Coming to grips with Bowen Family Systems Theory in a collaborative learning environment.

Conference 2016: The Multi-Generational Family

This Q & A discussion at the end of 2 days of the FSI conference drew from Victoria Harrison’s presentation on her research: the Observations of Change project.

This project aims: To investigate changes that can be observed in physiology and in functioning for an individual and his or her family that accompany working on differentiation of self in the family, the basis for applications of Bowen family systems theory in psychotherapy.

Can people modify anxiety reactions (chronic anxiety) established early in life & maintained in family patterns? (What Bowen theory adds to Reversibility Research)

Do these changes improve health?  For other family members as well as for self?

How do outcomes in Bowen theory compare to results in other forms of psychotherapy?

(Outcome Evaluation of Psychotherapy)

The Observations of change research participants are volunteers from the Bowen Center Postgraduate Program. They are each working on differentiation of self in their broader families.

Data collection:

  • Obtain measures of physiological reactivity(EMG, DST, EDR and cortisol) & EEG & Salivary Cortisol: 4 X a year  (AA added in year 3)
  • Record observations of nodal events in the family, symptoms that occur in self & family, contact with family, & steps related to differentiation of self
  • Complete the Skowron Differentiation of Self Inventory periodically
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