Welcome to IdeasToAction Blog!

Welcome to this new and updatable site.

This site provides a beginning road map to theory as I understand it. Family Systems Theory developed by Murray Bowen, M.D., has been a guide to understanding human behavior and of course my own functioning.

I think theory gives us a common sense look at our families and other organizations. In addition it can enable motivated individuals to alter their functioning in these emotional and very social systems.

In the early 1950’s Dr. Murray Bowen, a psychiatrist, developed Family Systems Theory as an outgrowth of his research at the National Institutes of Health.

I am one of the “second generation family researchers” who has benefited from his ideas and I now offer an introduction to a few theory-derived principles.

First time visitors may wish to read these links:

Other links can be found using the menu to the left. Please contact me at arms711@aol.com with any thoughts and questions!

– Andrea Maloney-Schara, LCSWA



  1. Living In Tornado Alley.
    A friend of time that works in community orgainization asked me what I thought Bowen theory could contribute to understanding the aftermath of the Greensburg KS tornado that wiped out 95% of the town. It seemed to me that Bowen’s concept of societal regression would apply and that forces of togetherness and individuality would become central to the direction their recovery might take. What starts out as intense togetherness under extreme duress would soon break down as indivudal interests began to dominate the minds of community members. Shortly after I responded to her, the Mayor of Greensburg resigned saying “I am not the man for the job. I am spending all my time at meetings and I need to be there for my family now.” The community rejected his resignation with comments about the fine job he was doing and their need for him to donate self to the cause of rebuilding even though his own family had no home. So who will step up and lead the community in a time of extreme duress? its an interesting story that I am following.

  2. Being an observer of your own life in your own neighborhood is the best way to balance the forces for togetherness and individuality. Once in a while one person has enough energy to devote to others but as each of us boards an airplane we are reminded to put on our oxygen mask before trying to help others. I have rarely seen great things accomplished in committees.

    Ideally there would be a forum for the exchange of ideas and ideally a way for individual ideas to be respected.

    If you check out the book The Wisdom of the Crowd you will see the four conditions needed for a group to function optimally.

    I will look forward to more ideas on how to function as a member of a group, and how to maintain your life energy to move forward in Tornado Ally or anywhere.

    Best to you,

  3. I am looking for Introduction and Chapter 1 of your book “For Leaders only” Our Archdeacon needs to read this for the class starting on November 5-7

    Thanks in advance

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