I first met the concept of differentiation in 2011.
It captured my imagination. Explaining not only the challenges I faced in my personal life, but also the previously mysterious organisational blockages I had encountered at work.
Differentiation is a concept introduced by Murray Bowen in his articulation of Bowen Systems Theory [click here for a brief introduction to Differentiation]. Far more familiar to audiences in the US where Bowen lived and worked, I was determined to bring the power of differentiation to the UK. I taught myself the theory (filling several bookcases in the process) and challenged myself to take a new differentiated step every day.
I went on to undertake my doctoral research thesis on the impact of Bowen coaching in the workplace (in spite of none of my supervisors ever having known about Bowen or differentiation before I turned up). As I simultaneously progressed through my clinical training, I realised that my clients flourished when I held the same underlying differentiation framework. This led to an integration of my clinical work and research specialism. Subsequently, I have sought to draw into Bowen’s model more recent developments in psychological and therapeutic thinking to continue to mature and strengthen this approach.
The process of consciously choosing to grow one’s personal level of differentiation in adulthood is greatly facilitated through personal therapy or coaching. However, I started my own personal journey through reading. This blog seeks to offer to you that opportunity in bite-size nuggets. It will include thoughts to prompt self-reflection and garner insight, exploration of the impact of relevant new research and resources to develop your personal skills.
I hope the insights you gain from this blog will be of as much value to you in your life and work as the ongoing process of learning to live a more differentiated life has been to me.
I look forward to hearing about your journey to live The Differentiated Life.