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9 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
8 interactive concepts of the Bowen theory
1. Triangles
2. Nuclear (or Core) Family
Emotional Process
3. Family Projection Process
4. Multigenerational
Transmission Process
5. Differentiation
6. Sibling Position
7. Emotional Cutoff
8. Emotional Process in
Society
Triangles
One of the mechanisms (reflexive actions) a system utilizes to bind anxiety, in an attempt to restore or achieve equilibrium, is the involvement of a third person (issue or focus) into a reactive dyad. The triangle, a three-person emotional configuration, is the basic building block of a stable emotional system and describes its dynamic movement toward gaining equilibrium. If equilibrium is not achieved or restored within the system by the initial attempt(s) to triangle, a subsequent person(s), issue(s), or focus(i) is(are) triangled in, thus forming a webbing of interlocking triangles.
Nuclear (or Core) Family Emotional Process
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. These processes are the reflexive action or activity of the system to the varying amounts of anxiety and the systems attempt to achieve equilibrium or balance. These processes are marital conflict, dysfunction of a spouse and impairment of one or more children through the family projection process. Emotional distancing, not considered a distinct category because it is a feature of all relationships, is intertwined with all the patterns of emotional functioning in a nuclear family. The nuclear family emotional process (the observable mechanisms and patterns of emotional functioning) of the current generation is typically a replica of past generations and will be repeated in the generations to follow.
Family Projection Process
One of the processes of emotional functioning observed in the nuclear family, to varying degrees. As a result of this process, 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.
Multigenerational Transmission Process
The transmission of the nuclear family emotional process through multiple generations. 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. As basic levels of differentiation increase and decrease down through the generations, the reactivity of the individual and the family unit varies accordingly.
Differentiation
The individual’s capacity to be aware of the difference between their intellectually determined functioning and their emotionally determined functioning. The second process describes the way the individual functions in relationships and his/her ability to maintain emotional autonomy in a relationship system.
Sibling Position
Certain fixed personality and functional characteristics seem to be determined by the original family configuration in which a child grows up. Though not precise, there are predictable relationships between the sibling complex, personality development and level of functioning based in gender, birth-order and rank of importance in the family of origin. To the degree to which a sibling profile fits in a particular case, certain levels of differentiation and certain family projection processes may be indicated to exist.
Emotional Cutoff
Ways an individual family member attempts to manage lower levels of differentiation by separating him/herself from the nuclear family through emotional isolation or physically distancing. The degree of cutoff is equivalent to the degree of unresolved emotional attachment to one’s parents and thus, basic level of differentiation.The lower the level of differentiation within the nuclear family and the generations, the greater the degree of emotional cutoff.
Emotional Process in Society
Larger emotional systems, such as ethnic, national and cultural groupings. Therefore, like the family, these groups, when subjected to chronic and sustained anxiety, can choose not to employ intellectually determined principles for resolution of reactivity, and respond reflexively with emotionally determined mechanisms to allay system anxiety. Increased social anxiety and a resulting decrease in the functional level of the society can result in a gradual lowering of the functional level of its families. The emotional process in such groups influences the emotional process in the family. The lower the level of differentiation within the family system, the more the family emotional process is influenced by societal emotional processes.