Triangles as Regulators of Social Systems
The triangle was one of the first concepts developed by Dr. Bowen in his research with families at Menninger's, NIMH, and Georgetown. The idea that tension between two people can be regulated through a third is simple to observe, yet complex to understand. The triangle permits an understanding of the regulation of anxiety in families and in organizations. Increasingly over the years, scientists who are studying non-human species in the natural world have observed a similar emotional process. By focusing on this one concept, this conference seeks to broaden understanding of the triangle, its function in social systems, and its commonality among humans and other species.
Welcome and Introduction - Anne McKnight, MSW, EdD
The Emotional Processes That Create Triangles - Michael E. Kerr, MD
Anxiety shifts from one person to another in a triangle, leaving one person on the outside. The emotional maturity of those involved and the challenges they face over time affect the way this activity occurs in a triangle.
Bowen's Movement from Psychoanalytic to Systems Theory: From the Individual to the Dyad to the Triangle - Peter Titelman, PhD
In the 1950s, Dr. Bowen first moved from an individual focus to the mother-child dyad to the father-mother-child triad in his research at NIMH. By the early 1960s, through clinical work and efforts in his own family, he developed the concept of the triangle.
Attachment Theory, Bowen Theory, and Triangles - Kathleen B. Kerr, MSN, MA
A major difference between attachment theory and Bowen theory is Bowen's theoretical move beyond the dyad to the triangle in understanding the mother-child relationship.
Evidence for the Triangle Hypothesis - Laurie Lassiter, PhD, MSW
Research on human relationships shows that the triangle is an important mechanism of control, making it possible for individuals to function as a single coordinated entity.
Triadic Interactions in Wild Capuchin Monkeys - Susan Perry, PhD
Documented observations of changes in capuchin monkey groups, such as fission, migration, births, deaths, and changes in dominance rank, reveal four different aspects of relationship.
Triangles at the Time of a Chronic Illness and Death - Anthony Wilgus, MSW
Triangles observed in a relationship network during the chronic illness, subsequent death, and funeral of a woman in mid-life will be explored.
The Primary Triangle and Marital Functioning - Philip Klever, LCSW
The primary triangles of five couples with low levels of symptoms and five couples with high levels of symptoms are discussed, based on data from a ten-year longitudinal study.
Anxiety Reactions in the Nuclear Family Triangle - Victoria Harrison, MA
Physiological measures for mother/father/child in two families, one with severe chronic symptoms and the other with no medical or mental health symptoms, are compared.
Triangles as Regulators of Family Functioning - James B. Smith, MS
Emotional triangles involuntarily regulate individual functioning much more often than individuals voluntarily regulate their own functioning, as will be discussed in this multigenerational own family research.
Triadic Relationships in Vervet Monkey Family Systems - Lynn Fairbanks, PhD
Triadic relationships in vervet monkeys and their infants demonstrate how relationships with babysitters, adult males, and grandmothers influence the nature of the mother-infant bond.
The Role of the Leader in Organizational Triangles - Roberta Gilbert, MD
Case studies illustrate how the distant posture of a leader contributes to triangling in organizations. Two examples from observations of clergy in congregations and one example of the chair of an academic department are discussed.
Observing Triangles Enhances Problem-Solving for an Outsourcing Company - Leslie Fox, MA
The concept of the triangle is applied to problem-solving in business situations in order to understand how anxious behavior can undermine the success of an engagement for a consulting firm.
Triangles as Stabilizers in Family Businesses - JoAnne Norton, EdD
Research data from first-hand accounts of nine CEOs describe situations when an advocate acting as a liaison between family owners and non-family CEOs, can stabilize the family business.
Presentation of the Caskie Research Award - Michael E. Kerr, MD & Ruth Riley Sagar, MA
Terrorism, Triangles, and Emotional Process in Society - Katharine Baker, PhD
Terrorism emerges from the nuclear family and engenders a reciprocal flow of reactivity between family, political or religious groups, and the wider societal environment.
Triangles in the Conduct of Foreign Affairs - Patricia Comella, JD
Conflicts in relationships between governments indicate the desirability of an emotionally neutral third party who can sustain a continuing presence in the disturbed relationship system and promote a shift to a less automatically reactive diplomatic process.
Emotional Neutrality and the Quest for Peace - Stephanie Ferrera, MSW
Emotional neutrality is the ability to be in contact with disharmony without taking a side. This concept will be discussed as a crucial element in bringing about change in the longstanding conflict in Northern Ireland.