Family Therapy Theory: Theoretical Review Of Bowen Family

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Family Therapy Theory Bekka Burlingame Michigan State University Family Therapy Theory Theoretical Review of Bowen Therapy Bowen Family Therapy began as research into relationships between mothers and their schizophrenic children using psychoanalytic theory in the late 1940’s (Denay, 2017). Murray Brown based his therapy on both individuality and togetherness, with a goal of differentiation of self (Nichols, 2013). Bowen Therapy views the entire family as one emotional unit, where each member’s emotional reactivity is dependent on the other family members (The Bowen Center, 2017). There are 8 concepts that make up Bowen Family Therapy and they will be discussed in the following sections. Triangulation is the first concept and is driven…show more content…
Emotional cutoffs include moving away, limiting or eliminating contact, or remaining in contact but not discussing sensitive issues (The Bowen Center, 2017). When an emotional cutoff occurs it puts any new relationship into danger. The new relationships could become too important, in an attempt to fill the void left by the emotional cutoff (The Bowen Center, 2017). Bowen therapy incorporates Walter Toman’s research on Sibling Positions in a family system. Bowen focused on what happens when the traditional sibling roles are changed by the other 7 concepts of his theory, and how that role is filled or left void (Haefner, 2017). The final concept in Bowen theory is Societal Emotional Process (The Bowen Center, 2017). Bowen includes cultural forces, as well as progressive and regressive periods in society as factors that influence the way a person’s emotional system behaves (The Bowen Center, 2017). Society and culture play a role in family behaviors by regulating what is…show more content…
John can then discuss the shame, sadness, disappointment and anger that his father feels towards Leroy and his own reactions on siding with his uncle in the conflict. John begins to see that his father is processing both incarcerations in the same way, and is able to lower his anxiety regarding the lack of acceptance his father gives him. We then discuss the emotional cutoff that occurred and how that impacted the Smith family’s relationship with Rob’s parents. I will discuss how emotional cutoff does not resolve the issue, but only makes it become dormant. When an emotional cutoff occurs, extra pressure is placed on the other relationships in someone’s life. Using process questions, I allow John to discuss how the lack of contact with Rob’s parents influences the family. I will also ask John if he feels that Rob’s unresolved issues with Leroy are being taken out on him and explore
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