Comparison Between Bowen Family System and Solution Focused Therapy

3096 Words Mar 2nd, 2012 13 Pages
Comparison between Bowen Family System and Solution Focused Therapy

Lennie Soo Mei Yoke

Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors

Comparison between Bowen Family System and Solution Focused Therapy

This essay aims to compare and contrast the classical Bowen Family System Therapy to the more modern Solution Focused Therapy. Comparison will be made in the following areas (1) broad theoretical formulations, (2) normal family development, (3) development of behavioural disorder, (4) goals of therapy, (5) conditions for behavioural change, (6) assessment methods and (7) techniques. Note that in the last decade, parts of Bowen’s theories have been criticized due to the paucity of empirical evidence. For example, his
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If they had a theory, the theory would be that people should not be labelled or categorized by their behaviour or actions because there is always exceptions to the way they behave. An child who is overly active because he is excited should not be labelled an ADHD child because there are times when he is not overly active. Furthermore a Solution Focused therapist may argue that by categorizing a person, attention is being drawn towards the problem and away from the solution (de Shazer, et al., 1986; Nichols, 2010, pp 322). Solution focused therapists are of the view that patient diagnosis (de Shazer & Berg, 1992b) and client resistance (de Shazer, 1988a) do not exist except in the mind of the therapists.

Bowenian therapists and Solution Focused therapists are again on the opposite end of the scale when it comes to their sentiments towards therapeutic goals. Bowenian therapeutic goals are to help people understand themselves and their relationships better with the assumption that they can then assume the responsibility for resolving their own problems. Bowenian therapists sees themselves as educators and facilitators, they are not interested in actively helping their clients to solve their problems (Nichols, 2010, pp 123). Solution focused therapists on the other hand, have only one focus and that is to help people solve their presenting problems in the shortest timeframe possible. They are not interested in

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