The Institute for Family Healing GmbH (IFFH) headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, is committed to the goal of "Connecting Science with Energy Medicine" and to the contribution of the scientific proof that systematic energy medicine can improve the health of any individual holistically - at the physical, mental and emotional level - as well as of any other system like a family, a group, and company.
We base our research on the framework of the Bowen Family System Theory and Therapy originated by Murray Bowen (1913-1990), an American psychiatrist and professor in psychiatry at Georgetown University in the 1950s. The Institute for Family Healing GmbH would like to honor Murray Bowen and his research dedicated to the healing of the families (1) by disseminating the Bowen Family System Theory and (2) by Institute’s research to further deepening and application of the theory in the healing practice.
IFFH conducts independent research which focuses on answering the following questions:
1. How does the emotional functioning of the family system influence the health - physical, mental, and emotional - of any family member individually and of the system collectively?
2. How do negative experiences (economic crisis, wars, etc.) of the ancestors influence the emotional functioning and the decision-making processes of the family system in form of cell information?
3. How can energy medicine and family cell therapy be applied at the individual and the family system level “to decrease/delete the (negative) emotional functioning and to increase/re-program the (positive) factual functioning” in order to improve our physical, mental and emotional health?
Bowen Family System Theory explained
The Bowen Family System Theory focuses on detecting and breaking patterns of anxiety in emotional relationships - too much closeness or too much distance - which develop in each family depending on the varying levels of stress. The family is seen as an emotional unit, which naturally manages its own functioning. The health of each family system and its members is dependent on the ratio of the fusion versus the flexibility of its system. The main goal of the Bowen therapy is to increase the flexibility of the system by reducing chronic anxiety in the family (1) through educating about the emotional functioning of the family system and (2) by increasing the self-differentiation of any individual family member with a focus on changing oneself instead of wanting to change others.
Bowen’s work started with schizophrenic patients when he included mothers and more family members into the therapy, moving the focus from an individual to the family system functioning.
8 Concepts of the Bowen Family System Theory
1. Emotional Fusion and Differentiation of Self
Emotional fusion or lack of differentiation exists in various degrees in families where individual members sacrifice on individual choices in order to achieve harmony in the system. Differentiation is described as the capacity of the individual to function autonomously or self-differentiated by taking their own decisions while still being emotionally connected to the family. The greater the fusion in the family, the less flexibility to adapt to stressful situations is available to the system, and vice versa.
A triangle is described as a stable relationship unit between individuals. The process of triangling occurs when the unbearable anxiety between two individuals gets outsourced to a third party either by taking sides or by providing a cushion for the anxiety relief - the emotional release - giving comfort to the others in the triangle. The triangles work visibly under stressful conditions and are difficult to identify throughout calmness. Interlocking triangles exist over generations in a repetitive pattern throughout the family system in which individuals need to manage simultaneously multiple triangles of fusion and differentiation in relationships. The greater the fusion, the higher the need for emotional stability and the higher the anxiety.
3. Nuclear Family Emotional Process
The nuclear family is the family of origin of any member and consists of two generations (parents and children). The nuclear family emotional process examines the influence of the non-differentiation on the emotional functioning of a single family system. Bowen has discovered that relationship fusion leading to triangulation produces symptoms in three different situations: (a) couple conflict, (b) illness in a spouse, (c) projection of a problem onto one or more children.
4. Family Projection Process
The family projection process explains how children can develop chronic behavioral or emotional problems when they get locked into the repetitive generational patterns of relationship anxiety in the system. The intergenerational projection occurs in all families to different degrees and at different stages of the life cycle.
5. Emotional Cutoff
The process of an emotional cutoff can be seen as a way how family members manage the fusion or closeness in relationships over generations. An emotional cutoff can be initiated by a physical distance or by an emotional withdrawal. A cutoff is an internal decision to become completely different from the nuclear family as a kind of escape. This process is used for immediate relief of emotional pressure but the patterns of relationship fusion stay the same and get repeated.
6. Multigenerational Transmission Process
This process describes how the patterns, positions, and roles in the triangle are passed down from generation to generation through the projection of the parent onto the child. Each child in the nuclear family will be influenced differently defined by the varying degrees of the fusion and of the stages in the life cycle of the family of origin. The focus is on three generations of a family in order to evaluate the symptoms of the child.
7. Sibling Position
The sibling position in the family of the origin provides useful information regarding the roles the individual tends to take on in other relationships. The birth order positions can be characterized by the level of leadership, responsibility, dependency, and comfort, having certain exceptions based on the real functional role of the sibling.
8. Societal Emotional Process
Society functions as an emotional system the same way as a group or as a family. It needs to manage its own emotional process between interactions of individualism and togetherness in order to stay flexible and healthy. The family emotional processes have an impact on the societal emotional process and the quality and the health of the family systems build the foundation of the healthy societal system.