Bowen Theory in the Office

Application of the Bowen Theory (Family Systems Theory) in an office environment to facilitate improved interaction between staff and between staff and clientele.

This paper examines how Bowen’s family systems theory can be used in an office environment to facilitate better interaction between account officers and between account officers and clients. An overview and background is followed by a description of the existing office environment. A discussion of the staff-staff and staff-clientele constraints is followed by a description of how the family systems theory can help resolve these issues. A summary of the research and recommendations are provided in the conclusion.
First discussed by Murray Bowen (1976, 1978), family systems theory provides a developmental paradigm that focuses on how an individual’s sense of self emerges in the context of emotional attachments in his or her multigenerational family system. In this regard, differentiating from one’s family of origin, the cornerstone of Bowen’s theory, is a key developmental task associated with young adulthood (Carter & McGoldrick, 1989). Many family therapists believe that one must get at historical or causal factors in order to relieve a symptom or achieve change. Family therapy versions of the psychoanalytic concepts of insight, catharsis, and abreaction seem to be the major avenues of change, and a mature objectivity is, as with most Freudian therapies, the desired end result.