Marriage Forum 2 Bowen differentiation

Think about your relationship with your family of origin in terms of Bowen differentiation. How differentiated are you? Why?

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“The concept of differentiation is most basic to Bowen’s intergenerational theory. Bowen uses this term to refer both to properties of the family system and to attributes of the individuals within the system. When applied to the family system, differentiation refers to the patterns and dynamics of interaction that directly and indirectly affect the development of the self. Bowen contends that some families facilitate individual development and adjustment while other families provide a context that inhibits adjustment and fosters dysfunction.” (p.57)In basic terms, Bowens theory talks about growing yourself, strengthen your foundation. This will help individual’s separate feelings from thoughts. All throughout my life when speaking with people in regard to this very subject I’ve often found the words being “ruled by your emotions versus logic” come out of my mouth. It is very difficult to have a rationale that can separate your emotions from logic. There are a lot of physical factors that come into play when discussing this very subject.

One obstacle that comes to mind are hormones. Personally, as a woman I find it very hard to control my emotions and use rational thought when my hormones are elevated. It has taken me a long time personally to understand how to separate my feelings from my rational thoughts during times of heighten hormone levels. Often parents have difficulty with this. Many times, parents are busy working and don’t take the necessary time to seek out the resources to help their children understand how to communicate. Parents are not at home and the child gets wrapped up in the family’s processes and has a hard time defining themselves. Multiple jobs take up so much time to provide for their families monetarily that parents forget about their children’s emotional and psychological needs. That leads us into “triangles. Triangles are described by Bowen as a third party that is sought out. Because my parents were working I needed someone else to talk to I had to bring in

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