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On the Journey… with Bowen Family Systems Theory

Bowen Family Systems Theory was developed by Murray Bowen and its applications expanded by the ideas of Ed Friedman. The eight concepts, such as emotional triangles and self-differentiation, offer a way to see the emotional processes inherent in all natural systems, whether it is a family or a work system. As a person learns to recognize systemic patterns and to observe one’s position in the interconnected systems, the result is more choice in how to respond with integrity.

In fact a goal of Bowen Family Systems Theory is to increase one’s repertoire so that a variety of responses are available, whatever the issue. In this way thinking systems provides the ability to travel light, to get clear about one’s goals and beliefs, to stay on course no matter the emotional terrain or weather, to be alive and present, to stay connected with significant relationships, to experience life as it comes.

**For more information about Bowen Family Systems Theory check out the Resources page.

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© 2010, Carla Toenniessen, LMFT