Essay on Analysis Of Murray Bowen 's Family Systems Theory

Essay on Analysis Of Murray Bowen 's Family Systems Theory

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According to Murray Bowen’s family systems theory, the family subsists in a system where as the individuals are inseparable from their network of relationships, but continue to strive to be individualized. Consequently, various forms of these networks are grounded in the domestic structure and the “normal” or “ideal” family and development derives from the interaction of the family members when they remain differentiated, unease is minimal, and partners have beneficial emotional communication with their own family members (Nichols, 2014). The concept of achieving individuality while remaining in a cohesive family unit may cause stress. Concepts such as differentiation of self, triangulation, emotional cutoff, and anxious attachment may aid in the elucidation of the family system. This theoretical concept along with these coinciding terms will be explored through one episode of the television series The Goldbergs called Rush.
Episode Summary
The Goldbergs is a sitcom that depicts the funny trials and tribulations of a family in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania in the 1980s. The family consists of a helicopter mom named Beverly, her unemotional yet strict husband Murray, Beverly’s live-in retired father Albert, the oldest child Erica, the middle child Barry, and the youngest son Adam. The show revolves around the memories of the self-proclaimed “geeky” son Adam who explains his point of view through home movies.
The episode Rush revolves around the day Beverly presents Adam a “best son” award and Barry proclaims that she constantly favors Adam. Aghast, Beverly resolves to pay no attention to Adam which causes him to be extremely joyful so he can organize his own birthday party. Beverly then decides to smother Barry who becomes annoyed ...

... middle of paper ...

...arry consistently tries to get validation from others especially his girlfriend who seems to understand that Barry has limited emotional resources or filters.
It is obvious that the Goldbergs are a loving family, and in the realm of sitcoms, they are able to solve their problems within twenty two minutes. Not unlike real life, the comedy fodder available in this episode is derived from enmeshment particularly Beverly’s with her son Adam. This enmeshment is a direct derivative of the emotional distance between her and Murray. There seems to be diffused boundaries between family members because of their enmeshment with each other. Not that one wants to blame the mother or scapegoat Barry, but the family rules must be investigated so one can understand how the family reaches homeostasis and aids the family in identifying how their behaviors affect each other.

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