Multigenerational Family Therapy

Multigenerational family therapy aims to help family members, from different generations, have a non-aggressive and non-anxious communication which paves way for unity as well as healthy separateness when needed. It views present family dysfunctions as a product of generational patterns. Hence, this approach looks into family facts as they can give structure to repeated generational behaviors.

Murray Bowen, an American psychiatrist and professor, developed multigenerational family therapy. He views the family as a major resource system of an individual. Multigenerational family therapy is based on Bowenian family systems theory which emphasizes the importance of family functioning in influencing the members’ respective behaviors.

For instance, a child’s anxious behavior was traced to be influenced by his mother’s anxieties, parents’ conflicts, grandfather’s stories of the war, and aunt’s social phobia. Thus, the child’s symptoms are not mainly attributed to the mother, it is result of interactional patterns within the nuclear as well as extended families. A receptive and supportive communication was then encouraged among the family members to promote consistent security and togetherness which may eventually help each one of them deal with their anxieties.

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