What is Family Systems Theory?

Updated: January 20, 2023
Family systems theory is a field of family therapy that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to understand the complex interactions within the family. The theory was developed by psychiatrist Murray Bowen.
Detailed answer:

Family systems theory has its roots in psychology, but it can be applied to other types of relationships, such as friendships and romantic relationships. It suggests that problems within a relationship are not caused by one person, but rather by the way that all members interact with each other. If one member changes their behavior, it may not have much effect on the overall situation.

Families are systems that consist of two or more people who interact with each other on both positive and negative levels. Family members have different roles within their families, which include parents, children, siblings, and extended family members. These roles can be both positive and negative depending on how they are used within the family system.

Family systems theory focuses on how all members of the family affect each other’s behavior patterns by using specific patterns of communication known as “rules” or “scripts.” These rules dictate how we communicate with each other and what we expect from others in our families. Rules can be either adaptive or maladaptive, depending on how they are used by different members within the same family unit.

This theory can be applied to many situations, including families struggling with divorce, substance abuse, or violence. It can also apply to families who may not have any obvious issues but want to improve communication and interaction between members. For example, a couple who wants more intimacy in their marriage might use family systems theory to learn how to communicate better with each other.

What is Family Systems Theory?. (2023, Jan 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/qa/what-is-family-systems-theory/