The Bowen family systems theory is a counseling theory which can be used to address behavioral issues affecting clients through the integration of the family system in the counseling process (McLeod, 2013). This theory is based on the assumption that the family is a unit where members are emotionally connected to one another. Family members are able to relate with some of the problems affecting other members in the family (McLeod, 2013).
This makes the family the basic support system where clients can get support in diverse aspects during counseling. This theory will be the most effective in addressing Ana’s problems by identifying any issues in the family system which could have contributed to the current crisis and how the family can support Ana in addressing her current problems (McLeod, 2013).
Concepts of the Bowen Family Systems Theory That Make It the Most Appropriate For the Client in the Case Study
One of the concepts of the Bowens family systems theory is emotional interdependence which is aimed at promoting cooperation in families and provide support to family members (McLeod, 2013). The lack of other family members to support the client has contributed to the problems currently affecting the client. The client reports that she is a solo parent which has led to constant worrying about becoming homeless (McLeod, 2013).
Her husband is serving in an overseas combat zone which has left her with no one to support her since she has also not seen her family for one year. The family system cannot be neglected in counseling since a negative change on one family member is likely to impact other members of the family and the functioning of the family system as a whole (McLeod, 2013).
Why Choose This Theory over the Others?
The Bowens family systems theory will be the most effective in addressing the client’s problems since a dysfunctional family system has largely contributed to the current issues affecting the client (Haefner, 2014). Based on information provided by the client regarding her family background, it is clear that there are issues in her family which have affected her connection with other family members. The client is from a wealthy family yet she is not willing to ask for help from her family (Haefner, 2014). The client has also not seen her family for one year which may be a sign of a dysfunctional family system. The theory can be used to address any issues in the family which will enable the client to receive support from her family (Haefner, 2014).
The Goals of Counseling and Intervention Strategies That Can Be Used To Accomplish These Goals
The main goals of counseling include addressing the client’s major stressors which include feelings of hopelessness, raising her baby alone as her husband is serving in an overseas combat zone, and financial problems due to job loss (Haefner, 2014). Intervention strategies that can be used to accomplish these goals include improving her relationship with her family in Guatemala. Her family is a wealthy family that can support her in diverse aspects. This includes helping her in addressing some of the financial problems as well as emotional issues (Haefner, 2014).
Is the Bowen Family Systems Theory Designed For Short- Or Long-Term Counseling?
The Bowen family systems theory can be used as either a short term or long term counseling theory due to its focus on the family system (Papero, 2014). The family system is the closest and longest relationship that an individual can have making it useful in addressing short-term as well as long-term goals. Having a functional family system can enable Ana in addressing some of the current problems affecting her as well as provide support to prevent a reoccurrence of the problems in the future (Papero, 2014). In short term counseling, this theory can be used to identify immediate solutions to some of the major issues since the family system is able to better understand the client’s problems as well as collaborate with the counselor in identifying effective solutions aimed at helping the client (Papero, 2014).
Counselor’s Role with This Client
The main responsibility of the counselor is to help the client in addressing the issues currently affecting her as well implement preventive measures to prevent a reoccurrence of the issues in the future (Murdock, 2016). In this case scenario, the counselor has the role of helping Ana identify effective solutions to her major stressors. This involves using the Bowen family systems theory to strengthen the client’s relationship with her family which will help her in addressing some of her physical as well as emotional issues (Murdock, 2016).
The Client’s Role in Counseling
Clients have also a role in the counseling process by collaborating with counselors in determining effective interventions to implement, as they are able to understand some of the problems affecting them (Murdock, 2016). Ana can provide more information related to her family which will enable the client in effectively implementing the Bowen family systems theory to enhance her relationship with her family. Collaboration between counselors and clients has been indicated to lead to successful counseling outcomes (Murdock, 2016).
For What Population(s) Is This Theory Most Appropriate? How Does This Theory Address The Social And Cultural Needs Of The Client?
The Bowen family system theory is most appropriate for populations with a cultural background which values the family system unit. This is because this theory focuses on addressing clients’ problems in a family unit context (Higgins, 2018). This aspect is based on the assumption that individual actions may affect other members of the family which makes it important to involve the family unit in the counseling process (Higgins, 2018). This theory addresses social and cultural need of the client by allowing other members of the family to participate in the counseling process. This will allows counselors to develop effective solutions based on information collected from the family unit which reflects the client’s values and cultural needs (Higgins, 2018).
Additional Information Might Be Helpful To Know About This Case
It is important for the client to provide all information related to the current issues affecting her (Higgins, 2018). This will enable the counselor to effectively implement the Bowen family systems theory in addressing the client’s problems. Information as to why the client has a poor relationship with her family is not provided which is necessary in the application of the Bowen family systems theory (Higgins, 2018). The client has not seen her family for one year which may be an indication of a poor relationship with her family. The client does not want any assistance from her wealthy family which may indicate an underlying family problem which needs to be addressed (Higgins, 2018).
A Risk in Using This Approach
The Bowen family systems theory focuses on the family system in determining effective solutions to address a client’s problems. Having an uncooperative family system may be a challenge for counselors to effectively apply this theory (Sharf, 2017). Based on the information collected about the client’s family, it is evident that her family is far away which might be a challenge for the counselor to get in touch with them. This theory also neglects the cognitive aspect which is important in addressing some issues in counseling (Sharf, 2017). The family unit may not always provide sufficient support in addressing future problems which may be attributed to dysfunctional family relationships. This may require the use of cognitive theories to enhance a client’s personal skills to address future problems (Sharf, 2017).
- Haefner, J. (2014). An Application of Bowen Family Systems Theory. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 35(11), 835-841.
- Higgins, M. (2018). An Introduction to Counseling and Psychotherapy: From theory to practice. Therapy Today, 29(9), 14. McLeod, J. (2013). An introduction to counseling. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.
- Murdock, N. L. (2016). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: A case approach. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Merrill/Pearson.
- Papero, D. V. (2014). Assisting the Two-person System: An Approach Based on the Bowen Theory. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 35(4), 386-397.
- Sharf, R. S. (2017). Theories of psychotherapy and counseling: Concepts and cases. Vancouver, B.C.: Langara College.