Bowen Family Systems Therapy


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A brief and informative presentation about the basic structure of Family Systems Therapy.

Published in: Health & Medicine

Bowen Family Systems Therapy

  1. 1. Bowen Family Systems Therapy Leah Martone
  2. 2. Stone Family Case Study <ul><li>Sarah (29) and Steve (31) Stone have entered therapy to discuss their daughter. Susie (6) has just started kindergarten and is not adjusting well. Sarah has decided to return to work part time while Susie is at school. Their younger son Sammy (4) will be going to daycare while Sarah is at work and Susie is in school. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Therapy Techniques: GENOGRAM <ul><li>Records biographic information </li></ul><ul><li>A schematic diagram of the family system </li></ul><ul><li>Trace relationship conflicts, cutoffs, and triangles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Triangle – a three person system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Triangulation – detouring conflict between two people by involving a third person, stabilizing the relationship between the original pair </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Therapy Techniques: THE THERAPY TRIANGLE <ul><li>Therapist tries to stay free of emotional reactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Danger in possibility of being engulfed in family triangles </li></ul><ul><li>If therapist stays out of triangles family members will calm down and work can begin </li></ul>
  5. 5. Therapy Techniques: PROCESS QUESTIONS <ul><li>Each family member is asked a series of questions – toning down emotion and fostering objective reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Used to help neutralize triangles between therapist and family members </li></ul><ul><li>Questions aimed at calming anxiety and gaining access to information on how the family perceives the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Creates clarity </li></ul>
  6. 6. Therapy Techniques: RELATIONSHIP EXPERIMENTS <ul><li>Help family members become aware of systems processes and learn to recognize their role within </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to help clarify the emotional processes involved </li></ul>
  7. 7. Therapy Techniques: COACHING <ul><li>More emotionally involved role of therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Therapist hopes to avoid taking over for clients </li></ul><ul><li>Does not mean telling people what to do </li></ul><ul><li>Questions designed to help people figure out family emotional processes and their role in them </li></ul>
  8. 8. Therapy Techniques: THE ‘I’ POSITION <ul><li>Statement of personal opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Often has stabilizing effect in situations with increased tension </li></ul><ul><li>Helps break cycle of emotional reactivity </li></ul>
  9. 9. Family Life Cycle <ul><li>Leaving-home stage </li></ul><ul><li>Joining of families through marriage stage </li></ul><ul><li>Families with young children </li></ul><ul><li>Adolescence </li></ul><ul><li>Launching of children and moving on stage </li></ul><ul><li>Families in later life </li></ul><ul><li>Divorce </li></ul>
  10. 10. Key Terms <ul><li>Differentiation of self – psychological separation of intellect and emotions, and independence of self from others </li></ul><ul><li>Fusion – a blurring of psychological boundaries between self and others, and contamination of emotional and intellectual functioning </li></ul>
  11. 11. GROUP ACTIVITY <ul><li>Create a genogram based on the information provided. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop potential relationships between these family members as they might appear after more therapy sessions. BE CREATIVE!!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible triangles within the system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The current family life cycle stage </li></ul></ul>