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Posts labeled Bowen family systems theory
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What Does It Take To Observe Self In Your Own Family

Do you find yourself wondering what makes you avoid family relationships? Do you wonder, what is going on, why is so and so upset or picking fight or will not return phone calls, etc.?  What are people trying to tell you?  What must you do to figure out relationship issues? How can I see who is influencing me and how am I influencing them?  How do any of us become more self-defined? ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Societal Reaction to the Killing of Nine People in Charleston SC: Are We Blindsided by the Emotional System?

These ideas were generated by the first summer session for Navigating Systems and Murray Bowen’s Concept of Societal Regression. Each day we are bombarded by the difficulties we as a society face: random violence, wars, mass migrations, acts of terrorism, senseless murders, posturing politicians, our decreasing attention span, increases in autism, breakdowns in relationships and many other ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

If You Open Your Mind CanYou Open the Door?

A tragedy of ignorance unfolds as more evidence comes to light about the relationship between a vulnerable person and society. How much do we know about how a seemingly relatively well functioning person can become psychotic / suicidal and crash a plane into the French Alps killing150 people? How much do we see him in isolation? What are the chances that when the pilot yelled “OPEN THE DOOR!” this ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

What are the Costs and Benefits of Leadership Along the Border with Mexico?

Louise Rauseo & Andrea Schara

October 10, 2014, I presented at a conference in El Paso, Texas, honoring Louise Rauseo’s retirement. I have known Louse and admired her work since 1976. Her team asked me to present on my new book, Your Mindful Compass, and talk about the cost and benefits of becoming a leader in your family and in your community... Louise has a life long fascination with families who have endured emotional cut ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

It's the Family Stupid

Violence appears to be on the rise. People are asking for explanations. We are faced with a cluster of events – Sandy Hook, the Boston Bombings, the California killings, a California man arrested for a possible bombing attempt, followed by a rogue shooter in Norfolk Va., who did not even make the national news as he killed “only” two people.[1] People turn on social media to hear mental health ...   Read More

Filed under Family, Bowen family systems theory

What can the Ft. Hood Shootings and Boston bombing incident tell us?

When children are shot, Boston is bombed, and seemingly “crazy” soldiers shoot at fellow soldiers; we look to psychiatry to explain what happened. The answers are empty labels and more empty promises to get the bottom of these incidents. Society pressures us to accept these labels? But are they simply indicators that the ancient family emotional process is behind our inability and or reluctance to ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Family Stuck Togetherness: What Makes it so Hard to See the Emotional System?

What would it be like if one morning we woke up and there was no more diagnosing people with mental illness? Instead there would be a focus on the family as a unit, and what might be done to improve the functioning of individuals within the system. Considering the family unit as a social system influencing the behavior of its members requires a totally new way of thinking and new method of ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

The Mindful Compass

At long last after four years, Your Mindful Compass: Breakthrough Strategies for Navigating Life / Work Relationshps in Any Social Jungle is available on Amazon. Your Mindful Compass takes us behind the emotional curtain to see the mechanisms which regulate individuals in social systems. It is hard to see that we become anxious, stressed out and even recognize that we are difficult to deal with. ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

My family is not my problem....or is it?

We can understand a great deal about nature from observing but what about our relationships with those we most care about, our family members? Between the shootings at Sandy Hook and the Boston Bombing, once again people are wondering how we as a society understand and deal with disturbed individuals. What can knowledge of family dynamics add to how we understand and deal with mental health issues ...   Read More

Filed under Family, Bowen family systems theory

Navigate through the Social Jungle

The public is curious – what goes on in families that give rise to amazing leaders and/or terrorists? How do relationship form and disintegrate? What does it take to “see” the “pressure” in the system and know how to mange being one’s best SELF in any social matrix. Each family has an emotional system that is both fine-tuned by evolution and “values” its survival as a whole, as much as the survival of ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Differentiation of Self: Past and Present

What has been the difficulty of incorporating the ideas from biofeedback and neurofeedback into Bowen's concept of differentiation of self? To address this question, Priscilla Friesen stepped back to look at the history of the development of the idea of differentiation of self beginning at Menninger then NIMH. Before the present technological access to other levels of the systems of physiology and ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Neurofeedback, Brain and physiology

Acknowledging 100 years since Murray Bowen was born

I have been working on my book Create Your Mindful Compass:Navigating through the Social Jungle, for the past several years. This is a peek into the book which starts as it should with gratitude: I am deeply grateful to Murray Bowen. He believed in me when I was struggling, gave me a hand up, accepted me into postgraduate training at the Georgetown Family Center despite my having only two years of ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Family

Concerns with Children

In this Family Matters interview, Priscilla Friesen highlights a family systems perspective when children are the focus of parental concern. (28 mins.) Family Matters is a joint production of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and the University of the District of Columbia.   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Brain and physiology, Video

The Influence of Dr. Bowen: An Interview with Roberta Gilbert, MD

One question of historical importance is how Dr. Bowen managed himself to influence people to be able to think differently about what is a family emotional system and how do we participate in them? I have published a few of a series of interviews with those who were influenced by Dr.Bowen. This newest interview is with Roberta Gilbert, M.D. I asked her to reflect on how her relationship with Dr. ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Small Differences that Make a Difference

Murray Bowen had a way to make people think differently about the social nature of systems, and the challenges any social systems present to self. There are people who knew Dr Bowen well and who had a great deal of contact with him, and many more who had a brief encounter. Those drawn to Bowen and his theory are often people who are fascinated by systems and believe that problems can be understood ...   Read More

Filed under Neurofeedback, Bowen family systems theory

Ideas about Murray Bowen and his Theory on what would have been Dr. Bowen's 99th Birthday

On this anniversary of his birthday, I wanted to acknowledge my gratitude for being able to have a relationship with Dr. Bowen for the last fourteen years of his life. I had both the opportunity to study Bowen theory and to watch and interact with Dr. Bowen. Towards the end of his life Dr. Bowen gave his theory to the world to do with as we might. The theory is a gift to us and people are free to ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Neurofeedback Training

Feedback on Two Days of Neurofeedback Training at the Western Pennsylvania Family Center As we start this New Year, I wanted to bring you some cheerful news of how neurofeedback training in the context of Bowen theory was introduced, with positive results, to several people in Pittsburgh. I was able to offer these sessions due to the interest, perseverance and work of Catherine Rakow. She was ...   Read More

Filed under Neurofeedback, Bowen family systems theory

What Was Heard?

The Application of Bowen Family Systems Theory to Family Businesses Consulting with Kathy Wiseman Feedback from Participants “So much of what gets decided in business is based on relationships.” On November 12, I presented a day of my thinking about how Bowen family systems theory has assisted in my work as a family business consultant. I encouraged the audience to think about how they go ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Consulting to a Family-Owned Business

James E. Maloney (1912 – 2005) A brilliant, difficult, complex man, my (paternal) Uncle Jimmy was the inspiration that led me to understand how business leaders emerge from their families and apply their knowledge to their work. – A.M.S. My uncle Jimmy was a tall, skinny guy with glasses who never seemed to be able to wear matched socks or coordinated clothes of any kind. Who could tell he was a ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Family

Gathering Systems Knowledge

Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Steve Jobs I think it’s important to understand how our knowledge of human behavior has been erected stone by stone, life by life. The third point on The Mindful Compass, acquiring systems knowledge, makes us less vulnerable to life’s challenges. It is one fabulous way to steady one’s self against the ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Temptations, Incentives and Self-Regulation

On a day when the stock market falls 429 points, how many people are able to self-regulate? Last week we rallied as much as today’s market fell. But who cares about self-regulating when markets are rising? In the midst of these mood swings it helped to self-regulate. One way reading and thinking more broadly about the nature of capitalism and the complexity of the market. Some say we, who believe ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Brain and physiology

Resilience in the Family - Resilience in the Brain

the following is the presentation Regina gave at the recent Resiliency in the Family & the Brain learning forum... In my work with individuals and families, people will often report a lack of contact with important but difficult members of their family. They will say, ‘that person is really difficult, dysfunctional, mean, toxic, damaging, hurtful or simply annoying” as though this is an ...   Read More

Filed under Neurofeedback, Bowen family systems theory

Observing & Learning from Stories

Experience is not what happens to a man; It is what a man does with what happens to him. Aldous Huxley Our brains are influenced by bias. We know how hard it is to see new things accurately because of our automatic “blinders.” But, as it turns out, our brains have a compensating mechanism: our brains are shaped to learn from stories. ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Casey Anthony Trial: Social Pressure and Thinking for Self in an Emotional Storm

One of the most difficult problems we humans face is how to understand complex problems and who and what to believe. The recent Casey Anthony trial is a microcosm of the fear one can encounter in standing up for self under intense pressure from others. One of the jurors is now in hiding and many others have reported being fearful for their safety. Little mention has been made of the fear that may ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

I like to give credit where credit is due. Shel Miller gets credit from me for an outstanding turn of a phrase. Shel is a PhD, who describes himself as a relationship builder. He ended up in a forwarded email, which led me to a blog he had written in 2005 about the fact that he was a "psychological event planner." The idea is compelling. I have been thinking about this since reading ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Family

Theory & the Emergence of Self

Theory and the Emergence of Self is held monthly. It is a time to deepen one's thinking about the impact of relationships on functioning and to consider how working with Bowen Theory has affected one’s personal life. Two individuals present each session. April's meeting posed thoughtful questions of functioning over the lifecyle. How does an "over- and under-functioning" pattern in a ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Family

Follow the Leader and/or Think for Self

This issue dogs all regimes that have neither the rule of law nor public accountability: The authorities routinely fail to respect the dignity of ordinary citizens and run roughshod over their rights. There is no culture in which this sort of behavior is not strongly resented.  Wall Street Journal, 3/12/11 Is China Next? Francis Fukuyama Coach Byrnes told me I was worthwhile and good and that ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

Trust in Families: Another View

Traveling provides me with time to think. Over the past three weeks, I have travelled to Texas, Tennessee, and Massachusetts to attend meetings on how to restore trust in families. Listening to the views of others has prompted me to explore the topic critically for myself. How do you build trust in families, who manage assets together? I have been working with families for the past 25 years, ...   Read More

Filed under Family, Bowen family systems theory

The Thing In the Bushes: From a Focus on the Individual to an Awareness of the Family as a System

Not until looking back did I realize how Lancelot Law Whyte’s writing (The Unconscious Before Freud) had influenced my formulation of increasing awareness as the major thrust of ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory

The Art of Keeping Marriage Healthy: Five Ways of Strengthening our Partnerships and Families

1. Always work on Self - Pay attention to and pursue your own life goals. - Know your own sensitivities and take accountability for how your functioning effects the system. Questions: How much time do you spend thinking about yourself and your own life goals versus thinking about those of the people around you? How does your functioning contribute to the current situation? What does operating as ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Family

Increase Your Wealth and Health

Recently, I had the opportunity to conduct a retreat, Increase Your Wealth and Health, at the King George Zen Farm. The retreat was designed to increase awareness about our emotional relationship with money. We all have both a factual and an emotional relationship to money. However, when anxiety goes up, our automatic emotional beliefs and assumptions can take over so that the facts get lost. Some ...   Read More

Filed under Family, Bowen family systems theory

One Author's Inquiry Into Her Family

It’s hard to get an objective picture of the family you grew up in. Our perspective is built into the fabric of our family. Bowen family systems theory describes the differences in people’s ability to live their lives based upon an understanding of the challenges and foibles of our parents, carrying a less polarized perspective into our own life as we create our own families and are members of ...   Read More

Filed under Family, Bowen family systems theory

All Teachers Great and Small

Clio with her favorite toy Mr. Monkey

I used to joke that I would one day write a book entitled Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned from Clio: How I Figured Out My Relationship Fusion with My Dog. I had to put down my dog, Clio. We went to the vet to find out why, over a brief few days, she was becoming increasing lethargic, wouldn’t eat and couldn’t hold anything down. I assumed she contracted giardia again. This tended to happen ...   Read More

Filed under Bowen family systems theory, Family

About the Learning Space

"The Learning Space is a creative, energetic thinking space for individuals striving to live optimally in all their most important relationships. The Learning Space provides a conceptual space—a place to consider and experience alternate ways of relating."
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