Highlights from The 53rd Symposium on Family Theory and Family Psychotherapy

Authored by Kelly Mathews-Pluta, M.S.W., and Robert Noone, PhD.

The 53rd Symposium on Family Theory and Family Psychotherapy offered by the Bowen Center for the Study of Family in Washington, DC was held November 4th and 5th, 2016. This Annual Symposium brings together the liveliest minds in the Bowen network to present, question, and discuss the latest research and ideas about Bowen theory. As always, the Symposium also features a Distinguished Guest Lecturer from another discipline whose research is relevant to Bowen theory. Bowen theory is …

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Bridging the Distance

Authored by Kelly Matthews-Pluta, MSW

Aaron Beck, the founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, once said “Evolution favors an anxious gene”.  The idea that we humans are biologically built for fight, flight or freeze is commonly known but little understood.  Over the last hundred years’ human life has gotten safer.  Over the last 500 years it has gotten much safer.  However, human evolution has not caught up with our modern, safer world.  Modern life and death can still hinge on how well we respond to an acute …

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Fiction as a Regulator of the Mental Health Field: The Case of Sybill

Authored by Margaret Otto

Murray Bowen, MD developed the concept of differentiation and societal emotional process. The basic idea is that emotional forces in families correlate to emotional forces in society. This process can be progressive or regressive with individuals and families at the lower level of differentiation being the most vulnerable to environmental influence.  As anxiety increases and individuality decreases, functioning lowers and symptom severity increases. Broader societal processes and the stressed emotional fields created can have a debilitating effect on individuals and the social functioning …

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Dr. Raison’s Invitation to Bowen Theory Researchers for Collaboration

Authored by Sydney K. Reed, M.S.W.

In the previous blog post, Leslie Fox highlighted interesting points from Dr. Raison’s talk.    He warned us that he might be entertaining, an adaptation useful in a career of teaching undergraduates.  In deed, he had us laughing frequently.  It made me think about the notions of the origins of laughter.  Some think that laughter evolved as a signal mechanism to tell the group that they were out of danger and could relax and connect socially, thus building community.

Dr.. Raison’s talk …

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Connecting Inflammation, Depression and Compassion Meditation Training

Authored by Leslie Ann Fox

Did you know that only 10% of the cells in our bodies are mammalian—that 90% are bacteria? When someone can think in evolutionary ways all the way back to when all life on earth was bacteria, and see that we humans are still primarily bacteria, it really gets you thinking differently about your family history…but I will leave that for another day.

At the 31st Annual Midwest Symposium in Wilmette, IL on May 2nd and 3rd, 2014, Charles Raison, MD presented his …

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