Family Systems Therapy - Strengths and Weaknesses Descriptive Essay by Nicky

Compares the strengths and weaknesses of family systems therapy.
# 150000 | 765 words | 5 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 17, 2012 in Psychology (Clinical)

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This paper describes and analyzes family systems therapy, further pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of this therapeutic approach. First, the paper explores the premise behind family systems therapy. Then, it shows examines the self in relation to the family unit according to this perspective. Additionally, the paper addresses conflicts that may arise in a family when the system is not functioning properly. Next, the paper presents some critiques of family systems therapy. These are counterbalanced with the paper addressing strengths of this method. The paper concludes by stating that treating the family makes it easier to treat psychological conditions with a possible physiological component, like a tendency towards depression or manic depression within the family history.

From the Paper:

"Family systems theory does hold that there is a need for a differentiation of the self--in fact, a lack of differentiation is one of the reasons many family members experience psychological instability (Differentiation of the self, 2009, Bowen theory). Marital conflict, dysfunction of one of the spouses, impairment of one of the children, and emotional distance are sources of conflict that can arise from a lack of self-differentiation, and are often interrelated. For example, a father might be an alcoholic because of his anxieties about being a provider for his family or perceived personal failures, which results in marital conflict, and the mother's compensation through over-involvement with her son. Tension escalation within the nuclear family system is reciprocal in such a formulation, although a feminist critic might state that such a systems analysis places equitable blame upon all family members, which is not necessarily 'fair' and does not really change negative social assumptions about gender roles in the nuclear family."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bowen theory. (2009). The Bowen Center. Retrieved August 24, 2009 at
  • Differentiation of the self. (2009). The Bowen Center. Retrieved August 24, 2009 at
  • Nuclear family emotional system. (2009). The Bowen Center. Retrieved August 24, 2009 at
  • Societal emotional process. (2009). The Bowen Center. Retrieved August 24, 2009 at
  • Triangles. (2009). The Bowen Center. Retrieved August 24, 2009 at

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

Family Systems Therapy - Strengths and Weaknesses (2012, January 17) Retrieved May 23, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Family Systems Therapy - Strengths and Weaknesses" 17 January 2012. Web. 23 May. 2022. <>