By Jenny Brown
This little book is not focused on understanding your child. Instead, it is all about focusing on managing yourself as a parent. The ideas are based on research findings that reveal that the more a parent leans on ‘experts’ to tell them how to understand and influence their child the less confident they are about themselves as a parent leader. A well-intentioned focus on helping or fixing a child can easily lead to a confused and intense parent-child relationship where the child becomes reactive to their parent’s monitoring. In this small book, Dr. Jenny Brown presents some big ideas about a different pathway to effective parenting. Based on her research and Dr. Murray Bowen’s family systems theory she uses real examples to illustrate how parents recover their clarity and confidence, and in turn help their children to grow into responsibly resilient young people.
Editors Jenny Brown and Lauren Errington
Bowen Family Systems Theory in Christian Ministry: Grappling with theory and its application through a biblical lens brings together the voices of Christian leaders and workers who have engaged Bowen theory in their ministry contexts—churches, schools, workplaces, and pastoral care situations.
Christian ministry inevitably involves working with, and for, a wide range of people. And where there are people, there are a plethora of relationships. Many of these relationships bring joy, while others are fraught and frustrated. This raises questions about when and how to turn to psychological relationship theories for assistance. When we hold a high view of the Bible’s wisdom, we want to take care to ensure that secular ideas do not contradict or replace biblical guidance.
This book provides a strong intellectual consideration of where Bowen theory may be compatible with a biblical view and where it may be in tension. Additionally, it discusses the usefulness of Dr Murray Bowen’s theory to the practical aspects of working with different relationships in Christian ministries. We trust it provides rich fodder for grappling with family systems, or indeed any secular theory, as it relates to Christian ministry and biblical truth.
By Jenny Brown
“This book is an excellent resource for those interested in pursuing greater emotional maturity in their relationships (and those learning to help others do so). In short, a wonderfully clear, thoughtful and engaging read. I recommend it highly.”
– Elizabeth A. Skowron, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
A blog by Dr Jenny Brown
Dr Jenny Brown is a best-selling author, educator, and the founder of the Family Systems Institute in Sydney, Australia. She has a number of published articles and book chapters on aspects of family systems which can be found on her blog: ‘A Diary of Everyday Growing Up Opportunities’.
Visit the blog here.