This is an hour and a half lecture delivered by Michael E. Kerr in November 2017,
two years after Dr. Nash and his wife were killed in an automobile crash. Dr. Nash carried a
diagnosis of schizophrenia for a ten-year period in his life. He was between 30 and 40 years of
age at that time. He showed no evidence of psychosis before or after that period in his life.
The presentation describes the Bowen theory concepts of emotional system functioning driven
by high chronic anxiety permitted by Nash having low levels of basic
differentiation of self. People low on the differentiation of self-scale have what Bowen theory
refers to as high levels of “infantile yearnings” that developed from his birth to the time
he or she first leave home and move into the adult world. The yearnings include: (1) To be
taken care of, and nursed, (2) to be free of responsibility, (3) to have an all-loving, all giving non-
demanding person at his or her side.

Bowen theory explains the descent into and ultimately back out of psychotic functioning being
a disorder of brain functioning, not structure. The essence of understanding the clinical course of schizophrenia is to look at the family and other social contexts. In recent decades, the systems biology has moved rapidly towards placing as much emphasis on examining the context as on the components of the individual units that
comprise it.

I will close the description of this lecture by praising the book entitled The Beautiful Mind by
Sylvia Nasar in 1998. It was later the basis of a movie by the same title.