Death and Chronic Illness in the Family: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives


 Death and Aids: Family and Society Chapter 17 

Grateful to Peter Titelman and Sydney Reed for publishing the chapter I wrote many long years ago.  This is as close as I have been able to come to offer evidence that the family is an emotional unit that distributes anxiety so as to promote the survival of the unit itself.

 

Summery of the book: What does it mean to be ‘present and accounted for’ when a family member is facing chronic illness or death? How does one define a self in relation to the ill or dying member and the family? Rooted in Murray Bowen’s family systems theory, this edited volume provides conceptual ideas and applications useful to clinicians who work with families facing chronic illness or the death of a member.

The text is divided into four parts: Part I provides a detailed overview of Bowen’s theory perspectives on chronic illness and death and includes Murray Bowen’s seminal essay “Family Reaction to Death.” In Parts II and III, chapter authors draw upon Bowen theory to intimately explore their families’ reactions to and experiences with death and chronic illness. The final part uses case studies from contributors’ clinical practices to aid therapists in using Bowen systems perspectives in their work with clients.

The chapters in this volume provide a rich and broad range of clinical application and personal experience by professionals who have substantial knowledge of and training in Bowen theory. Death and Chronic Illness in the Family is an essential resource for those interested in understanding the impact of death and loss in their professional work and in their personal lives.

 

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