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Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human interaction that focuses on families as an emotional unit connected within and across generations. Murray Bowen, the creator of this theory, believed emotional anxiety heightens patterns of interaction in the nuclear family (family members that grew up in a household together) and throughout the interconnected web of family relationships. How well people cope with emotional anxiety and how much they are negatively influenced by the larger family is described by the concept of differentiation of self. This term, along with seven other major concepts and systems theory, make up the bulk of Bowen’s approach. Bowen’s theory has been influential in the field of marriage and family and couples therapy, and genograms, a visual assessment tool ...

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