The Bowenian Approach to Family Therapy Essay example

2986 Words12 Pages
The Bowenian Approach to Family Therapy
Summer D. Parrott
Liberty University
March 1, 2015

This paper will summarize the theory of family systems developed by Murray Bowen. It will describe the eight key components to Bowenian therapy and the techniques used during practice. Strengths and limitations will be exposed, followed by a summary of the importance of integration between psychology and family systems theory.

Keywords: Bowen, integration, family systems theory

Part I
Bowen family systems theory is based on the view that the family is an emotional unit. The theory uses systems thinking to describe the interactions and relationships within the family. Given families are deeply
…show more content…
Those who are undifferentiated, on the other hand, react emotionally and impetuously. Unable to maintain their own autonomy, they become fused with others in their family. Their emotional patterns are in sync with other members and they have a difficult time separating what they feel from the emotions of the family unit (Kerr & Bowen, 1988).
Intelligence does not determine the level of differentiation. Highly intelligent people can have low differentiation. The level of differentiation refers to the degree in which a family member can think and act for themselves while dealing with an emotional issue (Kerr & Bowen, 1988).
Intimate relationships often include bouts of anxiety. In families, as the anxiety increases between two people, they make seek to bring in a third person to attempt to gain stability. This process is known as triangulation. With the involvement of the third person, the anxiety is spread across more people and appears to lighten. While the tension may appear to decrease, the possibility of increasing the original problem persists. With three players now involved, the original dyad fails to solve the problem which caused the anxiety to begin with (Bevcar, 2009).
Bowen researchers consider triangles to be a normal part of relationships. Triangles are the basis of Bowen’s multigenerational theory (Rabstejnek, 2012). If anxiety and reactivity can be properly managed, triangles
Open Document