My idea for a dissertation topic is a conglomeration of ideas that make up my world view and personal psychology. It is an integration of what seems to be the most important forces governing our lives.
The idea is simple: to find a literary correlation showing that Murray Bowen was getting at the same thing as the historical Buddha. Bowen’s construct of differentiation of self in Family Systems Theory could equal the Buddha’s construct of equanimity in Vipassanā. If true, this could provide a key bridge between the science of the West and millennia of wisdom of the East. The implications are vast, and worthy of a book let alone a dissertation.
I’ve always wondered exactly how attachment theory fit into Bowen Theory. For example, how does Bowen reconcile the similar sibling attachment styles described in Attachment Theory? How would Attachment Theory describe “unresolved symbiosis with the primary caregiver?” Writing this paper gave me the chance to find out.
EDIT: This paper is followed by Accounting for Varying Attachment Presentations, which follows up with a tighter examination of the topic using peer-reviewed studies and includes more details about what can and cannot be compared between the two theories.
Attachment and Differentiation: The Role of Attachment in the Pathological Family System
I’ve been waiting to write this paper for a while. Too bad I had to cram it in between my other term-papers this semester and couldn’t do it full justice. But that’s how grad school goes…
Jung was “Thinking Systems”: An Juxtaposition of Jungian Psychology and Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Theory