Unlike normal family development, in which families learn to differentiate parts of them when interacting on an emotional level and set healthy boundaries, enmeshed families become overly involved with each other, increasing the chances of anxiety and conflict. Lack of differentiation occurs due to the inability to separate their emotions from their reactions. What they feel and how they react to those feelings are governed by the interactions between themselves and others.
Bowen attributed this differentiation of self to family of origin. His philosophy was emotional attachment either created a positive or negative reaction, depending on how the family interacted with each other. An anxiety-provoking situation could cause withdrawal and distancing or, family members could deal with the conflict reasonably. The more stable families’ interactions were towards each other, the less likely individuals would carry these unresolved conflicts into another relationship.
In essence, families’ interdependence relies heavily on the daily changes that occur. In families that experience a high level of conflict, there is often one family member that becomes vulnerable to the effects of the conflict. This results in anxiety, depression, alcoholism, drug abuse and other clinical problems. These problems manifested themselves in other relationships, often creating the same tension and conflict.
Murray Bowen developed eight interlocking concepts involving systems theory and that emotions were in part, the key that affects families as a unit. Not only did he base his studies on the family, but applied the systems theory perspective to both work and social systems
The key to the Bowen therapy basically lies within the emotions and the activities governed by these emotions that may have taken many years to develop. Bowen has emphasized the significance of having a deep insight into the contribution made by different generations in the