Conversations with the Faculty 2015-2016
September 21, 2015
The Difference Bowen Theory Makes in Theory and Practice
This lecture and discussion will focus on ways that Bowen family systems theory differs from other prevalent approaches to human behavior. The importance of these differences will be illustrated with examples from therapy, business, ministry and research. Discussion will raise questions about distinguishing one’s own way of thinking and the difference it makes in practice.
October 19, 2015
The Family Reaction to Death
This presentation discusses Bowen’s views of the family’s reaction to death as distinctly different from the predominant viewpoints in grief work begun by Freud and popularized by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Grief work encourages individuals to focus on their feelings of grief and work it through in five stages. Bowen sees death as a natural part of the life cycle that shifts the family equilibrium and can result in an emotional shock wave of reactivity across several generations. A case example will be given.
November 23, 2015
Cooperation and Differentiation
This presentation will explore cooperation in family groups and organizations. What is cooperation from the viewpoint of differentiation of self? This presentation grows out of my work with legacy families (multigenerational families with shared assets) who are challenged to cooperate for the benefit of the multigenerational family. I will incorporate examples in my effort to understand cooperation in the human family group.
December 14, 2015
Within-Family Variability in Functioning
This presentation will examine multiple variables that contribute to the life adjustment children make in the same family. Several studies including the Adoptive Family will be discussed.
January 11, 2016
The Use of Language
In setting forth his theory of human relationship patterns, Murray Bowen made a consistent practice of giving ordinary words a more specialized meaning. The fuller meaning of important terms emerges only in relation to other key terms and to the phenomenon being described. This presentation will hew closely to the specific definition of the terms that Bowen explicitly provides to draw out more fully the implications of the terms when they are considered in relation to one another.
February 8, 2016
Family and the Intermix of Emotional and Intellectual Functioning
Bowen theory posits that differentiation of self entails both the development of emotional autonomy and the differentiation of the intellectual system of an individual. How the family system might influence the “intermix” of emotional and intellectual functioning of individuals will be the subject of this discussion.
March 14, 2016
Cutoff and Distance through the Generations: Learning about Distance in Self While Observing Distance in Others
The concept of cutoff and patterns of emotional distance will be covered in this presentation. It will include the practical application of the effort at differentiation of self in the presenter’s own family.
April 25, 2016
Differentiation of Self and Neurofeedback: Top/Down, Bottom/Up
In this conversation, Ms. Friesen will present her work integrating neurofeedback with family systems theory, both conceptually and practically. Using neurofeedback in Bowen theory consultation has expanded her way of understanding the brain, the family and the process of differentiation of self. She will illustrate these ideas with case examples.
May 16, 2016
An Arena for Differentiation
Differentiation occurs across all areas of functioning in relationships with significant others. This presentation will discuss such a process in the thinking and shaping of one area of functioning.
June 20, 2016
Reactivity Factors in the Relationship Between Society and its Sustaining Environments
Bowen laid out a methodology for extending Bowen family systems theory to examine and understand emotional processes at the level of society and its sustaining environments. This conversation will discuss that methodology and apply it to examine reactivity factors in societal-environmental relationships with the intent of capturing variation in functioning, especially as it pertains to agricultural activities.