Can you see the triangles in your family and your organization? How do you manage yourself in them? What role does distancing and cutoff have in your relationships over time? Can you imagine a different way of showing up in these intense and anxious relationships?
This is the second in a series of conversations about Bowen Family Systems Theory, a theory that has deeply influenced us and our book The Leader’s Journey. In this episode, we cover a lot of ground as we look at two of the eight concepts of Bowen theory: triangles and cutoff. This sets us up to talk about the rest of the theory in future episodes and to make application to leadership at every level.
Check out the full series here: Bowen Family Systems Theory Series
- Triangles – the basic molecule of human relationships
- Triangles, anxiety and leadership
- Taking a healthy position in common triangles
- Cutoff – managing anxiety with distance
- Cutoff in families and faith groups
- What if cutoff seems to be working for us?
- Imagining change as a path to change
For basic information about BFST, we recommend these resources:
- The 8 Concepts of Bowen Theory by Roberta Gilbert
- Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta Gilbert
- For a deep dive into Bowen theory in Bowen’s own words, try Family Therapy in Clinical Practice by Murray Bowen.
To expand your application of Bowen theory, consider:
- A Diary of Everyday Growing Up (podcast and blog) by Jenny Brown
- A Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman