Annual Conference

21st FSI Annual Conference

Join The Family Systems Institute for our 21st Annual Conference on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd August presenting The Family Emotional System: The Seedbed of Symptoms and the Garden of Recovery, featuring keynote speakers Dr Dan Papero live onsite at St Barnabas Anglican Church (57-61 Mountain St, Ultimo NSW 2007) and Dr Lynea Witczak-Oldfather joining us online.

Explore Bowen Family Systems Theory’s insights into how the emotional system regulates the functioning of the human family, and how the family is both the seedbed for symptoms and a garden of recovery. Engage with keynote sessions, presentations, workshops and panel discussions. Reflect on the clinician’s role in guiding families through the emotional system.

This years conference will also include the launch of the special edition of the ANZJFT (Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy) on Bowen Family Systems Theory.

FSI Conference 2024 Program


About Keynote Speaker: Dr Dan Papero

How the Bowen Theory provides a way to think about the family emotional system as both a seedbed for symptoms and as a garden of recovery.

The family emotional system regulates the functioning of the human family. Operating as a single organism, the family emotional system has evolved mechanisms and processes to support the efficient functioning of the family unit. Bowen Theory provides a way to think about the family emotional system and a theoretical framework that outlines how the family system works.

When the clinician develops the skill to observe and regulate personal emotional reactiveness, it becomes possible to be in contact with a family while observing the flow of emotion through the system without participating in the flow, a condition Bowen refers to as emotional objectivity. The knowledge of how the family emotional system operates permits the clinician to anticipate roadblocks and coach motivated family members through the challenges.


Dr Dan Papero is amongst the leading scholars and practitioners in Bowen Theory in the world. After graduate training in social work at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Dr. Papero entered postgraduate training in family systems theory and psychotherapy at the Georgetown University Family Center. In 1982, Dr. Bowen invited him to join the faculty of the Family Center, now the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. Over the years he has served in many roles at the Center, and he currently organizes a research seminar and coordinates the Theory Meeting, a bi-weekly working group dedicated to the exploration and expansion of family systems theory.

He has written numerous articles and book chapters on various aspects of family systems theory and family psychotherapy. In 1990, he published a basic introduction to family systems, Bowen Family Systems Theory. He and Robert Noone, PhD, co-edited the volume The Family Emotional System: An Integrative Concept for Theory, Science and Practice in 2015He has served on the editorial board of the journal Family Systems since its foundingHe gives many invited presentations yearly to various professional groups across the country and around the world on topics related to family systems theory, family psychotherapy, and the functioning of corporations and organisations.


About Keynote Speaker: Dr Lynea Witczak-Oldfather

Dr. Lynea Witczak Oldfather is a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar in Prof. Mike Gardner’s lab at Flinders University. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Davis where she studied the neurobiology of father-daughter bonds and pair bonds in coppery titi monkeys (Plecturocebus cupreus). As a postdoc, she is investigating the neurobiology of pair bonding in socially monogamous sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa). Her work aims to provide insight into potential shared mechanisms underlying sociality across vertebrate taxa.


About the Workshop Presenters – 

Download Workshop Presenter Abstracts and Bios


Additional Workshop with Dr Dan Papero!

Dr Dan Papero will also be running a workshop Assessing Family Functioning on Tuesday 27th August from 9:00am – 3:00pm in Crows Nest, Sydney. Conference attendees can purchase a discounted ticket to attend this workshop onsite or online. Please add this to your conference ticket purchase.  Click here for workshop details

**Once you purchase your ticket please check your junkmail for your order confirmation. This will include a link to the Conference Resources and for those who are viewing online the live stream link will be provided via the links **


Costs (including GST)


Early Bird

(ends Sunday 30th June)

Normal Price
Onsite – 2 days $590 $630
Online – 2 days $500 $570
Online – 1 day (Wednesday) $290 $360
Online – 1 day (Thursday) $290 $360
Delayed Stream – 2 day package (can’t make the conference? Pre-purchase the delayed stream recording) $570 $570
Group Discount (4-8 people) – Onsite $500 per person $500 per person
Group Discount (4-10 people) – Online $455 per person $455 per person
Members & Students Onsite – 2 days* $500 $530
Members & Students Online – 2 days* $420 $480
Members & Students Online – 1 day (Wednesday)** $250 $300
Members & Students Online – 1 day (Thursday)** $250 $300
Conference Attendee Workshop Discount onsite or online with Dr Dan Papero $165 $308 *if not bought with a conference ticket


**Once you purchase your ticket please check your junk-mail for your order confirmation. This will include a link to the Conference Resources and for those who are viewing online the live stream link will be provided here. **


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