Family Of Origin Analysis
The family of Origin Analysis
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The family of Origin Analysis
The Family System Theory
Dr. Murray Bowen introduced family system theory which proposes that individuals are understood as a part of their family; they cannot be understood as isolated members because the family of a person is an emotional unit. In other words, families are systems that involve interdependent and interconnected individuals, and no one can be understood or considered in isolation from their particular system.
This theory states that each member in a family has rules to respect and a role to play. Member of the family system is anticipated to communicate with each other in a particular way that is according to the role they have, that is defined by agreements of relationship. In boundaries of the family system, when the behavior of family member is caused, patterns develop, and that behavior causes the behavior of other family members in expected ways. Balance in the family system might be led by the maintenance of a similar pattern of behavior, but it may also lead to the dysfunction. For instance, if the husband in a family is depressed and he is finding it very hard to take control over it, in that case, the wife may require to take more responsibilities of the family to get everything in a balance. Changing of the roles may help in the maintenance of the stability and balance in a relationship, but it may result in pushing the whole family towards a different kind of equilibrium (Jacob, 2013). Such equilibrium may set a path towards dysfunction because there are chances that the wife may find it hard to maintain the changed role to stabilize the family system for a long time period. To explain it further I will discuss my own family system.
My Own Family Origin
I belong to a Latino family. I have 4 brothers and 1 sister. My father is a , and my mom is a makeup artist. I am an elder in my siblings. We are a big family, and it gets hard in some days to make both ends meet. Two of my youngest siblings are twins who are just 3 months old. It gets very hard for my mother to take care of all of us and manage her work to support her family financially. All of us in a family are familiar with the whole situation, and we are taught very well how to struggle in society as a family to achieve the best for us. There is always noise in the morning as my younger brothers and a sister, scream and play their way off to school every day in the morning.
When I was a child, I had many complexes, and I was very angry at the world. I was so demanding towards my parents to get me all the accessories that I want in my life. They did their best to keep me happy, but I was a disturbed child. But when I grew up I learnt much seeing my father and mother: how they handle things, how they love us no matter what, how they provide for us, how they care for each one of us, and how they are struggling with financial problems just because they can provide us the best in this world. I grew my love and respected stronger towards them, and now I understand. I have a job too, to support them and manage my own expenses.
Eight interlocking concepts of Dr. Bowen's theory
Dr. Murray Bowen, a psychiatrist, developed this theory and eight interconnecting concepts of it. He presented the theory with the help of systems thinking to incorporate information of human species. He used human as an evolution product with knowledge from the research of family. The basic assumption is that human relationship systems are governed by an emotional system which is evolved several billion years ago. People perform all the common things that other types of life do even they have culture, language, complex psychology, and a thinking brain. Emotional system is the principle driving potency that has great impact over the activity of human and the clinical problems development. Knowledge or information about the emotional system functions in the family, job, and social life indicates new and more efficient choices to solve problems in these areas (Gilbert, 2006).
I will discuss eight interlocking concepts of Dr. Bowen's theory according to my own family system. I have analyzed that my family has all eight of them.
I find it very comfortable in sharing whatever is going in my life, with my sister. Although she is younger but she is smart and very supportive.
I love to learn boxing from my dad, but he makes strange noise while coaching which bothers me a lot but I try to be patient about it. I think about it every day to tell him about it in a way that is kind and gentle and which cannot hurt his feelings.
Differentiation of self:
All of my siblings including me require permission of our parents if we have to go out or invite friends for a sleepover. There are many other rules as well which I hated the most when I was a child, but now I understand that they were of my own benefit. For instance, I wasn't allowed to eat much candy, and that bothered me a lot because to me it was pretty much harmless to do that but now that I have grown up, I am grateful that I have lived by this rule.
Nuclear family emotional system:
My mother’s mental health got weak after she had twins. She was so caught up in everything, but my father broke his gender barriers and helped her in everything.
He is also good with make-up, so he started running her business part-time after his job to give my mother relaxation from work. He also did house chores from doing dishes to changing diapers, and he was happy to be helpful. It helped my mother a lot in pulling herself together.
Family projection process:
Seeing my mother depressed, Bernard suddenly got extremely caring and loving towards her, and now he does little efforts every single day to make her happy.
Multigenerational transmission process:
My brother Bill has a lot of imaginary friends that he talks to. He is 14 now, and he still has them. No one in our family ever experienced something like that.
Societal emotional process:
My younger brother Jared is fond of going to places, and he has always insisted on my parents to go on international trips on vacations. Of course, my parents cannot afford it, so he stays angry and aggressive whenever this discussion opens up near the time of vacations.
As the issue mentioned above, my younger brother Jared gets a lot aggressive. I try to talk with him and attempt as many efforts as I can to make him understand about the whole situation. I try hard to put in his mind that if he wants to achieve the goals he needs to work hard on them on his own, mother and father are not responsible for that.
Whenever the issue of Jared opens up in our family, Jared takes it strongly on his emotions. He locks his door, listens to heavy metal music on his headphone all the times and when he is asked something, or someone tries to involve him in the discussion, he stays quiet and does not bother to answer.
Importance of family System Theory
According to Dr. Bowen’s theory, the family has a prominent impact on the actions and emotions of the individual even when he feels a disconnection between him and his family. The effect on emotions and action can be positive or negative. A change in a person’s life can spark a change on the way their family responds or react (Titelman, 2012). Interdependence between the families may not be the same, but it is the same between family members.
Dr. Bowen believes that families develop a sense of cooperation among them which is significant for various aspects like protection and shelter. However, it evolved interdependence of the individuals on their family members. During the condition of stress, the depression or anxiety feels by one family member can be spread among the other family members. Therefore, interdependence becomes emotionally difficult instead of comfortable.
In almost every family there is a one sensitive family member. He absorbs most of the emotions of his family members. As a result, he faces problems like depression, anxiety, physical illness, and alcoholism. In my family system, Jared and Bernard are sensitive ones. It tells the significance of family to get the better of their issues instead of making more flaws or letting the emotions stew. Counseling or therapy is one of the best solutions to minimize the anxiety and to increase the understanding with family.
Jacob, T. (2013). Family interaction and psychopathology: Theories, methods, and findings. Springer Science & Business Media.
Gilbert, R. M. (2006). The eight concepts of Bowen theory. Falls Church, VA: Leading systems press.
Titelman, P. (2012). Triangles: Bowen family systems theory perspectives. Routledge.
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