Cutoff: The challenge of the parent/child relationship

Authored by John Bell, M. Div.

“The more a nuclear family maintains some kind of viable emotional contact with the past generations, the more orderly and asymptomatic the life process in both generations” Murray Bowen, Family Therapy in Clinical Practice, 383.

Phillip Klever, LCSW, LMFT recently published the results of a fifteen-year research project on cutoff in the family.  He studied the most extreme cases in his family of high symptomatology and low symptomatology.  He found five couples on either end of the continuum of symptomatology (high …

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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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Fooling Self and Others: Self-Deception in the Practice of Differentiation of Self

Authored by Jim Smith, M. S.

In this presentation I did a brief review of the extensive literature on self-deception in the evolutionary biology literature, including evolutionary biologist Robert Triver’s theory of self-deception. I then discussed self-deception from the perspective of Bowen’s idea of the pseudo-self, using examples from my effort to define a self in my own family.

“Deceitful behavior has a long and storied history in the evolution of social life, and the more sophisticated the animal, it seems, the more commonplace the con games, …

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