Are you sore from being boxed into labels that can’t possibly contain all of you?
At Bodh Center for Wellness, we recognize you as
a unique individual embedded within an important community and culture. You deserve care from those who are willing to take the time to understand the nuances that shaped who you are today.
Our approach to providing holistic psychological services integrates several scientific theories, evidence-based practices, and philosophies.
At an elemental level, we ground our work in Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory --
a set of five nested systems that have a bi-directional influence on each other.
Hover your mouse over the model for a brief introduction to these systems. Scroll down for more details.
What Is Ecological Systems Theory?
Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner (April 29, 1917 – September 25, 2005) was a Russian-born, Jewish-American Psychologist who was best known for his formulation of the Ecological Systems Theory. Though his framework was initially focused on establishing a more nuanced understanding of a child’s development, the ecological framework is expansive and useful in understanding human personality development across the lifespan and through a multicultural lense. Dr. Bronfenbrenner’s influence remains apparent in medical, community health, and neuropsychological settings, where a “bio-psycho-social model” is often used to help conceptualize the myriad influences on an individual’s presenting problems.
The interactions that occur within each microsystem are very personal and crucial for supporting and fostering a person’s sense of wellbeing. While the individual can be influenced by those in their immediate environment, the individual may also influence and change the beliefs and behaviors of those in their immediate environment. Also, the way that the individual interacts with its microsystems will influence how the microsystems treat the individual in return. Example microsystems include that between a child and their parents, a child and their teachers, or a child and their peers.
The mesosystem is where individual microsystems interconnect and assert influence on each other. The more harmonious the connections within the mesosystem, the stronger the web of support becomes and the better it is able to bolster the individual during times of high stress. An example of a mesosystem level interaction is that of how well both parents of a child get along with each other, and parents and teachers engaging each other to discuss a child’s growth and academic progress.
Typically, the individual is not a member of the formal and informal social structures or institutions that are contained within the exosystem. Therefore, these institutions exert an indirect influence on the individual by exerting a direct influence on the individual’s microsystems. For example, an individual’s spouse may be experiencing a work-related stressor and may come home from the office with a short temper. Exosystem examples include the neighborhood, parent’s workplaces, spouse’s friends, and the mass media. These are environments in which the individual is not directly involved, and are external to their experience, but nonetheless affects them anyway.
Environmental changes in the chronosystem can include normal life transitions such as starting school, marriage, and childbirth, but can also include non-normative life transitions such as parents getting a divorce or having to move to a new country.
This level of Dr. Bronfrenbrenner’s model is dedicated to the influence that culture has on our beliefs and perceptions about events that transpire in our lives. The macrosystem refers to established society and cultural circumstances that an individual is trying to thrive in. Macrosystem level influences include socioeconomic status, ethnicity, geographic location, and cultural ideologies.