Bowen Family Systems Coaching

Ronald B. Cohen, MD explains Bowen Family Systems Coaching


We all have them.

We all grew up in them.

Many of us have created our own.

All of them are at various times sources of great joy and satisfaction, as well as intense anxiety and disappointment. Yet none of us can ever fully emotionally leave them, nor do we have a choice as to whether or not we deal with them. Even choosing not to deal with them is a way of choosing to deal with them. It just means we have no control over the outcome.

A family is more than the sum total of the people who belong to it. The behavior of any member of a family affects every other member in some way. A defining characteristic of our species is that we exist in relationships, and our inescapable connection, that is the family we grew up in.

All families have a set of rules, roles and relationship requirements. At times of stressful life-cycle challenges and transitions, pressure may build on the most vulnerable member to exhibit emotional and behavioral distress. That individual’s struggles are most productively understood in the context of all the other family members. Issues arise not because there is something inherently wrong with any individual or the family as a whole, but because all are stuck with a story and a structure that has outlived its usefulness.

Ronald B. Cohen, MD explains Bowen Family Systems CoachingBowen Family Systems Coaching focuses on form and function, the patterns of real world experiences in one’s nuclear and parental families, to help resolve relationship difficulties and intergenerational conflicts. Family coaching focuses on the “doing”, changing oneself in one’s significant emotional relationships, as well as the “being”, maintaining a sense of self-differentiation in the face of high emotional reactivity.

Distinguishing Factors Include:

  1. Working with the most motivated and available family member rather than the “sickest” or lowest functioning one. The ”identified patient” is after all just the negative leg of the triangle, helping to perpetuate “stabilization through diversion.”

  2. An emphasis on the observable who, what, when, where, and how of family rules, roles, and patterns of behavior, rather than conjecture about the whys of individual motivation.

  3. Acknowledgement of universal reciprocity and circular motion in human interactions.

  4. Non-blaming and non-pathologizing.

  5. Connecting system and symptoms.

  6. Planful interactions rather than emotional catharsis. Stop complaining and start changing yourself in real world interactions.

Ronald B. Cohen, MD explains Bowen Family Systems CoachingThe beauty and value of this process is its near universal applicability in promoting personal growth, individual responsibility, improved productivity, and maturity. The process is equally effective for individuals, couples, intimate partners and families.

The goal is to solve problems in current relationships so as not to leave a damaging legacy for future generations. Family coaching, or family therapy with one person, is uniquely efficient and effective regardless of the situation, and cannot be sabotaged by anyone else. It is healing on a higher level.

This methodology provides family therapy from the individual’s point of view to help manage anxiety and emotional distress at times of turbulence, changes in family structure and life-cycle phase transition.

These include both predictable family life-cycle challenges:

  1. Leaving home and becoming an adult – Self-Empowerment and Staying Connected

  2. Becoming a couple – Dating and Marriage Preparation

  3. Parenting and parent-child relationships

  4. Raising and then launching adolescent children

  5. Caring for elderly parents

  6. Healthy aging

and unpredictable/unexpected family crises:

  1. Parental separation, divorce and remarriage

  2. Alcoholism and substance abuse

  3. Chronic and life-shortening medical illness

  4. Complicated psychiatric illnesses and Dual Diagnosis

  5. Untimely death of child or spouse

  6. Job loss and anxiety about the recession

  7. Succession in a family business

Bowen Family Systems Coaching provides a practical and constructive approach for individuals to explore Ronald B. Cohen, MD explains Bowen Family Systems Coachingand understand the rules of their family of origin, their role in it, the influence of these experiences, and how they impact their current relationships.

Family coaching focuses on improving one’s own functioning in a manner that is both healing and protective of future generations. The more responsible you can be to your own values and beliefs, the greater the likelihood of strong, resilient friendships and secure intimate partner relationships.

What are the benefits of this process?

  • People get better quicker

  • Conflict is resolved

  • A change in any one family member’s behavior creates change in the entire family’s relationships

  • The whole family learns how to solve problems and live healthier lives

  • Multiple family members experience a higher Quality of Life

  • Less expensive and shorter time frame than multiple individual therapies

  • Improvement is long lasting

  • Supportive and safeguards our children’s future

What can I expect from family coaching?

  • Bowen Family Systems Coaching focuses on relationship issues and intergenerational conflict

  • The process of Bowen Family Systems Coaching depends not on how many people are in the room but how the family’s difficulties are understood and addressed

  • The number of people attending a session will vary depending on the nature and scope of the family’s current situation

  • An individual session is 45 minutes.

  • Couple and family sessions range from an hour to an hour and a half

I provide Bowen Family Systems Coaching for individuals, couples, intimate partners and families. If you wish to schedule an initial consultation and/or request more information, please click here.

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Bowen Family Systems Coaching

Bowen Family Systems Coaching with Ronald B Cohen, MD is the treatment of choice for complicated relationship problems and intergenerational conflicts. Include the whole family in resolving and improving what is going on right NOW! When the entire family works to make the difficult journey together, the results are almost magical.
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Why Ronald B Cohen, MD?

If you are experiencing family relationship problems and distress, don’t treat all therapists alike. Look for a Family Therapist who has had specific training, is comfortable with emotional intensity and will offer clear direction to help resolve identified problems. Ronald B. Cohen, MD works with the whole family in a manner that can save you time and be more cost effective than equal doses of individual therapy.
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For Mental Health Professionals

I offer both individual coaching and a consultation group to help facilitate the acquisition and further development of knowledge and expertise in Bowen Family Systems Theory and Coaching for the enhancement of clinical efficacy, productivity and satisfaction. If this is something you want to do professionally, and especially if you have not had significant training and experience in working with family dynamics and relationships, then experiential learning by doing is the best way to go.
To Learn More • 29 Barstow Road Suite 304 • Great Neck, NY 11021 • Phone:516.493.8946
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