A Bowen Theory Lexicon Comments from Social Media

A Bowen Theory Lexicon By Ronald B. Cohen


Read A Bowen Theory Lexicon Comments from Social Media

As someone trained in BST in the ’80s, I found the approach more helpful to me personally than as a treatment modality. Some of the terminology resembles that in my then preferred approaches of structural/strategic. Others such as “undifferential family ego mass” were no nebulous that they seemed to have little usefulness in doing therapy in the agencies where I worked. The amount of time BST required wasn’t available in my settings. My first exposure to BST occurred in ’72. I had joined the staff of an innovative, 2 city delinquency prevention program. Our director had studied under Buckminster Fuller and by extension we were part of a worldwide network of “Bucky People”. We were behaviorists. We drove to VCU in Richmond and entered an auditorium, unsure of what we would experience. Presently Dr. B. appeared on a screen with a family, I think just husband and wife. He spoke with them awhile and we understood almost nothing. Our director, never bashful, blurted out that “this was a bunch of s—“. We got glares from the rest of the audience. A moderator (?) came out and the session was discussed like it was part of a long running soap opera. We left bewildered. Fortunately, I later began taking BST workshops. 

Jeffrey Shelton, Ph.D.
Family Mediator at Shelton Family Mediation Service


Posted it on my Pinterest board about therapy. Thank you.

Katherine Gordy Levine
Founder and CEO Emotional Fitness Training, Inc., therapist, author,


I enjoy reading your articles!

Guy Van Drunen
Clinic Manager at Burrell Behavioral Health


Each time I’m asked about Bowen, I’m sure to recommend your blog as a resource. Thanks for being awesome.

B. Sripom
Registered Marriage & Family Therapist Intern/Artist


I appreciate your ongoing efforts to clarify Bowen’s terminology, Ron. While BFST has become the most effective and practical therapy I have used as a psychotherapist, deepening my understanding of this brilliant theory definitely sharpens my skills. In this blog, you have clarified for me a concept that has been muddy for me: the closeness/distance dance. Yes, that makes sense; this is how we manage the individuation and togetherness forces, and it is not synonomous with immature emotional reactivity (fusion/cut-off). Very helpful. Thanks, Ron.

Bonnie Hall Registered Clinical Counsellor in private practice


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