Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Bowen Family Systems Therapy with Families

  • Heather KatafiaszEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_1147

Synonyms

Bowen couple theory; Bowen theory

Introduction

Bowen Family Systems Theory fits into the category of Intergenerational Family Theories, with its emphasis on how family of origin experiences impact current individual and relationship functioning. It is a theory that emphasizes personal autonomy, as well as balance. Bowen found inspirations for his theory, not only in the mental health work but also in natural systems. He believed that his theory would be applicable to all human systems and, to a much more limited extent, to all living systems as we are all connected.

Prominent Associated Figures

Murray Bowen, the founder of Bowen Family Systems Theory, trained initially as a psychiatrist. While working at the Menninger Institute providing therapeutic services to patients diagnosed with Schizophrenia, he began to involve the mothers of the patients in the treatment (Kerr and Bowen 1988). He began to observe how the relationship between mother and adult child impacted the...

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References

  1. Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  2. Erdem, G., & Safi, O. A. (2018). The cultural lens approach to bowen family systems theory: Contributions of family change theory. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10, 469.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Friedman, E. H. (1991). Bowen theory and therapy. In A. S. Gurman & D. P. Kniskern (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (Vol. 2, pp. 134–170). Philadelphia: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  4. Guerin, P., & Guerin, K. (2002). Bowenian family therapy. In J. Carlson & D. Kjos (Eds.), Theories and strategies of family therapy. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  5. Kerr, M., & Bowen, M. (1988). Family evaluation. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.Google Scholar
  6. Miller, R. B., Anderson, S., & Keala, D. K. (2004). Is bowen theory valid? A review of basic research. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30(4), 453–466.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of AkronAkronUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Douglas C. Breunlin
    • 1
  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA