PAPERS

Offered by Leading Systems Press
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1. THE ROLE OF THE LEADER IN ORGANIZATIONAL TRIANGLES

By Dr. Gilbert

Triangles are such an important part of the human phenomenon that they appear in some form in at least 6 of the eight formal concepts of the theory. Bowen stated that all of society is based upon them. They are neither good nor bad, they just are. They can be confounding, as in the present day health care system. They can be produce great anxiety, as in an affair. They can be anxiety relieving, as in an affair. They can produce symptoms in a family, as in a focused child. They can relieve anxiety and symptoms, as in psychotherapy at its best. In organizations, triangles can build, interlock and polarize. When that happens, the organization can go on to split or self-destruct. What is less understood about triangles is the role of the leader in their initiation. This paper examines several case studies that illustrate how the distant posture of the leader contributes to triangling in organizations. 

12 pages, $3.50 (Download), $7.00 (Mail-in Order)

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2. CLERGY THINKING SYSTEMS
In this paper, Rev. Katie Long interviews Dr. Gilbert. They discuss challenges often faced by the clergy. 

8 pages, $2.50 (Download)
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3. THERAPISTS THINKING SYSTEMS
An interview of Dr. Gilbert by Ms. Crossno, to be published in a book about family therapy. It includes theoretical background, applications of theory, role of the therapist, training of the therapist, overview, limitations and integration. 

18 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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4. COMING BACK ENERGIZED FROM A SABBATICAL
By Rev. Tom Hay

Some ministers return from their sabbaticals highly energized to re-enter their congregations, and some return with lower energy than they had when they left. This paper is the result of research on what makes the difference with some suggestions on how to structure sabbaticals more intentionally to encourage highly energized returns to ministry. 

6 pages, $2.50 (Download)
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5. TRIANGLES IN STEPFAMILIES: THE THERAPIST’S MANAGEMENT OF SELF
By Kathleen Cotter Cauley M.Ed.

The triangles interlocking with the therapist’s family and the clinical family, viewed through a Bowen family systems theory lens are the focus of this chapter, to be published soon. There is a detailed description of the author’s efforts at differentiation in her position as a stepmother and a stepdaughter. Triangles around death, divorce and remarriage, levels of chronic anxiety and conditions under which the triangles are activated are discussed. These and other ideas are described with clinical examples that demonstrate how an ongoing effort at differentiation can make a difference in the therapist’s ability to be a resource to stepfamilies. 

13 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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6. EROSION OF BOWEN THEORY
By Dr. Gilbert

In the years before his death, Dr. Bowen spoke about what he called the "erosion of theory." Perhaps it is inevitable that a way of thinking so counterintuitive to most of us--"systems thinking"--would be misheard and misunderstood by many. Written in three parts in 2005 for "Family Systems Forum," this paper deals with some of the many ways theory can be eroded and how theory itself shows the way out of them. The second part, about communication, is especially valuable for writers and speakers. 

20 pages, $4.50 (Download)
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7. ADDRESSING CUTOFF IN RESIDENTIAL CARE OF DISTURBED ADOLESCENTS
By Dr. Gilbert, 2001

Our society views some families as toxic. In them, children fail to thrive or become overtly ill in a variety of ways. When the children get far enough from the norm in physical, mental/emotional or social symptoms, or parental abuse or neglect comes to light, society's way of trying to lend a hand to the child is to remove the child from the home.

The initiative described was an attempt to resist the usual anti-parent, pro-cutoff tendency often prevalent in societal agencies that deal with children. In a community residential treatment setting the staff intentionally tried to assist families and adolescent daughters to bridge their actual, potential and developing cutoffs. The results supported a hypothesis derived from Bowen family systems theory that as people lessen their cutoff postures their symptoms improve. 

16 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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8. AN OVERVIEW OF BOWEN FAMILY SYSTEMS THEORY
By Dr. Gilbert
2002

Bowen formally set forth family systems theory in eight concepts. They derive from one fundamental idea--that the family is an emotional unit. From the emotional fusions of the original family unit, typical patterns of relationship behavior are seen when anxiety is elevated. There is also an individuality force that pushes toward autonomy or differentiation from the group. This monograph is a concise summary definition of each the eight concepts with references for study. 

17 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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9. SOCIETAL REGRESSION AND ITS EFFECTS UPON THE FAMILY
By Dr. Gilbert
2002

A Societal Regression, one of the eight concepts of Bowen family systems theory, describes periods when anxiety mounts and society becomes unstable. Families are affected by the ensuing chaos by themselves becoming less stable. This breakdown of the family, in turn, affects society, in a vicious cycle. What appropriate responses can leaders of the family (parents) make? How can societal leaders respond effectively? Bowen family systems theory provides guidelines to begin to think about these and other questions being asked in the difficult times in which we live. 

22 pages, $4.50 (Download)
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10. THEORY, ETHICS AND DIFFERENTIATION OF SELF
By Dr. Gilbert
2003

Observers of other species have come to the conclusion that ethics or a common agreement about behavioral rules are necessary to the survival of the group. In the human species they make for not only survival but also the only kind of society one would care to live in. This paper takes up questions such as “Can ethics, when well thought through, be a part of the basic self?” and “Can an ethical stand be a part of an effort toward increasing differentiation of self?”  7 pages

$5.00 includes S&H, available through mail-in order
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11. SOCIETAL REGRESSION AND THE CLERGY
By Dr. Gilbert
2004

Factual evidence indicates that society, in 2004, is in a period of rapid change, perhaps a crisis. Bowen family systems theory contains within it a concept that describes - broadly - periods of regression in society. Many factors may have contributed to this situation. The theory also suggests ways for leaders to think about the regression and their own functioning at all times - especially in times of increased anxiety. It is important for the clergy to understand this theory since it clarifies what is meant by high level leadership that is based on and guided by principles. Examples of such leaders in times of societal regression are provided by John Wesley and Increase Mather. 

18 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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12. THOUGHTS ON TERRORISM
By Dr. Gilbert
2003

Since September 11, 2001, writing, speaking and opinions have proliferated on the subject of terrorism. Most of us are trying to come up with answers to some of the following questions. What is going on? Who would do such a thing? When will the next attack come? Where? How? Why? No one has the answers to these questions. This author does not. Yet, thoughtful people need to grapple with them and more. This paper represents a beginning attempt to address a few of the issues raised by the attacks. 

19 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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13. JESUS AND THE SCALE OF DIFFERENTIATION OF SELF
By Rev. Robert Creech

This paper proposes that Jesus was 100 on the scale of differentiation. The paper offers evidence to support the thesis. 

19 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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Please note: this paper is included in Dr. Gilbert's new book The Cornerstone Concept: In Leadership, In Life.  If you purchase the book you will not need to purchase this paper separately.
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14. PRAYER AND EMOTIONAL REACTIVITY
By Victoria Harrison

Ms. Harrison is a family systems therapist and researcher. Her expertise in biofeedback and neurofeedback has led her to some interesting discoveries over the years. In this paper her discoveries about prayer's effects on the brainwaves are described.

16 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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Please note: this paper is included in Dr. Gilbert's new book The Cornerstone Concept: In Leadership, In Life.  If you purchase the book you will not need to purchase this paper separately.
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15. ADDICTION TO PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS
By Dr. Gilbert

In our medication oriented culture, many people are addicted to prescribed medications - some without knowing it. In this project, Dr. Gilbert shows how the Bowen family systems theory is useful in helping people become drug free. 

10 pages, $3.50 (Download)
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