Toward a Natural Systems Research Methodology

I could argue that it was Bowen’s research methodology which yielded the novel observation that the family is an emotional unit, and possibly the correct unit of analysis for human behavior and adaptation. This presentation is aimed at more specifically defining the principles behind that methodology so that research on Bowen Theory may proceed into the technological future.

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The Implicit Model – A concept for research, and a case for thinking, objectivity, and theory.

This is an introduction to some broad theoretical thinking I have had over the last few years. It attempts to:

– Describe what it is a Bowen/Systems coach does for a client if they don’t “fix” anything

– Lay down a theoretical basis for that description.

– Address the problem of the live of anthropocentric subjectivity in terms like “objectivity,” “thinking,” “religion,” and “science.”

Here is the referenced video on the 9 Guidelines for Natural Systems Models: https://youtu.be/Epxe64IZcgQ

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Some Guidelines for Systems Models

How you understand a problem determines what you do to solve it. The accuracy of that understanding determines the efficacy of your solution. How then, to determine what a more sophisticated model of a complex problem looks like? What is systems thinking? What is a systems model? This presentation addresses these questions.

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What Kind of System is the Family? Part 2/2

This presentation is intended to point out the way of thinking which organizes the application of Bowen’s family systems theory. These principals are not apparent in mainstream family therapy literature which begins with a priori assumptions organized by therapy as apposed to developing a science of human behavior. If you simply read through the concepts of Bowen theory, they will likely not be understood without the broader assumptions about human behavior which makes clear the presumption that the family is an “emotional unit.”

Part one of this presentation is a broad philosophical departure from the Bowen theory itself in order to understand this way of thinking. Part two of this presentation will cover specific aspects of the theory.

Notes

It is important to note for anyone who knows me personally that amidst the challenges of public speaking I mixed up some of the specific facts of my effort at differentiation in my own family, for example some of the “what” and “when” details. But the details are not important to make my point. The “how” details remain the same.

I also made an error about functional changes in position in a triangle reflecting the life forces of individuality and togetherness. These “functional” shifts represent the togetherness force. A person going against the triangle altogether might be the individuality, or “differentiation” force. The individuality force is one in which an individual specializes in the group.

What Kind of System is the Family? (Slides)

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What Kind of System is the Family? Part 1/2

This presentation is intended to point out the way of thinking which organizes the application of Bowen’s family systems theory. These principals are not apparent in mainstream family therapy literature which begins with a priori assumptions organized by therapy as apposed to developing a science of human behavior. If you simply read through the concepts of Bowen theory, they will likely not be understood without the broader assumptions about human behavior which makes clear the presumption that the family is an “emotional unit.”

Part one of this presentation is a broad philosophical departure from the Bowen theory itself in order to understand this way of thinking. Part two of this presentation will cover specific aspects of the theory.

What Kind of System is the Family? (Slides)

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Taxonomy of Vipassanā Terms

Here is a guide to the most basic terms of the Buddha’s teaching of vipassanā, organized as the Four Noble Truths (cattāri ariyasaccāni). It seems to me that this should be provided along with every writing on the topic.

  1. Life is Suffering; idam dukkham
  2. The Cause of Suffering; Dependent Origination; paṭiccasamuppāda
    • The Four Mental Aggregates (Short Form; Practical)
      1. Sense data (viññana)
      2. Evaluation of sense data (sañña)
      3. Generate bodily sensation (vedanā)
      4. Automatic reaction (saṅkhāra)
    • Twelve “causal” steps in the loop of paṭiccasamuppāda (Long Form; Theoretical)
      1. Ignorance (avijjā)
      2. Karma/action/reaction (sankhārā)
      3. Consciousness (viññana)
      4. Body/mind (nama/rupa)
      5. Sense organs (salāyatanam)
      6. Contact w sense organ (phassa)
      7. Sensation (vedanā)
      8. Craving (tanhā)
      9. Clinging (upādāna)
      10. Becoming (bhava)
      11. Birth (jāti)
      12. Sickness, old age, death, other miseries (jarā-marana)
  3. How suffering ceases; nirodha-sacca
    • Reprogramming the automatic craving of sensations triggers a systemic shift throughout the twelve links of paṭiccasamuppāda.
  4. The way to the cessation of suffering; Eight-Fold Noble Path; ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo
    • Morality (sila)
      1. Right speech
      2. Right Action
      3. Right Livelihood
    • Concentration (samadhi)
      1. Right effort
      2. Right awareness
      3. Right Concentration
    • Wisdom (pañña: heard, rational, experiential)
      1. Right thoughts
      2. Right understanding
        • All phenomena are impermanent (anicca)
        • All phenomena have no self (anatta)
        • All phenomena are suffering (dukkha)
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Overview of Vipassanā Meditation

Though the term “meditation” is well-known in the Western world today, it is not well known that various meditation techniques can have many commonalities but also many significant differences. Understanding what differentiates a particular style of meditation as well as the style of teaching it from another technique and style of teaching is vital to understanding any one style of meditation (Drummond, 2006; Drummond, 2006; Fleischman, 2016). This study takes as foundational some of the unique features of vipassanā and S. N. Goenka’s style of teaching it, and so this chapter will clarify some of those unique features. An in-depth examination of technical terms and their theoretical relationships will be provided later in the proposed study. Therefore, this section will only provide a brief description of important concepts within the stated tradition of vipassanā. For reference, you can use The Taxonomy of Vipassanā Terms as a guide to orient you reading this chapter.

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