Coming to grips with Bowen Family Systems Theory in a collaborative learning environment.

Our new Executive Director, Lauren Errington, on her new role at the FSI

June 22, 2021 Uncategorized 0 comments

It is a privilege to be taking up the role of Executive Director of the Family Systems Institute. My first foray into systems thinking was at the FSI’s Annual Conference in 2008 when Dan Papero presented on triangles. What he described fit with my own experience of relationships – personally, professionally and in the workplace – and I began to appreciate systems thinking as a description of our patterns of human behaviour, and began to see triangles everywhere! It continues to be the case for me that when I introduce systems thinking to others, it often makes sense to them and provides a description of what they are already experiencing in their relationships.

For me, Bowen Theory provides a way of understanding the very human dilemmas we find all ourselves in with our relationships. With further training in Family Therapy more broadly and working in multiple therapeutic contexts, I have appreciated having a theory that helps me navigate the complexity of the relationships I am in and those I work with, and also helps redirect my thinking and my energies into what kind of resource I can be for the people I am in contact with. You can read more about my own clinical work here –

I am stepping into this role in the context of an incredible network of practitioners, leaders, thinkers, and researchers – many of whom have been my own coaches, supervisors, trainers, peers and colleagues along the way. I truly value the way the Family Systems Institute fosters a community of people who are committed to ongoing learning and growth, both personally and professionally.

With the launch of the new programs in 2021 we have seen a significant increase in interest and enquiries about our programs and events. There are many of us now who have benefited from learning and applying Bowen Theory in our own lives who are taking up opportunities to introduce people to systems thinking and foster increased curiosity about self and relationships with others. It is my hope that as we do this, and others also take up training and coaching opportunities, that we will be able to create increased capacity and offer more opportunities to help people learn and apply systems thinking in turn.   

I would like to thank everyone for their support in transitioning into this new role, and especially Jenny Brown whose vision for having a Family Systems Institute and tireless commitment over the last 17 years has created the opportunities so many of us have benefited from. I am thankful for the many people who offer their expertise, time and energy to offering the plethora of programs, groups, supervision, workshops and events that the FSI offers. I look forward to continuing to work with Jenny, the board, FSI members and our broader network in these exciting times ahead!

I am always open to conversations about ideas and feedback, and look forward to seeing many of you in person at the conference, and online as well!

Warm regards,

Lauren Errington

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