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Family Therapy in Clinical Practice Paperback – December 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-1568210117 ISBN-10: 1568210116 Edition: 1st

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Family Therapy in Clinical Practice + The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory + Family Evaluation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.; 1 edition (December 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568210116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568210117
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I highly recommend this rich, insightful, warm, and reflective book, not only to those interested in family therapy but to all who must consider the family nexus in their work with their patients or clients. (Maurice R. Green Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry)

A stimulating theoretical exploration of the process of individual development within the family and the subsequent influence of this on society. [I] would recommend it as being of interest to professionals engaged in enabling individuation in various circumstances, from families [and] organizations to the elderly. (James Atkinson The British Journal of Psychiatry)

One of the fathers of family therapy, Murray Bowen is both a pioneer and a chronicler. In publishing his collected papers, he traces the development of his theory from his 1950s research on families of schizophrenics, to his experiment in differentiating himself from his own [professional] family, to his method of working with the family of origin rather than the nuclear family. His book is a historical treasure. (Marianne Riché, Menninger Foundation)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I am reading it as I would a novel--cover to cover.
Janet L. Cameron
There is also a chapter where Dr. Bowen talks about his own efforts at differentiating within his family of origin.
Paul K.
It's rare to find books that are both academically credible and accessible to the layperson.
Eclectic reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Paul K. on December 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a well organized, thoughtful book telling the origins and details of Bowen theory. I particularly like the many cases covered in this book. It appears that they got promising results in helping families with schizophrenic children. There is also a chapter where Dr. Bowen talks about his own efforts at differentiating within his family of origin. It's one thing to talk theory--another to apply it to yourself and then write about it. Fantastic.

There is something very compelling about Bowen's approach, and his insistence on being able to link it with scientific techniques. If you've given up on the more accepted "30 years and a couch" approaches, take a look at Bowen theory.

If you can't find the book here, try the website of the new publisher, "Roman & Littlefield".
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dr. Bowen begins by exploring the mother/child bond to understand human functioning. Soon fathers are seen as vital to this understanding, then the nuclear and extended family. Multi-generational patterns, cutoffs, sibling positions, and triangles are some of the family issues explored. Bowen shows how this broad family perspective inpacts family therapy, as well as understanding societal emotional process.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic reader on June 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's rare to find books that are both academically credible and accessible to the layperson. This book is the exception, and the content is truly life changing. It is unfortunate that most of the people who read this book are psychologists or psychiatrists who see it as "just another method" and go back to their simplistic "find the problem and fix it" techniques.
Reading this book has helped me understand myself, my family, my work environment, my social environment, and human culture.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic reader on June 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's rare to find books that are both academically credible and accessible to the layperson. This book is the exception, and the content is truly life changing. It is unfortunate that most of the people who read this book are psychologists or psychiatrists who see it as "just another method" and go back to their simplistic "find the problem and fix it" techniques.
Reading this book has helped me understand myself, my family, my work environment, my social environment, and human culture.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wishful Thinker on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
The scope of the thinking that went into producing "Family Therapy in Clinical Practice" is phenominal and rare. I have thought this book to be a seminal study of the intricate relationship patterns that existed and repeated with more or less intensity over multiple generations. But more than that, it presents a way of thinking that is very different and ambitious for a layman like myself. It requires looking at relationships, whether in the family or among friends, in the workplace or at school, or in a social setting, in an entirely different way than I had been taught directly or indirectly throughout my life. I found the clear thinking and lack of jargon helpful and refreshing. Dr. Bowen's theories have helped me think through my own relationship systems and given me many clues that helped put systems thinking into practice at critical times -- wishfully, it would have been at all times!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Phil Ginsburg on June 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The beauty of Bowen's theory of family dynamics is it's simplicity. Long before the terms codependent were ever written, Bowen used the terms Fusion and Differentiation to describe the human dance in separating emotion and logic. Bowen's concepts are not only applicable to families but are applicable to organizations and even relations between nation states. I give great credence to many postmodern philosophies that have developed in the field of Marriage and Family therapy, however I do not think that we can ever underestimate the enormous contribution that Murray Bowen gave to us in understanding how individuals develop within the family system!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Murray Bowen was one of the major thought leaders for the Family Systems Movement that grew to dominance in the 1950s,'60s and '70s. Bowen had a "conviction that the human mind could be as much of a science as the rest of the human." (Bowen and Kerr, Family Evaluation, 1988, p.347) Psychoanalytic Theory, the prevailing paradigm to that point, originated with the work of Sigmund Freud. Groundbreaking and brilliant, Freud's thinking was rooted in mythology, literature, medical and cultural ideas of his day. Unlike Freud, who developed his ideas about the family from listening to individual patients' perceptions, Bowen observed entire families with as little clinical interference as possible.

In this book, Bowen has "described the disciplined effort to select consistent theoretical concepts that might someday conceptualize emotional illness as a product of that part of man he shares with the lower forms of life." (FTCP, xiv) He developed his Eight Concepts through scrupulous observation of families, without the advantage of modern scientific techniques to augment his thinking. The Eight Concepts are increasingly being validated through advances in biology, anthropology, neuroscience and other specialties, although Bowen still integrates systems thinking and the other natural sciences in a unique way. He himself said that it "may be a century or two before we can have a science of human behavior, but the potential is present (Bowen and Kerr, Family Evaluation, 1988, p.354).

This is a must-read for any serious student of Family Systems Theory and also highly recommended for anyone who works in mental health. Many organizations use BFST as a guide to human functioning and leadership in systems. Reading Bowen's original thinking remains the best way to learn the theory.
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