Article Title

Trauma and Bowen family systems theory: Working with adults who were abused as children


Working with sur vivors of trauma is mostly challenging, exhausting, long-term andoften ‘messy’, when interventions that ‘should’ work, don’t, or the unexpected arises.Never theless, explanations that speak to recover y from trauma more and more rely on neurobiological concepts to account for any positive change. Combining the family systems approach of Murray Bowen and recent research on the brain and trauma, post trauma symptoms are viewed as par t of the ‘family emotional process’ even when traumatic events have emanated from outside the family system itself. Variations in responses to trauma, including dissociation and self-harm are discussed in relation to chronic anxiety and ‘differentiation of self’.


child abuse trauma, anxiety, dissociation, Bowen family systems theory, differentiation, neuroscience

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