Sample Philosophy Paper on Applying 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 & Review10(2), 469-483.

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 Research.

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 Therapy38(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 Work22(3), 231-252.

Titelman, P., & Reed, S. K. (Eds.). (2018). Death and chronic illness in the family: Bowen family systems theory perspectives. Routledge.