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15 Cards in this Set

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contextual
Pertaining to circumstances or situations in which an event took place; as a therapeutic approach, an emphasis on the relational determinants, entitlements, and indebtedness across generations that bind families together.
differentiation of self
According to Bowen, the separation of one’s intellectual and emotional functioning; the greater the distinction, the better one is able to resist being overwhelmed by the emotional reactivity of his or her family, thus making one less prone to dysfunction.
emotional cutoff
The flight from unresolved emotional ties to one’s family of origin, typically manifested by withdrawing or running away from the parental family, or denying its current importance in one’s life.
family projection process
The mechanism by which parental conflicts and immaturities are transmitted, through the process of projection, to one or more of the children.
family systems theory
The theory advanced by Bowen that emphasizes the family as an emotional unit or network of interlocking relationships best understood from a historical or transgenerational perspective.
fusion
The merging of the intellectual and emotional aspects of a family member, paralleling the degree to which that person is caught up in, and loses a separate sense of self in, family relationships.
genogram
A schematic diagram of a family’s relationship system, in the form of a genetic tree and usually including at least three generations; used in particular by Bowen and his followers to trace recurring behavior patterns within the family.
invisible loyalty
In contextual family therapy, a child’s unconscious commitment to help the parents, as in becoming the family scapegoat.
multigenerational transmission process
The process, occurring over several generations, in which poorly differentiated persons marry similarly differentiated mates, ultimately resulting in offspring suffering from schizophrenia or other severe mental disorders.
nuclear family emotional system
An unstable, fused family’s way of coping with stress, typically resulting in marital conflict, dysfunction in a spouse, or psychological impairment of a child; their pattern is likely to mimic the patterns of past generations and to be repeated in future generations.
relational ethics
In contextual family therapy, the overall, long-term preservation of fairness within a family, ensuring that each member’s basic interests are taken into account by other family members.
sibling position
The birth order of children in a family, which influences their personalities as well as their interactions with future spouses.
societal regression
The notion that society responds emotionally in periods of stress and anxiety, offering short-term Band-Aid solutions, rather than seeking more rational solutions that lead to greater individuation.
triangle
A three-person system, the smallest stable emotional system; according to Bowen, a two-person emotional system, under stress, will recruit a third person into the system to lower the intensity and anxiety and gain stability.
undifferentiated family ego mass
Bowen’s term for an intense, symbiotic nuclear family relationship; an individual sense of self fails to develop in members because of the existing fusion or emotional stuck togetherness.