This recent teaching series reflects Dr. Kerr's way of presenting Bowen theory as an integrated whole, with family, workplace, and clinical examples. It is designed for a wide range of audiences. There are six videos in the set. Each is 60 minutes.
Kerr Lecture Series #1: Applying Systems Thinking to Human Behavior
In this tape, Dr. Kerr makes extensive use of examples from his own family to illustrate ideas such as the nature of the shift from individual to systems thinking, the way a family functions as a system, and the connection between clinical problems and disturbances in the balance of a family system. Graphics that include distant galaxies and tiny life forms place systems thinking in a historical context and place human relationship systems in the context of all life.
1999. 60 min.
Kerr Lecture Series #2: Chronic Anxiety and Defining a Self
In this videotape presentation, Dr. Kerr presents the two main variables in Bowen theory: (1) the degree of anxiety and (2) the degree of integration of self. Emotional fusion, biological roots of differentiation and anxiety, unresolved emotional attachment, defining a self, the distinction between acute and chronic anxiety, and the interconnection between anxiety and differentiation are discussed. These ideas are illustrated with examples from family and work systems in a lecture format using visual aids.
2000. 60 min.
Kerr Lecture Series #3: Individuality, Togetherness, and Triangles
This lecture describes the individuality-togetherness balance in relationships, how level of differentiation affects the flexibility and stability of a relationship balance, and how triangles function to stabilize anxious relationship systems. Triangles also contribute to some people functioning at the expense of others. These ideas are illustrated with examples from family, work, and social systems. Animated diagrams of triangles and interlocking triangles illustrate the infectious spread of anxiety through a system and people maneuvering for the most comfortable positions in the system.
2001. 60 min.
Kerr Lecture Series #4: The Nuclear Family
This presentation describes three concepts in Bowen theory that are crucial for understanding nuclear families: nuclear family emotional system, family projection process, and sibling position. The patterns of emotional functioning contributing to divorce, physical illness, mental illness, and behavioral problems are spelled out with a new level of detail and integration. New evidence is also presented that firmly anchors these patterns in the emotional system. An understanding of these emotional forces, coupled with conviction and courage to change, helps people live their lives more the way they want to live them rather than how anxiety dictates they live them.
2002. 60 min.
Kerr Lecture Series #5: The Multigenerational Family
This presentation focuses on two concepts in Bowen theory: the multigenerational transmission process and emotional cutoff. Every multigenerational family has its unusually stable and productive branches, its fairly problematic branches, and many gradations of family functioning between these extremes. The multigenerational concept explains how this variation develops. The cutoff concept describes how people try to reduce tensions and conflicts that are triggered by contacts with their families of origin by physically or emotionally distancing from the family. This can reduce tensions with the extended family, but intensify tensions in the nuclear family. This presentation also explains the basics of constructing a family diagram and how to use theory to interpret it.
2003. 60 min
Kerr Lecture Series #6: The Process of Differentiation
The process of differentiation refers to an individual's structured effort over time to increase his or her basic level of differentiation. This presentation describes the theoretical principles that guide this effort and illustrates their application with examples from marital, parent-child, family of origin, and work relationships. The examples help to integrate the ideas that have been presented in the previous presentations. The presentation also includes a discussion of an eighth concept in Bowen theory, societal emotional process. This important concept helps to explain many of the disturbing trends in contemporary societies by placing them in the context of mankind's exploitation of the planet.
2004. 60 min.