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Interviews with people who knew and worked with Murray Bowen, M.D.


                                                                Murray Bowen, M.D.

Photograph taken by Andrea Schara in 1977 at the Georgetown University  Family Center

As part of my interest in learning more about the impact of Murray Bowen, M.D. and the Bowen theory on people’s lives, I have begun a series of interviews.

Below you will find two of the first interviews that I have done with individuals who  knew Dr. Murray Bowen.  Over time I will also interview those  who have found Bowen Theory a very important guiding compass, especially in view of  understanding his or her functioning.

Please note that it takes a few minutes for the audio to download in order for it to play.

I will be interested and encourage your feedback on this project.

In addition to interviewing people I will also ask, at random, for various people  to record their own personal experiences focusing on:

  • The understanding and advancement and/or application of Bowen theory,
  • Adding substance and color to our understanding of  Murray Bowen, the man by telling us of the perceived importance of the relationship with Bowen.
  • For example, were there ways that Bowen interacted which clarified points of Bowen Theory

In the interview where I participated my job was to ask a few questions and then allow the interview to have its own life.

Beginning questions would be a version of:

When did you meet Dr. Bowen?

What in your life prompted you to study Bowen theory?

What is an example of your ability to use the theory?

What is the biggest question you have about the theory?

What comes to mind that you learned about your family?

What changes in your personal worldview comes from the theory?

The intent is to gather as many stories as possible as one way of noting the contribution of Bowen and his theory to many people lives.  Bowen himself wanted to “give Bowen Theory to the world.”

In addition this project may become a part of The Murray Bowen Archives.  They have an Oral History project which documents the advancement of Bowen family systems theory over the time period of 1946 to 1990 through interviews with colleagues, peers, students, research participants, others. The project furthers The Murray Bowen Archives Project mission to “facilitate additions to this archival material” and, through the documentation and preservation of the history, give understanding to the evolution and development of Bowen theory and to promote the study, publication, and preservation of the history of Murray Bowen’s theory.

Doug Murphy Interview

Ryuko Ishikawa k

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