Conversations with the Faculty 2016-2017
September 19, 2016
Discovering Emotional Cutoff
The use of theory in the discovery of emotional cutoff in one’s family and the value in bridging cutoffs will be discussed.
October 17, 2016
Marriage, Therapy, and Bowen Theory
What did Bowen say about working with a couple? This presentation will explore “couples counseling” from the perspective of Bowen theory.
November 21, 2016
Societal Emotional Process: How Does Bowen Theory Relate to How Society Functions?
Societal emotional process is the eighth concept in Bowen theory. This presentation explores how Bowen theory can be applied to social issues. The projection process, triangles, multigenerational transmission process, and differentiation of self are examples of how theory can illuminate how reactivity is managed in societies and nations.
December 12, 2016
The Multigenerational Family Process in the Adoptive Family
The impact of the multigenerational emotional process on the nuclear family will be described in a case study of an adoptive family.
January 9, 2017
The Differentiated Family System
Bowen’s remarkable idea of family diagnosis versus individual diagnosis provides a useful framework for understanding the underpinnings of family ethical readiness and the differentiated family system. This presentation entails a literature review of Bowen’s writing and videos that describe his ideas regarding defining a self in the family and the differentiated family coupled with the presenter’s research on the relation between wisdom and ethical maturity.
February 6, 2017
The Importance of Extended Family Work in Differentiation of Self
Victoria Harrison will draw upon what Bowen wrote and said about extended family work, upon the Observations of Change Research Project and on work in her own family to describe the ways this work contributes toward differentiation of self. She will discuss common challenges encountered and overcome. This presentation will consider changes in light of epigenetic influences and adverse childhood experience research.
March 14, 2017
Differentiation of Self, Anxiety, and Leadership
If one is a leader, therapist, minister, parent, or family member, this conversation will be relevant. Differentiation of self is at the heart of the matter in any leadership position where relationships are important. The presentation will discuss the application of Bowen theory in these areas and a description of what it means to lead self while relating to others in any group.
April 3, 2017
The Disease Process from a Systems Perspective
This presentation will identify the mechanisms influencing the development and course of disease from a systems perspective. The literature suggests that most diseases are caused by multiple processes. However, a systems framework for understanding the disease process suggests that it is not the presence of specific factors but rather a disturbance in the balance of the relationship system between them. Families from my study on Alzheimer’s will be used to illustrate factors within the relationship system that trigger the onset and course of this disease process.
May 15, 2017
Managing the “Urge to Fix” – Bowen Theory and Organizational Consulting
In the business world consultants are often paid to provide the answer to a technical and/or a human problem. The consultant who has the expertise and the experience “tells” the client what to do and the problem is solved. Consulting to organizations with Bowen theory as the theoretical framework adopts another approach. This Conversation will address the difference between solving a problem for another and helping another think. This webinar will also address the natural, automatic tendency to “help.” Case examples will be presented.
June 19, 2017
Bowen Theory and Female Perpetrators of Domestic Violence
This Conversation will present initial findings of a six-month study of families experiencing the impact of domestic violence. The study will report on the facts of functioning for the families, how Bowen theory contributes to the understanding of domestic violence, and how Bowen theory can inform how abuser intervention programs are best organized.
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.