relationship, the more heightened is the pull to preserve emotional stability by forming a triangle. 
Differentiation of self
Multigenerational transmission process
Sibling position
Emotional Cut Off
The Nuclear Family
Family Projection Process
Societal Emotional Process
8 different concepts of the Bowen Theory
Michael Kerr was a long time student and colleague of Bowen’s.

Since 1977 has been the director of training at the Georgetown Family Center.

Kerr is perhaps the most faithful advocate of all Bowen’s student, as his book Family Evaluation demonstrates.
Michael Kerr
What he discovered was that the volatile bond between mothers and their emotionally disturbed offspring inevitably involved the whole family.

At the beginning of the NIMH Project each family was seen by separate therapist.

In 1955 Bowen became one of the first to invent family therapy.

Also in 1955 NIMH project ended and Bowen decided to move to Georgetown University and began working with families whose problems were less severe.

What he discovered were many of the same mechanisms he had observed in psychotic families. This convince him that there is no discontinuity between normal and disturbed families but that all families vary along a continuum from emotional fusion to differentiation.
Murray Bowen Cont.
Bowen was the oldest child of five, raised in a tight knit family in Pennsylvania.

Began being interested in family while working as a psychiatrist in the late 40’s at Menninger Clinic.

Interested in the enigma of schizophrenia and by the emotional sensitivity between patient and their mother, otherwise known as “mother-patient symbiosis.”

In 1954 Bowen started working with the National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH).

He came up with the idea to hospitalize not only the individual with schizophrenia but the entire family.
Murray Bowen
Encourage to search for clues as to what stresses the family
Differentiate between historical
Socratic Dialogue

Calm presence
Role of the Therapist
Full transcript