Murray Bowen's Theory Of Bowen Systems Theory

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In the system of family therapy Dr Murray Bowen developed a new approach to family therapy that was different from other family theorist because it emphasized on the family’s emotional system and its history that may be traced through the family dynamics of the parents, and grandparents. His approach looks at human emotions and the patterns that are commonly developed and similar in all family systems.
Bowen Systems Theory
Bowen’s theory consists of a system of eight interlocking states that describe the inevitable chronic emotional anxiety present in family relationships and concludes that chronic anxiety is the source of family dysfunction.
The key concept of this theory is differentiation of self and emotional fusion, which refers to
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Eight interlocking forces that shape family functioning
Emotional Fusion and Differentiation of Self: While social groups are important, the family has the primary impact of developing a sense of self. The poorly-differentiated self requires acceptance and approval of others for thinking, acting, and saying.
A well-differentiated self, while acknowledging the importance of family and social groups, can withstand conflict, rejection, and criticism and separate emotionally and intellectually from the family of origin.
It is the degree of fusion and differentiation. Persons with low differentiation are less flexible and more emotionally dependent on others.
Triangles: A three-person relationship that can stabilize a two-person system (dyad) experiencing anxiety. The assessment of anxiety is fundamental to the Bowenian approach. When tension between two people develops, anxiety can be relieved by bringing in a third person.
The tension is diffused but the triangle also has the potential to make ‘an odd man out.’ Bowen states ‘emotional forces within the triangle are constantly in motion’ as the triangle moves back and forth between dyads with one person as the outsider. Bowen believes the most common pattern is the father–mother–child triangle, with the tension being between the parents, the father moves to the outside position. Spreading the tension can
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