Family Systems

Topics: Family therapy, Family, Murray Bowen Pages: 4 (1550 words) Published: April 14, 2014

Family Systems Therapy

Family systems theory was founded by Dr. Murray Bowen. He suggested that the connections and reactions found within a family system creates interdependence on one another. He based his theory on the natural emotional connections with the family. He continued to build upon it as time went on. After Bowen there were several other theorists who used Bowen’s theory as a base, and built off of it.

Bowen created his theory based on eight major concepts. They are as follows; Differentiation of Self, Nuclear Family Emotional System, Triangles, Family Projection Process, Multigenerational Transmission Process, Emotional Cutoff, Sibling Position, Societal Emotional Process. The core concept in Bowenian theory is Differentation of Self, this says that the more developed someone’s “self” is that less impact society and others will have on them. “The basic building blocks of a "self" are inborn, but an individual's family relationships during childhood and adolescence primarily determine how much "self" he develops” ( This concept can be seen as a self-esteem issue. Bowen says that someone with a poor sense of self will quickly conform to others thought and opinions. While someone with a secure sense of “self” is able to keep that secure thorough social influences. He created a scale that measured differentiating self it was measured 0-100. 0-25 were the people with the lowest sense of self, these people liked to be “comfortable” and did so with self-sacrifice. While people above 60 were rare, they had an extreme sense of self, and were free from societal emotional control and did not control others. The second concept is, Nuclear Family Emotional System which is based on four basic relationship patterns;. marital conflict, dysfunction in one spouse, impairment in one or more children, and emotional distance. Marital conflict is caused by the externalizing of anxiety and emotions caused by family stress. Each spouse...
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