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Concepts of Bowen Counselling Theory - Essay Sample

5 pages
1169 words
Wesleyan University
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Bowens theory is anchored on the moderation of two elements which are cohesiveness and singularity. Excessive togetherness results in fusion and circumvents particularity (Cumby, 2017). The background of our families is a strong determinant in the virtues, ideas and the encounters of every generation and the manner in which these principles are instilled in the ensuing generation.

Why Bowen Counselling Therapy

Ana comes from a family that is very close and astute too although the dad was a heavy drinker. She has lost touch with her family for a year. She is forced to raise her son alone because her husband works in the military and is deployed for eight months elsewhere. Being a single parent is daunting, and she feels overwhelmed with the responsibilities.

Bowen theory addresses or focuses on these kinds of problems. According to the narration, it seems as though Ana has been used on depending on her loved ones and has not yet found her individuality in the midst of experiences. It is important for Ana to develop a sense of individuality especially now that she is a parent so she can hold the family together while the husband is away.

Goals of the Therapy

The goals of Bowen theory include the need to engage with cut off family members, paying attention not only to the challenge but far beyond, creating a healthy connection with family members and prevent detrimental triangulation and emotional associations (Duffy, Guiffrida, Araneda, Tetenov & Fitzgibbons, 2017).

The intervention strategies for accomplishing the goals highlighted above are divided into the early stage, middle stage and the late stage. The intervention techniques in the early stage include Genogram, describing generational trends, minimize emotional reactivity and objectivity. The intervention approaches in the middle stage involve coaching, seeking the I position believe, couple psychotherapy, and personalized therapy. The late intervention therapy involves education and reaffirmation.

Is the theory designed for short- or long-term counseling?

Bowenian therapy treatment is purposed to be long term which sometimes takes years to complete (Redekop, Luke, & Malone, 2017). The counseling therapy involves three stages: the early stage, the middle stage, and the late stage. Before an individual can successfully achieve the goal that they had established at the start of the process, it takes time. The process is likely to take a minimum of three years.

Anas story seems to be complex, and the coach needs to approach it in a manner that will engage the client but at the same time maintain the differentiation. Before a therapist can create a rapport between them and the client, it is a process, and the goal is not to race against time but to ensure that the client has a perennial outcome from the treatment.

What will be the therapists role with Ana?

The specialist is nonpartisan, motivating the individual to communicate with the therapist (Redekop, Luke, & Malone, 2017). The therapist is a coach meaning that he or she instructs the client methods in which they can preserve their neutrality. They also play the role of an educator by regularly teaching the client how to cope with family and its dynamics.

The counselor must think more regarding the system implies that the therapist must possess some level of separation. He or she must be high functioning meaning that they are capable of differentiating ideas from feelings and control emotional responses. More importantly, they should have a healthy differentiation from their family background.

What is the clients role in counseling?

The client being genuine and realistic about the goals that they desire to achieve is a big part of the equation of success just as their physical presence, flexibility to ideas and possibilities of change (StewartSicking, Deal & Fox, 2017). Having an objective to focus on and comprehending what you want to get from the process will help the therapist in setting the pace and determining how the counseling process will take place. Having a clear set of goals will propel the client to be truthful because when a client lies about the facts of their experiences, it means that is a waste of both resources and time.

What population is this theory suitable? How does this supposition respond to the communal and cultural requirements of the patient?

Bowenian therapy is suitable for individuals, single parents, couples and an entire family (Murdock, 2017). The theory tries to link the problem that a particular client is facing to family history and then develop approaches to address the problems. It emphasizes on balancing togetherness and individuality so that someone can be able to stand on their own feet without necessarily leaning on someone else all the time.

What additional information may be useful to know in Anas case?

It will be important to find out how long the client has been married or even lived together with him.

How exactly was their relationship? Were her parents supportive of her relationship with the husband?

It has been too long since Ana contacted her family and it would be helpful to understand the basis of the isolation and why she is also so reluctant to contact them especially now that her husband is away and she is facing financial difficulties. Her family is wealthy back in Guatemala, and it would make more sense if she would seek help from them in her desperate moments.

The answers to the questions mentioned above would be a step forward towards demystifying why she would not communicate with her family because whatever she is running away from will continue to haunt her mind until she can find the courage to face it.

What may be unknown using this method?

The greatest risk in this technique may be for the patient to lie. Opening up about a family history is not easy especially to a stranger even if it is a professional. The client may have undergone a lot of troubles which they may not have gotten over. The client may be guilty over previous incidences that could have occurred in the family and hence find it dreadful sharing life experiences with anybody. They may feel coerced to lie about the situation depending on the environment. Despite the fact that counselors are somewhat trained to detect a lie, they may miss it, particularly if the client is good at lying.


Cumby, C. (2017). Advanced Counselling: Integrating Theory with the Self. The Morning Watch: Educational and Social Analysis, 44(1-2).

Duffy, J. T., Guiffrida, D. A., Araneda, M. E., Tetenov, S. M., & Fitzgibbons, S. C. (2017). A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Counseling Students Who Participate in Mindfulness-Based Activities in a Counseling Theory and Practice Course. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 39(1), 28-42.

Murdock, N. L. (2017). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Case Approach. Boston: Pearson. StewartSicking, J. A., Deal, P. J., & Fox, J. (2017). The Ways Paradigm: A Transtheoretical Model for Integrating Spirituality Into Counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95(2), 234-241.

Redekop, F., Luke, C., & Malone, F. (2017). From the Couch to the Chair: Applying Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice in Counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95(1), 100-109.

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