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Differentiation of Self
the degree to which one balances emotional and intellectual functioning and intimacy and autonomy in interpersonal relationships.
A third party in an emotional relationship (-relative, friends, memories) Most problems are triangular.
Nuclear Family Emotional Process
the enotional forces in a family - lack of differentiation in families can constrain the ability to regulate emotion, manage anxiety, or stress.
Family Projection Process
Process by which parents transmit their lack of differentiation to their children. Spouses with unresolved family of orgin issues can create an intense focus on a child which can cause the child to be more attached or less attached to parent.
Multigenerational Transmission Process
in each generation the child most involved with the family's fusion moves toward a lower level of differentiation of self, while the least invloved child moves toward a higher level of differentiation. A problematic relationship tends to repeate it's self over and over.
Children are prone to develop certain personality characteristics based on their birth order.
personified in the reactive emotional distancer. Tends to deny theimportance of his family, exaggerates indepence, intimacy threatening.
Societal Emotional Process
the emotional process in society as a background influence on all families. an increase in social anxiety can result in a gradual lowering of the functional level of differentiaon in the community.
Normal family development
optimal family development occurs when family members are relatively differentiated, anxiety is low, and parents are in good emotional contact with thier own families.
Choosing of Partners
People will tend to choose a partner at similiar level of differentiation because if is what they experienced in their family of orgin (it's comfertable).
Family Life Cycle
a socially-embedded process of expansion, contraction, and realignment of the family relationship system to support the entry, exit, and individual development of family members.
Life Cycle Stages
- Leaving Home
- Joining Families through marriage
- Families with young children
- Launching children and moving on
- Families in later life
Developing Behavior Disorder
Symptoms in a family reflect - level of chronic anxiety, level of differentiation in the family system. More differentiated the person, more resilient, more flexible and sustaining in relationships. When undifferentiation occurs is when a behavior disorder can develop.
Bowen's Goals of Therapy
To decrease anxiety and increase differentaion of self. Gain insight into forces of the family system and how they have shaped their life. Tracing the pattern of family problems means paying attention to two things; process and structure.
patterns of emotional reactivity.
patterns of interlocking triangles
Conditions for behavior changes
help individuals explore their own role in family problems. Lowering anxiety and increasing self-focus are considered teh primary vehicles of change
Bowenian assessment begins with a description and history of the relationship context presenting the problem. (triangles, cutoffs, etc) through at least 3 generations.
Bowen Family Therapy
Uses process questions, interrrogatories that encourage family members to think about how they react and respond in relationship context. Understanding how family systems operate is more important than specific techniques.
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