Sample Research Paper on Applying Bowenian and Structural Theories

Define Bowenian and Structural Theories.

The Bowen theory has its basis on the idea that individuals function as one emotional
unit. Therefore, making it easier to understand them and their problems especially in the context
of their family relationships and personal ties (Titelman & Reed, 2018). A person’s emotional
well-being is dependent on the negative or positive impact of their family members. This theory
has eight fundamental principles. They include sibling position, family projection process, self-
differentiation, multigenerational transmission process, triangles, emotional cut-off, societal
emotional process and the nuclear family emotional process (Erdem & Safi, 201). The use of this
theory in therapy allows individuals to discuss their problems openly while establishing a clear
channel for effective communication between family members.
The structural theory is a sociological perspective that views society as a complex
system, which requires every part to work together while promoting the virtues of stability and
solidarity among the members of the community (Colapinto & Lee). The society is split up into
interrelated parts that are designed to meet the social and biological needs of the people that
make up the society. The theory emphasizes that individuals are shaped by the social structures
around them, which keep the individuals and the community at large functioning. The various
parts of the society referred to in this theory include aspects such as the economy, healthcare,
education, religion, government and family (McAdams et al., 2016). Additionally, while
individuals make up society they need to follow the social facts for the community to function as
expected. The social facts refer to the values, morals, customs, rituals and religious beliefs that
help in governing and shaping social life.

Create a theory-based treatment plan, including short- and long-term goals for the
couples and/or families.
The family, in this case, is dealing with the difficulty of moving to a new house,
environment, and society. The children are having a tough time making new friends in the
school, while the parents are having the same issue in their place of work. As a result, there
always seems to be tension in the house as all family members feel frustrated by the situation.
The treatment plan that best applies to this family would be the Bowen theory (Thompson et al.,
2019). The treatment plan that would best suit them is to attend family therapy once a week for
six months. The short-term goal for this is to help the family in achieving clear and effective
communication in their family setting. The long term goal is to give them the tools they need to
handle and assimilate into their new society.
Explain two theory-based interventions you would use and justify your selection.
One intervention that would help in the therapy session is the mirroring activity which
allows the family members to work together as well as relate to each other. This technique gives
each individual a clear idea as to how the rest of the family views them while allowing them to
discover what they could do differently to better their family relationships (Thompson et al.,
2019). The second intervention technique is the use of the emotional ball which encourages the
family members to express their feelings as they relate to their past and present experiences. The
benefit of this method is that it allows even the most withdrawn members to speak their mind
and hence feel like a valued member.
Explain one anticipated outcome of each theory-based intervention.

The expected outcome for the first theory-based intervention is better family relationships
between the members (Keller & Hall, 2020). The children are in a better position to understand
their parents and the vice-versa is true as well. It also enables the parents to know what kind of
parenting approaches would best apply to each individual child. The expected outcome for the
second intervention is to enhance communication in the family despite their emotional state.



Colapinto, J., & Lee, W. Y. (2018). Complementarity in Structural Family Therapy.
In Encyclopedia of couple and family therapy (pp. 1-3). Springer, Cham.
Erdem, G., & Safi, O. A. (2018). The cultural lens approach to Bowen family systems theory:
Contributions of family change theory. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(2), 469-
Keller, M. N., & Hall, C. M. (2020). The Role of Theory in Family Research. Handbook of
Bowen Family Systems Theory and Research Methods: A Systems Model for Family
McAdams, C. R., Avadhanam, R., Foster, V. A., Harris, P. N., Javaheri, A., Kim, S., … &
Williams, A. E. (2016). The viability of structural family therapy in the twenty-first
century: An analysis of key indicators. Contemporary Family Therapy, 38(3), 255-261.
Thompson, H. M., Wojciak, A. S., & Cooley, M. E. (2019). A family-based approach to the child
welfare system: integration of Bowen family theory concepts. Journal of Family Social
Work, 22(3), 231-252.
Titelman, P., & Reed, S. K. (Eds.). (2018). Death and chronic illness in the family: Bowen family
systems theory perspectives. Routledge.