Murray Bowen And The Theory Of The Family Systems Theory

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Family systems theory explains that individuals cannot be understood separate from one another but on the contrary they are understood as apart of a family and the family acts as an emotional unit. These families are a framework associated and mutually dependent individuals who can't be comprehended in segregation from that framework. The family systems theory derived from system theory created by Murray Bowen. Murray Bowen is considered to be the founding father of family therapy.
Bowen was a psychiatrist in the 1940s when he started involving family members in the investigation and treatments of schizophrenic patients (Brown ,1999). He worked specifically with a mother and child and began to see the connection between emotional functioning
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Fusion is when an individual sets aside his or her own personal choices in order to achieve harmony in the system. It can be displayed through a feeling of strong responsibility for another person’s reaction (Brown, 1999). Fusion describes an individual’s reaction within a relationship instead of the entire family structure relationship. Differentiation of self is displayed by the ability of an individual to independently make choices while simultaneously remaining emotionally connected to a significant relationship system (Brown, 1999). One who is in a fused relationship has an automatic reaction to the commands or desires of another person without consideration of their choices or talking to that other person (Brown, 1999). The more likely a family will fuse the less likely they will have to adapt to …show more content…
This case study features a student named Amy who appears to be bright but she doesn’t complete her work, and she is unmotivated (Amatea & Fabrick, 1981). Her teachers have tried to help her over the span on three years but nothing was working she was still underachieving. A school counselor began to look at Amy’s life from a family systems perspective (Amatea & Fabrick, 1981). She was inquiring if her behavior at school was in any way linked with her family. With further research and interviews of the entire family the counselor was able to assess the family systems (Amatea & Fabrick, 1981). What she found was that the family had difficulty in expressing disagreement. This inability to express disagreement had caused a strain on the parent’s marriage as well as causing the children to try to get the parents attention (Amatea & Fabrick, 1981). The dada was withdrawing from conflict so much that he formed an improper friendship with Amy instead of being her parent. He also undermined his wife in the goal setting she had with Amy so she didn’t really have rules to abide by (Amatea & Fabrick, 1981). With the help of the counselor the parents were able to see their mistakes and work together as team (Amatea & Fabrick, 1981). They created rules and structure for both daughter with giving them chores and enforcing bedtimes. Amy started performing better in school,

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