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The Being of the Therapist

Bowen emphasized the self-development of the therapist. He was the first family theorist to maintain that it is hard for a client to mature past the maturity level of the therapist NO matter how good his or her techniques or skills. Differentiation of the therapist IS technique.

In truth  you can’t learn differentiation theory merely by reading the texts in this class or listening to my  lectures. You must go through the emotional change yourself. Similarly there are lots  clients who do everything by the book and do the “right thing”,  but still don’t make progress. We call that pseudo-differentiation. They too must first go through some emotional change before their strategies and techniques will work.

And trust me if the therapist did not experience that shift or emotional change, the client is not likely to do so either. If you don’t have the courage to make a fundamental change in your life, why in the world would you think someone else would? If you look for quick fixes, why wouldn’t you offer those to clients.  Bowen emphasized the self-development of the therapist.  But so often we  don’t make fundamental changes in our life, and we don’t transform our lives.

Do you really think  therapists have the ability to help you to have a richer life, a better marriage, a more passionate sexual relationship than they have the courage to have themselves?



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