Coming to grips with Bowen Family Systems Theory in a collaborative learning environment.
August 24, 2022 0 comments

About

Dr Murray Bowen described the idea of triangles in family systems theory as “the cement that integrated the concepts into a single theory” (Bowen, 1978, p379).

But what are emotional triangles? How can thinking about triangles in relationships help us improve the quality of our relationships? In clinical practice? In the workplace? In our own families? 

Join the Family Systems Institute this year as we grapple with thinking about the complexity of connecting, and how understanding the core concept of triangles in systems thinking can help us observe and navigate relationships afresh.

Program

Our program offers opportunities to explore the concept of triangles for those new to systems thinking as well as those already familiar with Bowen Family Systems Theory. It aims to provide a grounding in the concept of triangles in and highlight the usefulness of thinking about triangles by exploring its application in a wide range of relational contexts – including natural systems, families, work, therapy and leadership. Our keynotes bring a depth of thinking and experience in their sessions on triangles, anxiety and relationships, while the range of workshops in the afternoon (onsite and online) offer flexibility for delegates to explore the concept in application more specifically.

Day 1

Wednesday 24th August

9:00am-4:30pm

Keynote 1: Dr Michael Kerr

Live online from The Bowen Theory Academy, Maine

 

The Fundamental Processes Involved in Triangles (Part 1)

“We live our lives in networks of emotional forces that follow triangle patterns.” Dr Murray Bowen

In his keynote sessions, Dr Michael Kerr will present on the core concept of triangles in Bowen Theory and share his thinking and research on its central place in the theory. These sessions will illustrate the emotional process in relationships and the function of triangles as a mechanism for managing anxiety in the family unit.

 

Keynote 2: Dr Kathleen Smith

Live online from The Bowen Centre, Washington

 

Triangles: Moving from Furious to Curious

The challenge in thinking systems is the ability to zoom out in times of stress.  Can you rise above your corner and see the bigger picture? Can you see there’s more at play in what feels like a two-person conflict? Looking for triangles in your day-to-day life can be an important first step in shifting from anger or frustration to curiosity about how humans operate. This presentation will provide examples of common triangles at home and work, as well as a picture of how people steadily begin to tinker with their part in them.

 

Afternoon Workshop Presentations:

Click for Workshop Presentations

 

Day 2

Thursday 25th August

9:00am-4:30pm

Keynote 1: Dr Michael Kerr

Live online from The Bowen Theory Academy, Maine

 

The Fundamental Processes Involved in Triangles (Part 2)

“We live our lives in networks of emotional forces that follow triangle patterns.” Dr Murray Bowen

In his keynote sessions, Dr Michael Kerr will present on the core concept of triangles in Bowen Theory and share his thinking and research on its central place in the theory. These sessions will illustrate the emotional process in relationships and the function of triangles as a mechanism for managing anxiety in the family unit.

 

Keynote 2: Dr Jenny Brown

Live onsite and online from Sydney

 

Tensions in the Primary Triangle: Understanding the soft-hard split for parents of a struggling child.

Jenny will draw from her research and clinical work to describe the predictable dynamics in a triangle with parents and a symptomatic child. Additionally, she will draw from family therapy and parenting style literature and Bowen’s NIMH research to consider this phenomenon of the soft/hard reciprocity between caregivers.  The presentation will consider implications:

  • for the child’s development
  • for the marriage stability and instability
  • for siblings’ development
  • and for clinical practice

 

Afternoon Workshop Presentations:

Click for Workshop Presentations

 

About our Keynote speakers:

Dr Michael Kerr

Michael E. Kerr, M.D. is a family psychiatrist and President of the Bowen Theory Academy in Islesboro, Maine. He stepped down as Director of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family at the end of 2010 after serving in that position for twenty years. The mission of the Bowen Center, which was founded by Murray Bowen as the Georgetown University Family Center in 1975 and the mission of the Bowen Center, which is a continuation of the original center under a new name and independent of Georgetown University, has been is to further develop and disseminate information about Bowen Family Systems Theory. Five long-term students of Bowen theory founded the Bowen Theory Academy in 2011 with an emphasis on facilitating people’s efforts to learn and apply Bowen Theory by emphasizing the distinction between systems thinking and cause-and-effect thinking through a variety of programs.

Dr. Kerr worked closely with Murray Bowen until his death in 1990. He co-authored with Dr. Bowen a widely used text entitled, Family Evaluation: An Approach Based on Bowen Theory. The book was excerpted in The Atlantic Monthly in 1988. He has also published many book chapters and journal articles, including articles that apply the theory to work systems and to social groups in other species. His primary research interest has been the interplay of mind, body, and relationships and its role in health and disease. Besides more than forty-six years of practicing family therapy with the full range of human problems and occasional organizational consulting, he has lectured on Bowen theory and its various applications all over the United States and overseas. One of his strengths is presenting theoretical ideas in a way that most people can identify as relevant to their interests and activities, most particularly to their own families.

Read more about Dr Kerr here – https://bowentheoryacademy.org/board-members/ 

Dr Kathleen Smith

Dr. Kathleen Smith is a licensed therapist and author of the new book, Everything Isn’t Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down. A graduate of Harvard University and George Washington University, she’s written about anxiety and relationships for popular websites, been interviewed by multiple magazines and newspapers, and appeared on television programs including Good Morning Washington, as well as writing a free, weekly therapy newsletter on managing anxiety, called “The Anxious Overachiever.” She is a student of Bowen Family Systems Theory and an associate faculty member of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. Kathleen has a private therapy practice in Washington, DC, and is the host of the TV show Family Matters, produced by the University of the District of Columbia.

Read more about Dr Smith here – https://kathleensmith.net/bio/

Dr Jenny Brown

Jenny founded the Family Systems Institute in 2004 and after stepping down from her leadership role has continued as FSI faculty and on the Board. She is a clinical member and supervisor for the Australian Association of Family Therapy, and in 2018 received the ANJFT award for distinguished contribution to family therapy in Australia. Jenny has been working in the field of child and family mental health and family therapy since the 1980s. Her PhD research explored parents’ experience of their child’s mental health treatment. Amongst several publications, Jenny is the author of the book: Growing Yourself Up: How to bring your best to all of life’s relationships and co-editor of the Bowen Family Systems Theory in Christian Ministry. More recently Jenny has developed parenting programs/resources for professionals and parents- the Parent Project, The Parent Hope Project in an effort to bring Bowen theory into child and family health.

Read more about Dr Brown here – https://www.thefsi.com.au/fsi-trainer-jenny-brown/

Booking Information

Venue

Kirribilli Club (Lavender Room) 11 Harbourview Crescent, Lavender Bay NSW 2060

Event will be professionally filmed and live streamed for online viewers.

Cost

TICKET PRICES  Price
Onsite – 2 days $610
Online – 2 days $560
Online – 1 day (Wednesday) $345
Online – 1 day (Thursday) $345
Delayed stream – 2 day package (can’t make the conference? Pre-purchase the delayed stream recording) $560
Group discount -Online Only* (20% off) $450 per person
Members & Students Onsite – 2 days** (15% off) $520
Members & Students Online – 2 days** (15% off) $475
Members & Students Online – 1 day (Wednesday)** (15% off) $295
Members & Students Online – 1 day (Thursday)** (15% off) $295
Wednesday evening drinks / canapes event $30

 

Group Discount

  • 20% discount (off full price)
  • Online only option for teams and organisations
  • Minimum 4 people in a group – Maximum 8 people in a group
  • Must have a group leader who registers and pays for the whole group (e.g. group leader buys 4 tickets together) to receive the discount
  • Group leader must provide names and email addresses for group members and be able to demonstrate they are part of the same team or organisation

 

Members and Student Discount

  • 15% discount ( onsite and online – off early bird or full price)
  • Available to:
    • FSI Members (Ongoing Collaborative Learning Group only)
    • FSI Core Program participants (including Bridging Group)
    • University/TAFE discount for those enrolled in a relevant course (Proof of student membership must be available upon request)

 

Wednesday Drinks/Canapes Event

  • Join us after the conference on day 1 for drinks and canapes at the Kirribilli Club in the Water Terrace from 5pm
  • Tickets $30 per per (includes 1x drink and canapes)

 

BUY TICKETS

 

Please Note: All FSI events, unless otherwise stated are subject to our cancellation policy.

A refund is available more than one month in advance of the conference less a $25.00 Administration Fee. Otherwise no refund will apply. Cancellation policy is final and not negotiable.  The Family Systems Institute regrets the difficult personal circumstances that sometimes prevent people attending however; the conference package is set up with online and delayed stream options. Positions are transferable to anyone you nominate.

 

Contact info@thefsi.com.au if you have any questions.


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Date/Time
Date(s) - 24/08/2022 - 25/08/2022
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Location
Kirribilli Club

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