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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book presents the theory and clinical application of Murray Bowen's concept of emotional triangles. This systems theory is applied in Bowen's own family of origin, clinical practice, organizations, and society.
Purpose: This is a compilation of essays by a variety of contributors on the theoretical explication of Murray Bowen's concept of the emotional triangle and its applications.
Audience: Family therapists and trainees appear to be the targeted audience. The editor has been the editor of three books on Bowen family theory and his research interests include triangles, emotional cutoff, and obesity. All but one of the contributors have had direct contact with Murray Bowen.
Features: This is a comprehensive look at the concept of triangles that will be useful for individuals with a solid background in family systems theory and who understand genograms. There are numerous figures, such as family diagrams, which add clarity to the content. Part II is fascinating because not only is Murray Bowen's family analyzed in terms of triangles but so are the families of the contributors to that section as well. The book is full of wonderful case material, including that of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin, the leadership triangle involved in the Bolshevik revolution. Even the 9-11 terrorists are analyzed in terms of emotional triangles.
Assessment: This book is excellent for students of family systems theory, especially for those who are passionate about Murray Bowen's theory. It is not easy reading but well worth the effort. It is practical and the authors show how to identify and analyze emotional triangles in different contexts, no easy task.