The Clinician’s Family with Dr. Monika Baege

The Clinician’s Family

Monika Baege, EdD, LCMHC of the Vermont Center for Family Studies



Dr. Baege was to present this program November 9, 2013…

“How are you going to help others when you can’t be a self in your own family?”

This was the challenge Dr. Murray Bowen gave to himself, to his clients and to clinicians.One of Bowen’s most important contributions to psychotherapy is the recognition that clinical outcomes can be improved by the clinician’s effort to differentiate a self from his or her own family of origin. Dr. Bowen’s pioneering effort at differentiating himself within the interlocking triangles in his family and his courage to report on it publicly became known as the Anonymous Paper.

The premise, as expanded by Dr. Laurie Lassiter in her Triangle Hypothesis, is that the human is firmly embedded in the emotional system of his or her family of origin, which instinctively seeks to insure the survival of the group, even if at the expense of individual members. The lure of the inside position in the triangle is one of the primary mechanisms that cements this process. Bowen’s painstaking long-term effort to understand the intricate workings of the triangle led to the discovery of differentiation of self as a way to alter this evolutionary imperative.

In this program, Dr. Monika Baege explores her experiences as she attempted to change her own predictable responses that kept her safely in the inside position in key family triangles.The fallout of this “safe” position motivated her effort to intentionally risk moving into “the uncomfortable outside position”.Her findings add to the growing tests of the theoretical concepts and assumptions of Bowen theory.Through lecture, discussion, and a video interview, this day highlights implications and questions raised in the therapist’s effort towards differentiation of self, and illustrates impacts of the effort on clinical outcomes.

Dr. Monika Baege is a licensed counselor with a private practice in Burlington, Vermont. She serves on the faculty and board of the Vermont Center for Family Studies and also on the board of the Murray Bowen Archives Project of Leaders for Tomorrow in Washington, DC.


Triangles and the Effort toward Differentiation of Self – Part 1
Triangles and the Effort toward Differentiation of Self – Part 2
Putting Theory into Practice: The Clinician’s Family – Part 1
Putting Theory into Practice: The Clinician’s Family – Part 2
The Therapeutic Triangle and Clinical Outcomes

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