Volume 12, Number 2
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Journal articles reflect natural systems thinking or are relevant to it. These may include concept papers as well as research studies.
Within-Family Variability: The Family Projection Process in an Adopted Family
Laura Brooks, MSW
The Adoptive Family Study (AFS) is a longitudinal, qualitative, prospective study of eight adoptive families. This paper uses a long-term case study design of one participant family composed of a mother, father, and their four children, two by adoption and two by birth. Observations of the family were made over the first thirteen years of the study, with data collected in annual interviews with the couple in their home. Annual updates of changes in the three generation family included discussion of each childs adjustment. Transcripts of the interviews were coded from the perspective of the family projection process, a key concept in Bowen family systems theory that describes the process in which parents project their anxiety onto a child. This process contributes to a childs vulnerability to anxiety and dysfunction
Death of a Sibling: Bringing the Past to Life
Kathleen Cotter Cauley, MEd
This paper describes an ongoing effort to access stories and factual history more than fifty years after the death of a teenager. Included is a description of the use of e-mails to activate family emotional process. The author addresses the long-term impact of death in a family and in the relationships of the one who died.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
A special feature of Family Systems is a previously unpublished manuscript by Murray Bowen and other researchers in the family field.
A Letter from Murray Bowen About Lewis Hill
Murray Bowen, MD
Introduction by: Ruth Riley Sagar, MA
This 1972 letter from Dr. Bowen to a person he was supervising sheds light on the importance of funerals in the life of a family. In this letter he talks about Dr. Lewis Hill, the last of three father figures who had a profound influence on his professional development after they both arrived at the National Institute of Mental Health in 1954. With the letter, Dr. Bowen also enclosed the funeral address by Dr. Sarah Tower, a moving tribute to Lewis Hill as a person, as a teacher, and as a pioneer in building psychoanalysis in the Baltimore-Washington area.
FACULTY CASE CONFERENCE
Presentation of a faculty clinical case and discussion with faculty of the Bowen Center.
Anxiety and the Nuclear Family System
Joan Jurkowski, MS
This clinical case was presented at a faculty case conference in May 2017. Identifying data have been altered to ensure confidentiality. The case is a description of how anxiety is managed in a nuclear family after a series of difficult life events. The theory posits that under increased anxiety, spouses manage tension in one of several ways. These are: conflict in the marriage, projection onto a child, and distance and/or dysfunction in a spouse. The presenter describes how all these mechanisms played out in this case study, with the exception of marital conflict.