Emotional Cutoff : Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Emotional Cutoff
Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives

ISBN 9780789014603
Published September 9, 2003 by Routledge
507 Pages

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Book Description

Widen your therapeutic focus and help your family therapy clients learn to bridge generational separation!

This book delivers professional insights on one of the least understood but most important of Bowen's concepts—emotional cutoff. The first book on this subject, Emotional Cutoff: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives examines this aspect of Bowen family system theory and shows how emotional cutoff can be understood and addressed in therapy.

Emotional Cutoff also provides beneficial case examples, empirically based studies, helpful figures, and family diagrams. This information-packed volume includes a chapter by the developers of Family of Origin Response Survey (FORS)—an instrument that measures the degree to which one is emotionally reactive to their mother or father—that outlines the process and its scoring methodology and demonstrates its reliability. The book also includes chapters on emotional cutoff and societal processes—and even how emotional cutoff manifests in the animal kingdom!

From the editor: “In this book, the phenomenon of emotional cutoff is explored from many perspectives. The contributors have illustrated the presence of cutoff in non-human species, in relation to evolutionary theory, brain physiology, reproduction, in the lives of therapists and the individuals and families they work with in clinical practice, and in societal emotional process—in a variety of contexts. In addition, the development of an instrument for measuring emotional cutoff is presented.”

Emotional Cutoff is a comprehensive examination of this fascinating aspect of Bowen family systems theory, including:

  • a theoretical overview—as well as a look at cutoff in various animal species and an examination of the way the physiology of the human brain is related to the phenomenon of emotional cutoff
  • bridging emotional cutoff in the therapist's own family, as related by three Bowen systems therapists and a genealogist who is trained in Bowen theory—essential reading for all therapists!
  • research and clinical applications—including interventions you can put into practice right away with clients who are dealing with divorce, depression, domestic violence, or child abuse
  • societal applications—a look at emotional cutoff and societal process in Russian citizens, in Holocaust survivors, in immigrants, and in Israeli/Palestinian relations
Emotional Cutoff: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives provides exciting possibilities for treating emotional cutoff in people trying to manage their unresolved issues. It is an essential resource for family therapists, counselors, pastoral counselors, family-oriented psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses.

Table of Contents

  • About the Editor
  • Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Theory
  • Chapter 1. Emotional Cutoff in Bowen Family Systems Theory: An Overview
  • Introduction
  • The Origin and Evolution of the Concept of Emotional Cutoff in Bowen Theory
  • The Theoretical Context for the Concepts of Fusion and Cutoff
  • The Concepts of Emotional Fusion and Emotional Cutoff in Bowen Theory
  • The Relationship Between Emotional Cutoff and the Other Concepts in Bowen Theory
  • Symptom Formation and the Continuum of Emotional Cutoff
  • Bridging Emotional Cutoff
  • Summary
  • Chapter 2. Lone Wolves and Rogue Elephants: Emotional Cutoff Among Animals
  • Introduction
  • Solitary Behavior in the Animal World
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3. Emotional Cutoff and the Brain
  • Introduction
  • The Human Brain
  • Emotional Cutoff and Brain Development
  • Emotional Cutoff and Brain Functioning
  • Clinical Example
  • Emotional Cutoff in Clinical Work
  • Summary
  • Part II: The Therapist’s Own Family
  • Chapter 4. Efforts to Bridge Secondary Emotional Cutoff
  • Introduction
  • A First Cousin Once Removed: A Resource for Multigenerational History and the Discovery of Cutoff in the Family
  • Bridging Emotional Cutoff with an Aunt
  • Beginning Efforts to Bridge Cutoff with Two First Cousins
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5. Toward Undoing Cutoff: A Twenty-Five Year Perspective
  • Introduction
  • Mr. A’s Family History As Known in 1976
  • Mr. A’s History Through the Lens of Theory
  • Initial Steps to Undo Cutoff
  • Summary and Conclusion
  • Chapter 6. Bridging Cutoff with Divorced Relationships and with Family
  • Early Experience with Bowen Theory
  • A First Attempt to Put Theory to the Test
  • Bridging Cutoff with My Own Family
  • Results of Family Cutoff Work
  • Work for the Future
  • Chapter 7. Managing Cutoff Through Family Research
  • Shift from Individual to Systems Thinking
  • Researching the Cutoffs
  • Identifying Successful and Unsuccessful Approaches to Cutoffs
  • Identifying Variability in Functioning
  • Summary: Principles and Benefits of Managing Cutoff Through Family Research
  • Part III: Research and Clinical Applications
  • Chapter 8. Toward Understanding and Measuring Emotional Cutoff
  • Introduction
  • Emotional Cutoff Rooted in Evolution and Emotional Reactivity
  • Research Instrument
  • Development of the Scale
  • Validity and Reliability
  • Summary
  • Chapter 9. Marital Functioning and Multigenerational Fusion and Cutoff
  • Parent-Child Fusion and Separation—The Prelude and Backdrop to Marriage
  • The Effects of Cutoff on Marriage
  • Clinical Work with Emotional Cutoff
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 10. Reproduction and Emotional Cutoff
  • Introduction
  • Bowen Theory and Emotional Cutoff
  • The Study of Bowen Theory and Reproduction
  • Family Examples from Research and Clinical Practice
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 11. The Impact of Cutoff in Families Raising Adolescents
  • Introduction
  • Concepts from Bowen Theory
  • Outline of a Study
  • Some Considerations and Conclusions
  • Chapter 12. The Continuum of Emotional Cutoff in Divorce
  • The Complexity of Divorce
  • The Perspective of Bowen Theory
  • Emotional Cutoff and Divorce
  • Concluding Comment
  • Chapter 13. Depression: A Symptom of Cutoff in Relationship Processes
  • Introduction
  • Bowen Theory and the Therapist’s Own Emotional Functioning
  • Clinical Case
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 14. Emotional Cutoff and Domestic Violence
  • Introduction
  • Defining Terms and Processes
  • Bowen Theory and Its Relevance for Understanding Domestic Violence
  • Clinical Case Examples
  • Summary
  • Chapter 15. Emotional Cutoff and Family Stability: Child Abuse in Family Emotional Process
  • Introduction
  • Definitions and Background Ideas
  • Threats and Family Stabilit

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