Transgenerational therapies stress the importance of family relational patterns over time. These theories are based on the research and studies of figures such as Murray Bowen, Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, Carl Whitaker and Norman Paul. The patterns studied consist of both behavioral and interactional patterns formed during periods of family disorder. In the view of the transgenerational model, family process feeds forward in a chronological manner from emotionally significant events in the lives of great grandparents through to grandparents, parents, and finally reaching the children. This comes about through differences in attachment, management of power and intimacy, in conflicts, and other relational events (Dattilio, 1998).
Murray Bowen is the chief developer of family therapy. He is the developer of the family systems theory. The family systems theory abstracted the family as one emotional unit of interlocking relationships who are best understood when analyzed within a multigenerational structure. Bowen’s theory of family consists of eight interlocking concepts. Six of the eight concepts talk about the emotional processes that take place in the nuclear and extended families. The other two concepts speak about emotional processes across generations in a family and society. The eight forces that shape family functioning include: 1) differentiation of self, 2) triangles, 3) nuclear family emotional system, 4) family projection process, 5) emotional cutoff, 6) multigenerational transmission process, 7) sibling position, and 8) societal regression (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013).
The Walls family from the book, The Glass Castle, written by Jeannette Walls, can greatly compare to the transgenerational theory and its eight concepts. I will discuss a few that stood out to me in the book. In differentiation of self, I could easily compare this to Jeannette. Differentiation of self is confirmed by the extent to which one can think, plan, and their values mostly...
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