Blame and Blaming

Authored by Kelly Matthews-Pluta, M.S.W.

One of the central ideas of Bowen Theory is differentiation of self—a concept of how one sees oneself, emotionally, as an individual and in relationship to and with others.  Often people studying Bowen Theory struggle with the idea of separation of self and other.  Of course, it is complicated.  The two, self and other, are at the same time both separate and connected.  It is exactly that paradox which makes the concept challenging for many: “Am I a separate self or …

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The Thinking, Feeling, and Emotional Systems

Authored by Robert J. Noone, Ph.D.

Bowen theory posits that the interdependent functioning of the intellectual, feeling, and emotional systems of an individual are central to an individual’s overall adaptiveness over a life course.

The prolonged development of the human brain takes place in the context of the highly integrated relationship system of the family. The interactive processing of signals from within the brain, body, and family shapes individual development. The strengthening of neural circuits occurs in the context of the relationship circuitry of the family. Thus …

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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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Does Meditation Foster Differentiation of Self?

Authored by:  Erik Thompson, M. A.

Licensed Psychologist-Masters

Principal, Thompson Leadership Development, Inc., and Executive Director, Vermont Center for Family Studies

“Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame.”

-The Yoga Vashishtha, 6th Century BC

Bowen theorists have developed a unique set of tools for expanding personal, family, and organizational health, including seeing the group as a system, managing self, de-triangling, and strengthening overall relationship capital with original members.  More “self” decreases chronic anxiety and reactivity …

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“Toward a Systems Theory of Cancer”, Summary of a presentation by Michael E. Kerr, M.D.

Authored by Stephanie Ferrera

At the Annual Midwest Symposium on Bowen Theory, May 2 -3, 2014, Dr. Kerr presented on his longstanding interest in the relationship between health, illness, and the family emotional system, and has done extensive research with cancer patients and their families.  In this presentation, he gave an overview of the systems thinking that researchers are bringing to the study of cancer, and showed how this fits with the systems thinking in Bowen theory.

Dr. Kerr began his presentation with the idea of an …

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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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