THE BOWEN THEORY. The basis for understanding the individual, the family, family business dynamics, interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as ………… other systems. E M O T I O N. E M O T I O N. The reflexive movement of a system and its parts. . ANXIETY. The system’s response to:
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The basis for understanding
family business dynamics,
as well as ………… other systems.
The system’s response to:
the amount (how much and/or how often)
the term (how long) of emotion.
A three-person emotional configuration
The basic building block of a stable emotional system
Describes dynamic movement toward gaining equilibrium
Observable mechanisms and patterns
of emotional functioning in a family,
in a single generation,
as it responds to the activity of its members
and impacting events.
M i n d f u l choice to act
utilizing intellectually determined functioning
utilizing emotionally determined functioning
to the emotional forces in his/her day-to-day experience.
Individual differences in functioning (differentiation of self) and
multigenerational trends in functioning, reflect an orderly and
predictable relationship process that connect the functioning of
family members across the generations.
The basic level of differentiation, or the reactivity of the parents of the family unit, and their level of chronic anxiety is projected to one or more children who become(s) impaired to some degree and may then develop physical, emotional and social symptoms.
A family member’s attempt to manage
lower levels of differentiation by:
separating him/herself from the nuclear family through
emotional isolation, and/ or
Certain fixed personality and functional characteristics
seem to be determined by the original
family configuration in which a child grows up.
Larger groupings, like families,
are also emotional systems and
subject to the same laws
which govern all of life.
“Man is conceived as the most complex form of life that evolved from the lower forms and it’s intimately connected to all living things. The most important difference between man and the lower form is his cerebral cortex and his ability to think and reason. Intellectual functioning is regarded as distinctly different from emotional functioning, which man shares with lower forms of life. Emotional functioning includes the automatic forces that govern protoplasmic life. It includes the force that biology describes as instinct, reproduction, the automatic activity controlled by the automatic nervous system, subjective emotional and feeling states, and forces that govern relationship systems. There are varying degrees of overlap between emotional and intellectual functioning. In broad terms, the emotional system governs the ‘dance of life’ in all living things. It is deep in the phylogenetic past and is much older than the intellectual system… there are varying degrees of ‘fusion’ between the emotional and intellectual systems in humans… the greater the ‘fusion’… the more man is vulnerable to physical illness, emotional illness, and social illness, and the less he is able to consciously control his life. It is possible for man to discriminate between emotions and the intellect and to slowly gain more conscious control of emotional functioning”
- Murray Bowen, M.D.