Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Triangulation Term Found on The Social Work Exam

Murrary Bowen coined the idea of triangulation for the family therapy field.  You may find this term on the social work exam when describing an emotional system where two people are unstable and will pull in another person in an unhealthy attempt to balance the stress. Families that struggle with mental illness, abuse, and alcoholism often are triangulated.

As a medical social worker you may find two parents with a medically fragile child are triangulated with a healthy sibling. For example, a mother could have trouble communicating the stress of caring for a fragile child and will use another child to direct her frustration to the father who is not being supportive. She could also use the child as a messenger for communication instead of being direct and congruent. It's important to point out these examples of triangulation to clients so they can become aware and learn healthy ways to deal with stress and communicate congruently. Can you think of a personal example of triangulation in your life?
Learn more about triangulation here

Practice exam question like this here

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