Randall T. Frost, MDiv|
In setting forth his theory of human relationship systems, Murray Bowen made a consistent practice of giving ordinary words a more specialized meaning. The fuller meaning of important terms emerges only in relation to other key terms used in the theory and to the phenomenon being described. This article attempts to explicate how one important term, solid self, informs and is informed by other key terms used in the theory. Solid self has a specific relationship to such other terms as pseudo self, basic and functional levels of differentiation, the intellectual, emotional and feeling systems, reality, unresolved emotional attachment, the stress response, and basic self. Several terms are mapped on the scale of differentiation to illustrate ways in which they relate to one another.