Bowen theory views the family as an emotional unit. The family is a natural system that has evolved, like all living systems. The elegance and unity of the concept of differentiation of self, and of Bowen theory in its entirety, is that they describe the basis of individual functioning in relation to others within the emotional systems of family, occupation, community, and larger society.
This volume consists of essays elucidating and applying differentiation of self, the central concept of Bowen family systems theory and therapy. The purpose of the volume is fourfold:
• to describe the historical evolution of differentiation of self
• to analyze the complex dimension of this concept as the integrating cornerstone of Bowen theory
• to present applications of the concept for both the therapist/coach and in clinical practice
• to examine the problems and possibilities of researching differentiation of self
The largest part of this volume is the presentation of in-depth case studies of clients or therapists in their efforts to differentiate or define self. This provides an understanding of the what and how that go into the differentiation of self. Contributed to by professionals who have studied, applied, and taught Bowen theory in their own lives, practices, educational settings, and training settings, this volume is a must-have for any therapist/coach working within a systems perspective.
Table of Contents
Foreword A. McKnight Part 1: Theoretical Perspectives on the Concept of Differentiation of Self 1. The Concept of Differentiation of Self in Bowen Theory P. Titelman 2. Emotion and Intellect in Bowen Theory D. Papero 3. Differentiation of Self as a Multigenerational Process R. Noone 4. Ancient Roots of Differentiation L. Howard 5. The Evolution of Helping: From Altruism to Empathy, to Differentiation of Self S. Ferrera Part 2: Differentiation of Self in the Therapist's Own Family 6. Defining a Self in Family, Profession, and Society P. Titelman 7. Applying Differentiation of Self in One's Family P. Klever 8. Differentiation and Remarriage: A Thirty Year Journey A. Wilgus 9. Bowen Theory as a Guide to Defining Self over a Life Cycle J. Maloni Part 3: Differentiation of Self in Clinical Practice 10. A Long-Term Coaching Process: Differentiation for Client and Coach K. Baker 11. Differentiation of Self and Neurofeedback: Integrating Top Down/Bottom Up P. Friesen 12. Defining a Self: A Long Term View A. Nicholson 13. Differentiation of Self in the Presence of Chronic Family Symptoms P. Meyer Part 4: Researching Differentiation of Self 14. Challenges of Conducting Bowen Family Systems Theory Research on Differentiation of Self R. Frost 15. Emotional Reactivity, Fusion, and Differentiation of Self in Family Physiology: Clinical Case Research V. Harrison 16. Toward a Greater Understanding of the Concept of Differentiation of Self in Bowen Family Systems Theory: Empirical Developments and Future Directions E. Skowron, E. Cipriano, J. Van Epps