Professional Supervision for Bowen Family Systems Coaching

“Remember that if you haven’t worked on differentiation yourself
in your own family,
you will probably be prone to misjudge
the intensity of systemic reaction to your client’s moves.”

– Betty Carter & Monica McGoldrick

A Process for Becoming a More Effective Clinician

Supervision. Now there’s a term certain to gladden every private practice mental health clinician’s heart. Like war, we may all wonder at times, “What is it good for?” As much as we talk about “The Self of the Therapist”, Ronald B. Cohen MD offers Professional Supervision for Bowen Family Systems Coachingfew of us actually want to work on it. And yet, to the degree that we have unresolved emotional attachments from our own families of origin, (and truth be told, we all do), and to the degree that unresolved emotional issues from current and past life-cycle stages intrude into our work and hinder us from staying out of the emotional processes of the families and individuals who seek our help and guidance, we reduce our effectiveness and professional satisfaction. Carter & McGoldrick advise us all to “Remember that if you haven’t worked on differentiation yourself in your own family, you will probably be prone to misjudge the intensity of systemic reaction to your client’s moves.” In an ancient tongue, its been said that even experienced clinicians can have unresolved negative countertransferences.

Murray Bowen described the benefit to mental health professionals of studying the history of, and differentiating within their own families of origin. Working on self-differentiation and learning about your family of origin can help you get a clearer picture of who you are, how you became who you are, and what the family influences, both immediate and multi-generational are on you, thereby freeing you from unnecessary encumbrances. The therapist’s resolution of family of origin issues is reflected in the:

…ability to be in emotional contact with a difficult, emotionally charged problem and not feel compelled to preach about what others should do, not rush in to fix the problem and not pretend to be detached by emotionally insulating oneself (Kerr and Bowen, 1988: 108).

Ronald B. Cohen MD offers Professional Supervision for Bowen Family Systems CoachingOne needs to do before one can coach. You can read the books, watch the videos, study the theory to gain basic knowledge for how Bowen Family Systems Coaching works, but if you want to actually develop expertise in the process, and be effective in your practice, you have to do your own work with your own family of origin. Then there are the times when our life cycle stages and transitions are contemporaneous with those of the families and individuals we work with. Awareness, or lack thereof, concerning this intersection, can significantly aid or impede the process. There is no better way out of this dilemma than creation and exploration of one’s personal genogram and family chronology going back at least three generations.

All trainees at Family Institute of Westchester are coached in a process affectionately know as “Therapist’s Own Family (TOF)”. Having done so, and then continued with private family systems coaching, I’ve experienced the anxiety and avoidance, the emotional impasses and seemingly immovable triangles, and the negative reactivity and pushback of working on self-differentiation in my own family of origin. There is a clear positive correlation between work done in the therapist’s own family of origin and gains in the therapist’s clinical proficiency to a far greater extent than in traditional supervision of clinical work.

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.

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
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