Reactivity Paused: Took a Breath and a Stand

My understanding of differentiation of self after listening to Murray Bowen and reading the materials is that each person emerges from the multi-generational family organism with a certain amount of undifferentiation (or fusion) that needs to be handled using various mechanisms such as distance, conflict, over/under-functioning, and/or projection to the next generation. The more self that one has, the less intense these mechanisms will appear given a certain level of anxiety. With that same level of anxiety, a person with less self than the previous person, the mechanisms will be more intense.

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Anxiety, Stress and Triangles: Pressurized Human Relationship

Dan Papero’s review of the fundamentals, such as the automatic and instinctual reactions within the emotional system, the preferential sensitivity among the family members, and the constant flow and counter flow of emotions within the system was helpful in understanding triangles.  How the forces of togetherness and individuation are always in play, how anxiety increases the pressure towards togetherness and how too much closeness results in distancing.  The mechanisms of distancing include conflict, overfunctioning/underfunctioning and projection.  They are utilized to control the emotional flow and maintain regulation. Triangles operate to maintain equilibrium.  The example of the spinning top continuing to adjust the balance of the threesome in the triangle was helpful.

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