Volume 10, Number 2
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FROM THE EDITOR
Robert J. Noone, PhD
Epigenetics, Social Genomics, and Bowen Theory
FACULTY CASE CONFERENCE
Ann Jones, RN, PhD
The shift away from genetic determinism in the 1990s was followed by research exploring gene-environment interactions. The mechanism at play appears to begin with the organism’s perception of the environment capable of triggering patterns of genome-wide transcription factors. Evolutionary preserved responses to the environment turn on and off immune system genes capable of preparing the organism for conflict as well as increasing the risk for disease. The almost minute-to-minute response of the genome to its environment and the transmission of these patterns across generations lend support to Bowen theory concepts of level of differentiation of self, psychological oneness, and the multigenerational transmission process. The role of perception and anxiety level highlight the nexus of social genomics and Bowen theory.
Hospital Leadership and the Chronically Suicidal Adult
Erik Thompson, MA
Chronic suicidality is one of the most taxing problems in the mental health care field. Leading researchers have noted that the standard treatment for acute suicidality is counterproductive in cases of chronic suicidality, which calls for a different approach toward hospital admission and discharge criteria. The issue of who takes responsibility for another’s safety is at the heart of this policy discussion. In this single-subject case experiment, Bowen theory guided the modification of hospital admission and discharge criteria for one chronically suicidal individual, allowing the patient access to the hospital for any reason but clarifying the hospital’s accountability in order to heighten the patient’s own responsibility for her safety. Measured in terms of crisis-bed days, responsibility increased with decreased crisis-bed usage. Bowen theory predicts that a shift in the level of self-definition of a significant party in a relationship system will evoke a “change back” move. Events consistent with this prediction emerged during the experiment, involving behavior that appeared dangerous but was instead revealed to be a deceptive display. em>
Alloparenting: The Works of Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
Merry Muraskin, PhD
The Woman That Never Evolved (1981), Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species (1999), and Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding (2009). Rather than write a typical book review, I have chosen to relate how her works, together with my understanding of family systems theory, have led me to fresh perspectives on my life and on of my extended family and have also led me to new insights into my previous study of a group of male gorillas.
The Value of Defining a Self with One’s Spouse
Presenter: Joan Jurkowski, MS
This presentation is used to illustrate the challenge of “lending a hand” to a person who is working to reduce symptoms without addressing the underlying relationship factors that contribute to the symptom. Consultation with a coach can result in decreased anxiety and improved thinking and is often associated with decreased symptoms; however, this is different than making a solid change. This is a presentation of a client who worked to improve his relationship with his spouse, got a job, and stopped drinking; however, he discontinued coaching.