The Learning Space Blog

The Learning Space Blog

Posts labeled Family
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Training Animals is Simple but My Family is Falling Apart

 How is it that families fall apart but dogs can be well trained?  What does the founder of 'clicker' training, an observation- based approach to shaping animal behavior using positivie reinformcement, have to say about human relationships?  Read more.     Read More

Filed under Family

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

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

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

Managing Self and Life Events

In this Family Matters interview, Priscilla Friesen discusses how life events can promote or constrain a family's flexibilty and resiliency in navigating these events. (28 ...   Read More

Filed under Family, Brain and physiology, Video

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

Be the Change You Wish to See in Your Marriage

This week I have been working with a lot of couples who are hell bent on attempting to change their spouse by complaining to them over and over and over. I suppose this isn’t such a far-fetched idea. If you pound a nail into a piece of hard wood over and over again, eventually it will sink in. What really happens if we continually give our spouse the smack down in hopes that something will sink in? ...   Read More

Filed under Family

Shhhh, shut up and just listen

What does it mean to really listen when your spouse or partner is talking? I will tell you right now the majority of you are doing one or all of the following when your spouse is talking: Thinking about unrelated topics Judging Coming up with your defensive position Having an inner argument about what to say or not Searching desperately for the best advice to give ...   Read More

Filed under Family

Be a Self or Be Swept Away: Regulators of Behavior in Social Systems

You must admit that the genesis of a great man depends on the long series of complex influences which has produced the race in which he appears, and the social state into which that race has slowly grown...Before he can remake his society, his society must make him.        Herbert Spencer If society can make the man, the question becomes for all of us, how can ...   Read More

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

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

Happy Haiku Holiday

Time is fleeting, yet still White snow covers the brown table. She Speaks softly to whispering trees. What a gift this year has been. More than ever I so appreciate my family and friends, as connections are life. All the fun and challenges from sailing in the islands to skiing, watching rowing competitions, soccer and hockey games, enjoying the singing of grandchildren and finally gaining my red ...   Read More

Filed under Family

The Ultimate Family Team Building Experience

Elaine, my first cousin, and I travelled to the desert 3 years ago. The desert is Palm Springs and it is the home of our mothers' brother, then age 87. Uncle T had summoned the two of us to his marble walled, marbled floor home to talk about three of his concerns: his concerns at the end of his life, where we could find his valuables once he was gone, and the details of his complicated ...   Read More

Filed under Family

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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