According to Bowen, one of the pioneers of family therapy, family can be understood as an emotional unit, which can be best analyzed through a multigenerational framework.Cinderella’s story, which was told by many professional storytellers, including brothers Grimm (19 century) and Charles Perrault (17 century), as many other famous fairytales lacks many important details and characters’ descriptions that a therapist would need for administering family treatment involving transgenerational model. If we would speculate knowing some information about Cinderella’s family members, the transgenerational model would work beautifully. A chronic anxiety of Cinderella, her unstable, submissive behavior, could be explained by anxiety transmitted over several generations. Goldenbergs bring our attention to a few important emotional patterns of an individual:”the selection of a spouse with similar differentiation level and the family projection process that results in lower level of self-differentiation” (p. 189, 2008). Bowen would even build a prognosis for Cinderella’s children to have a reduced level of self-differentiation and being increasingly vulnerable to anxiety (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2008). Bowen emphasized that the multigenerational transmission programs not only the levels of self – differentiation, but also programs family’s roles and interactions. Cinderella’s marital problems could be understood very well through the lens of her family behaviours (The Bowen Center, n.d.). My only major concern about application of transgenerational model in Cinderella’s case would be the early death of Cinderella’s parents ( her genogram is hard to build) and her latter life with the wicket, very directive stepmother, who evidently influenced Cinderella’s fragile and indecisive mind structure.
Cinderella’s ability and inability to build attachments to her family members, which were not all
References: Goldenberg, I. & Goldenberg, H. (2008). Family therapy: An overview (7th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.