The New England Seminar on Bowen Theory has been organizing educational programs in Bowen Theory since 2001. The seminar series has been planned to attract people at all stages in their study of Bowen Theory. Typically the day features a guest speaker followed by an afternoon of short presentations by members of the New England Seminar on Bowen Theory as well as program participants. Presentations by guest speakers have focused on a wide variety of topics with the goal of expanding one's knowledge of human behavior and theory.
Love and the Primary Triangle:
An Evolutionary Perspective on Gender and Stress Reactivity
Observations from clinical work with couples who have children reveal certain gender-based relationship patterns consistent with other mammals that form pair bonds. For example, when people are stressed, like all social animals, they are motivated to form attachments, which contributes to a buffering of the stress response. Interestingly, stress impacts males and females differently and they often show different patterns of behavior regarding social bonding. One pattern that seems to appear repeatedly in marriages with children is that males automatically move toward a female for wellbeing and females automatically move toward their children for wellbeing. The psycho-behavioral systems involved in this intricate interplay between males, females, and offspring are rooted partly in the neurobiology of social affiliation and pair bonding, which is similar among mammalian species.
The gender differences and stress reactivity and affiliation provide a way of thinking about how the primary triangle in the human family operates to manage anxiety. Evidence from both non-human and human research suggests that the relationship within the pair bond significantly influences parental responsiveness and care of offspring. The concept of the triangle theoretically grounds the predictable patterns that emerge within the family unit involving parents.