Family TreeWhat do these concepts all have in common?:

  • Differentiation of Self
  • Nuclear Family Emotional System
  • Triangles
  • Family Projection Process
  • Multigenerational Transmission Process
  • Emotional Cutoff
  • Sibling Position
  • Societal Emotional Process

Murray Bowen, that's what. He's the subject of TSWTPB's learn it, love it, live it exam-prep Wikipedia entry of the day.  

Here's Bowen himself describing differentiation of self: 

Find more detail--including an introduction to the Eight Concepts of Bowenian family therapy--on the Bowen Center's site.

Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the unit’s complex interactions. It is the nature of a family that its members are intensely connected emotionally. Often people feel distant or disconnected from their families, but this is more feeling than fact. Families so profoundly affect their members’ thoughts, feelings, and actions that it often seems as if people are living under the same “emotional skin.” People solicit each other’s attention, approval, and support, and they react to each other’s needs, expectations, and upsets. This connectedness and reactivity make the functioning of family members interdependent. A change in one person’s functioning is predictably followed by reciprocal changes in the functioning of others. Families differ somewhat in their degree of interdependence, but it is always present to some degree.

If you really want to dig in to Bowenian thought, the Bowen Center has a huge "Brief Theoretical Clips" playlist (not at all necessary for ASWB exam prep!). 

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March 13, 2009
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