BOWENIAN FAMILY SYSTEMS THEORY

Here are some terms to know:

1. Nuclear family emotional system (formerly called undifferentiated family ego mass)
2. The family projection process transmits undifferentiation and immaturity to the children.
3. Emotional cutoff is a reaction to fusion; it usually leads to fusions outside the family.
4. Multigenerational transmission process is the course by which pathology is carried on, usually by the least differentiated members of families.
5. Sibling position is important in determining personalities and roles individuals take on in relationships.
6. Triangles occur when two people in a relationship are having difficulties and "triangle" in a third person to relieve anxiety.

The main therapeutic Interventions used in Bowenian therapy are:

1. Genogram
2. Differentiation work
3. Detriangulation

Other concepts include:

1. Emotional divorce (e.g. when a sick child holds the parents together). No one ever really leaves the family system. Mother-child symbiosis when unresolved predisposes to Schizophrenia.
2. Fusion breeds anxiety and increases emotional reactivity. There are three outcomes of fusion: physical or mental dysfunction in a spouse, physical or mental dysfunction in a child, and chronic marital conflict.