Bowenian Family Therapy
by Philip Guerin
Watch Dr. Guerin masterfully conducting a live family therapy session, followed by an illuminating discussion about his innovative and sophisticated approach to Bowenian Family Therapy.

Part of the 10-video series: Family Therapy with the Experts
Pam is a 32-year-old woman who lives at home with her parents, Adrian and Judy, and doesn’t have many friends. She clearly has some sort of developmental disability, but Adrian and Judy don’t understand why Pam is so angry and uncommunicative. In fact, Pam says she doesn’t even understand why she behaves the way she does. In this live family therapy session, Dr. Guerin helps this befuddled family gain more understanding and clarity, while shining a light on the underlying anger, fear, and sadness that reside beneath the surface not only in Pam, but in her parents as well.

In this video, Guerin skillfully demonstrates ways to engage a closed family system, while highlighting several key principles of Bowenian therapy, including: establishing therapeutic safety and connection with each family member; lowering anxiety; utilizing process questions; neutralizing dysfunctional triangles in the family system; and offering relationship experiments.

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What therapists are saying…

"I found the Guerin video to be a lovely piece of work demonstrating individuation and detriangulation in this complex family system. Guerin demonstrates connectedness, directness, and gentle humor as he untangles the knots in this family with a developmentally diabled daughter, while showing us how to respect when a family cannot yet open a taboo subject."

-- Evan Imber-Black, PhD, Editor, Family Process; Director, Center for Families and Health

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As noted above, Pam clearly has some sort of developmental disability, although it is unclear what the nature of her deficit is.  But it is quite striking to notice how Guerin finds a way to engage her as a full adult member of the family, not talking down to her in any way, and in doing so provides effective modeling for the parents. Note that this is the same family as in the videos Structural Family Therapy featuring Harry Aponte and Object-Relations Family Therapy featuring David and Jill Savege Scharff, so it is interesting to contrast the styles of these two master therapists.

By watching this video, you will:
• Learn the theoretical components of Bowenian Family Therapy.
• Identify specific techniques and interventions characteristic of Bowenian Family Therapy.
• Observe how a clinician employing a Bowenian Therapy approach conducts an initial family therapy session.

Length of video: 01:57:00

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

This DVD plays in All Regions

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-226-3

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-227-1

Philip J. Guerin, MD is a psychiatrist, family therapist, author, and the founder of the Center for Family Learning in Westchester County, New York. He has written several influential books and articles in the field of family therapy, including The Evaluation and treatment of marital conflict: A four-stage approach and Working with relationship triangles: The one-two-three of psychotherapy.

CE credits: 5.5

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the theoretical components of Bowenian Family Therapy.
  • Identify specific techniques and interventions characteristic of Bowenian Family Therapy.
  • Observe how a clinician employing a Bowenian Therapy approach conducts an initial family therapy session.
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