family therapy in clinical practice by murray bowen, book coverEverything you ever wanted to know about Family Systems Therapy (or may need to know to help you pass the ASWB exam) is here (Psychology Today)

Family systems therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals resolve their problems in the context of their family units, where many problems are likely to begin. Each family member works together with the others to better understand their group dynamic and how their individual actions affect each other and the family unit as a whole. One of the most important premises of family systems therapy is that what happens to one member of a family happens to everyone in the family.

Family systems therapy was developed by psychiatrist Murray Bowen in the 1950s. Bowen worked as a general medical officer in the army and then transitioned to practicing psychiatry in clinics and the National Institutes of Mental Health and conducting research on families. While previous psychological philosophies, such as Freudian theory, centered around the individual, Bowen’s ideas centered around the family. He believed that the family was an emotional unit and that changes in one person would lead to changes in the group overall.

YouTube has several quick primers on the topic. Here's one from Jerry Wise:

More useful videos are collected on SWTP's YouTube channel.

January 12, 2013
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