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Emmily C. Domingo
MA Ed in Guidance and
- the oldest of five children
- born on January 31, 1913, in the small town of
- graduated from the University of Tennessee with a
degree in science in 1934
- continued his education at the University of
Tennessee Medical School, Bowen received his
medical degree in 1937. He worked as an intern at
Bellevue Hospital in New York City and Grasslands
Hospital in Valhalla, New York.
- he served in the military for five years, and he
began to develop an interest in psychiatry.
- joined the National Institute of Mental Health in
1954 and began to form his family systems theory.
For several years, he explored family relationships
and constructs while working with parents of
-A family is greater than the sum of its parts.
- As members of a family system every member is interconnected.
-Within family systems theory the focus is on with how we relate to one another.
We build a collection of interactions called a system. The system can be a family or
a workgroup or a collection of friends. Our focus is on the system rather than just
on individuals. With the system there are qualitatively different elements that
help determine what we are and what we can become .
-Systems are self reflective. As humans we have the capability to examine our
own behavior . This self reflectivity allows us to focus on our systems and set
goals. We no longer need to accept that what we experience is “just the way
Differentiation of the self (Differentiated individual, Undifferetiated people)
-the self is an important goal for every family member, particularly children.
Differentiation requires that people see themselves as independent from their
families. People who are poorly differentiated are more likely to internalize
family conflicts and more likely to struggle emotionally.
-People who are more undifferentiated are likely to triangulate others and be
triangulated. People who are differentiated cope well with life and relationship
stress, and thus are less likely to triangulate others or be triangulated.
Nuclear Family Emotional Process
People’s attitudes and beliefs about relationships play a role in the patterns, but
the forces primarily driving them are part of the emotional system. The patterns
operate in intact, single-parent, step-parent, and other nuclear family
configurations. Clinical problems or symptoms usually develop during periods of
heightened and prolonged family tension. The level of tension depends on the
stress a family encounters, how a family adapts to the stress, and on a family’s
connection with extended family and social networks.
Family Projection Process
- This is an extension of The Nuclear Family Emotional Process in many ways.
The family member who "has" the "problem" is triangulated and serves to
stabilize a dyad in the family.
The Multigenerational Transmission Process
-This process entails the way family emotional processes are transferred and
maintained over the generations.
- Bowen stressed sibling order, believing that each child had a place in the
family hierarchy, and thus was more or less likely to fit some projections.
This refers to an extreme response to The Family Projection Process. This
entails a complete or almost-complete separation from the family. The person
will have little, if any, contact, and may look and feel completely independent
from the family. However, people who cut off their family are more likely to
repeat the emotional and behavioral patterns they were taught.
differentiate the self
change the individual from within the context of the system
THERAPIST ROLE AND FUNCTION
Monitor of own reactivity
One of the best ways to begin therapy and to gain understanding of how the
emotional system operates in your family system is to put together your family
genogram. Studying your own patterns of behavior, and how they relate to
those of your multigenerational family, reveals new and more effective options
for solving problems and for changing your response to the automatic role you
are expected to play
Do not tell clients what to do, but rather asked a series of questions that were
designed to help them figure out their own role in their family emotional
PROCESS OF CHANGE
- Questions and cognitive processes lead to differentiation and understanding
of family origin
(eg. generation gap)
-born in 1916 and dies in 1988
-started as a teacher and becomes a well-
known international trainer
-becomes known through her books, trining
-known as pioneer of family therapy, the
“Mother of family systems therapy”
-created family reconstruction (1960) and role
- Founded the International Human Learning
Resources and the Avanta Networks to reach
out to individuals, families and mental health
-Here and now
Functional vs Dysfunctional communication in families
Defensive stances in coping stress
Family roles and family trials
Emphasis on communication and experiencing/expressing emotions.
Focus on family rules--can either help family system function or lead to
- Rules that are unrealistic, rigid, and inflexible are often dysfunctional.
- Rules that govern individuation and communication are especially
Health and Dysfunction
Healthy people are open and honest with self and others, take risks, are
creative and flexible
Healthy families have open communication, strong sense of self among the
individuals, and rules are flexible
Dysfunctional families have fuzzy communication, members are fearful and
blame each other, and rules are inflexible
promote growth, self esteem and connection
Help family reach communication and interaction
Better interactions, clearer & more open communication, expanded
awareness, and enhanced potential for growth.
THERAPIST ROLE AND FUNCTION
Model for Congruence
Problem within the family