Category: Blog

An Adult’s Guide to Dating the Second Time Around

by Ronald B Cohen, MD The Post-Conscious Uncoupling, Conscious Re-coupling Transition “…. but I was so much older then.I’m younger than that, now.”— Bob Dylan— My Back Pages OK now. You’ve uncoupled, consciously or not, paid your attorneys, filed your papers, re-mortgaged your house, complained to all your friends, had the necessary pity party, gone on your […]

Solutions for Marital Discord and Distress

by Ronald B Cohen, MD Real Marriage for Real People Life is trouble. Only death is not.To be alive is to undo your beltand “look” for trouble. We all know about failure to launch, but what about failure to consummate? No, not that way. Rather, creating new relationships while changing, but not losing, the old ones. In response […]

The Emotional Divorce

by Ronald B Cohen, MD Coaching for a Good Emotional Divorce: Disconnecting From the Marriage in a Functional Way Divorce is a detour on the road map of the family career, an unexpected and off schedule process of family change. In her book The Good Divorce, Constance Ahrons describes the process of the Emotional Divorce as […]

The Structure, Function and Emotional Process of Triangles

by Ronald B Cohen, MD What Kind of Company Always Creates a Crowd? “One’s company,two’s a crowd,and three’s a party.”— Andy Warhol Life rarely happens in ones or twos, but almost always in threes or more; and more specifically and theoretically exactingly, in groups of interlocking threes. From the Bowen Center Web site: “It [a triangle] […]

Becoming an Adult: Leaving Home and Staying Connected

by Ronald B Cohen, MD Becoming an Adult: Leaving Home and Staying Connected is the first stage in Carter & McGoldrick’s formulation of The Expanded Family Life Cycle. This Family Life Cycle transition can be described as beginning with the adolescent’s “identity crisis” and continuing with the transition to college and young adulthood. Some young adults […]

The Family Forest

by Ronald B Cohen, MD We can’t escape it….our need to know where we come from,to connect it to who we are,and where we’re going.— The Imposter Bride— Nancy Richler How would you finish this sentence? “A Family is like …. a circle, the stars, a book, an orange, a runny peach pie, a boat, a […]

Individuation and Togetherness

by Ronald B Cohen, MD A plea for peaceful coexistence There is no differentiation without connection,no autonomy without healthy interdependence(or as Michael Kerr wrote:…differentiation of self and togethernessare two distinct, counterbalancing life forcesthat can operate as a working team.) (N.B. see author’s notes below) In response to my blog post On Differentiation: The Mindfulness of Murray Bowen, […]

Doing “Bowen”
Turning Theory into Practice

by Ronald B Cohen, MD “There’s nothing so practicalas a good theory”— Kurt Lewin We all carry unresolved problems from past life cycle stages with us, into our current situations. At times of family life-cycle transitions and unexpected crises, conflict and dysregulation arise. Questions about how best to respond include: (1) What can you do to […]

Systemic Thinking for “Individual Diagnoses”

by Ronald B Cohen, MD In response to several prior blog posts, many have questioned the necessity of systemic family therapy for dysregulation that on the surface appears to be centered in the individual. For example, one commentator asked, “What difference does it make to think systems about an individual diagnosis such as this?” in reference […]

Family Rules

by Ronald B Cohen, MD The Bottom 5 of Cohen’s Top 10 What was it you wanted?Tell me again so I’ll know— Bob Dylan— What was it you wanted? In response to The Invisible Psychological Contracts We Make With Our Families, my virtual colleague and friend, Bonnie Hall wrote; “Now I wait with baited breath for the other 5 […]