Bowenian Theory Essay

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Bowenian Theory and Marriage and Family Counseling C. L. Liberty University Abstract This paper focuses on the Bowenian approach to family counseling. Early scholars of family counseling began to realize that social and cultural forces shape people and their families. Dr. Murray Bowen was the first to realize that the family of an individual creates a template, which eventually creates the values, thoughts, experiences and even the expectations of that individual. Bowen used his own family experience to guide him in his theory. As the oldest child in a large family, he came to see that the unique ways that an individual can bond with his family or separate from his family is created within the history of the family itself. His theory had its origins in the basic premise that schizophrenia began in the mother-child relationship. He quickly began to realize that the issues were not centered on a two way relationship between parent and child, but rather on more complex relationships among multigenerational layers of a family. His theory then began to focus on the balance of two main forces, the idea of individuality and the idea of togetherness. From this basic tenet, Bowen developed eight interlocking concepts to explain how a family may develop and function. Also, this paper will examine how Bowen’s family concepts, Hope Focused Marriage counseling, and the integration of spirituality can positively effect families and marriages. Bowen Theory and Family Counseling Dr. Murray Bowen developed the idea of interlocking concepts to explain how a family develops and functions. He expanded on his original concept of individuality and togetherness by creating eight interlocking concepts in order to fully explain his theory. The first concept is the differentiation of self. The differentiation of self is basically to separate the idea of thoughts from the
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