A Senior Analyst with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Barbara's day job includes evaluation strategies, data analysis, and reports related to local health departments. A couple of her public health reports are listed below.
A writer's prayer:
Lord of all insight, Creator of all words, Shaper of the Logos surrounding all that is, grant me the ability to hear you in everyone, the wisdom to seek you at all times, and the courage to ask that you might set me on the rock that is higher than I, that I may first perceive and then share what you would have me understand. May my writing be as fresh as your morning, lovely as your love, and lively as your spirit. Amen.
Welcome! Please see my Blog for more!
Welcome to my website and thanks for taking the time to visit me here. On the left you will see the usual stuff Ė a link to my biography, some details about my day job, and my overall goal in writing. On the right you will see information about my first book - and I look forward to the day when I sit down and finish one of the twenty or so second books I've started! But in the meantime, here, front and center, Iíll talk about what Iím thinking about right now: Bowen theory.
Bowen theory is an esoteric name for a couple of pretty simple ideas. First, human beings are more influenced by other people and by relationship systems that we generally realize. Like ants, we organize into groups which are more central to our behavior and well-being than we imagine. At the heart of Bowen theory, and life itself, is the challenge of being a separate self while being part of a relationship system.
Second, the more anxious a system (work, family or other) becomes, the more pressure on the individual to think (or not think) like the group. A herd mentality can infect any species; and, passed down among humans through family systems, its contagious nature challenges even the most separate (or, in Bowen theory language, differentiated) individual. Thinking from an evolutionary perspective, it's not really a surprise that humans, like many other animals, adapt and survive in life as groups.
When a person's thinking is clear, one can soar through life as naturally as a spotted owl in a forest, seeing and understanding what's below.
The best way I know to clarify my thinking is to write. It keeps me honest; and more than that, as it starts to become humorous, it has worked once again to put life in perspective for me.
The definition of religion above is not my own - it comes from a 20th century theologian named Neville Ward. Ward shared his insights in some fine little books ("The Use of Praying" and Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy" are the two I know). Other favorites are "the Interior Castle" (Theresa of Avilla, about prayer) and "The Courage to Be" (Paul Tillich, and yes I know he is not cool these days but his insights about the human condition are amazing). Books and baseball make up most of my blogs.
Bowen theory Ė which is sometimes called family systems theory - has been defined elsewhere, along with its key terminology. Because Iím trying to understand the theory better, and relate it to theology, my blog is tagged by both family systems and theological topic areas. To keep myself honest, though, I avoid jargon and technical language in the posts themselves. If you, gentle reader, notice language that lacks clarity Ė that needs to be written in laymonís terms Ė you will do me a great favor by letting me know. Please post a comment to my blog or email me (see link to the right). Many thanks.