Bowen's Family Systems Theory

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Family theories help explain the family’s impact on an individual’s wellbeing and offer different approaches to managing one’s health with a family-focused perspective. They provide a foundation for practice and enhance one’s understanding of family processes and dynamics. These theories address the family as the unit of care and enable nurses to empathize, comprehend, and collaborate with the family providing strategies in practice and improving care (Denham, Eggenberger, Young, & Krumweide, 2016). Two family theories that have sparked my interest are the Bowen’s Family Systems Theory (FST) and the Illness Beliefs Model (IBM). This paper will discuss each theory, including the strengths and weaknesses of each. A fictional family case…show more content…
Triangulation refers to the relationship between three people. Bowen explained that a two-person system is not stable and a third person is necessary to maintain homeostasis (Kerr, 2017).
Nuclear family emotional system is a concept describing four primary relationship patterns of emotional functioning, which are matrimonial conflict, dysfunction in a spouse, impairment in children, and emotional detachment (Haefner, 2014). Family reactions to such are imitations of previous generations, as well as predictors of how future generations will react. The family projective process is when children inherit the strengths and weaknesses of their parents, such as emotional issues (Haefner, 2014). Multigenerational transmission is the progression of family ideals and traditions to multiple generations, which are either supportive or detrimental (Haefner, 2014).
Emotional cut-off is when a person is unable to manage emotional problems with family members and cut off any emotional contact creating an unresolved conflict (Haefner, 2014). The concept of sibling positions describes common characteristics seen in the same sibling position that cause differences in development and behavior (Kerr, 2017). Societal regression is a concept that explains how society and the family parallel in how it handles emotional processes, such as anxiety
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