Coming to grips with Bowen Family Systems Theory in a collaborative learning environment.
August 18, 2021 0 comments

2021 Conference



The conference aims to present current research and literature about trauma while expanding the lens to consider the family and community context of recovery.

The interaction of different speakers will enable exploration of family systems and a multigenerational understanding of trauma impact variations. We will be asking questions about what factors contribute to pathways to recovery and better functioning. Building on last year’s Dialogue with Difference conference, we will explore a Bowen family systems clinical framework alongside trauma-informed attachment-based approaches.

Each day will provide opportunity for breakout groups to reflect on presentations and engage with others thinking.




Day 1  Reflecting on different therapy pathways in response to trauma:

A Family Systems collaborative coaching process to grow a steadier self in real world relationships AND A dynamic attachment-based reparative therapeutic relationship for re- wiring patterns of relating.


Keynote 1 Dr Linda Mackay

Dr Linda Mackay

Renowned Family Systems Therapy consultant and trainer at the Family Systems Institute

The Family Emotional Response to Trauma

Beyond an individual view of trauma – Taking the emerging knowledge on the neurobiology of trauma and viewing this from a family systems perspective.

About Linda Mackay



Keynote 2 Dr Sophie Reid and Jace Cannon-Brookes

Dr Sophie Reid

Dr Sophie Reid

Jace Cannon-Brookes

Jace Cannon-Brookes

Directors of the Birchtree Centre for Excellence (in trauma treatment & research)

Relational Dynamics within Individual Therapy for Developmental Trauma

Sophie and Jace will present their approach to entering the client’s traumatised relational dynamics, using attachment-focused individual therapy.

View bios


Followed by panel & audience reflections on the differences in approaches.


Afternoon session Walter Howard Smith Jr. PhD.

Walter Howard Smith Jr. PhD.

Founding faculty member of the Western Pennsylvania Family Centre and former executive director of Family Resources, a child abuse treatment and prevention organization in Pittsburgh, USA

A family Systems lens and child abuse

How Bowen theory offers a different framework for thinking about child abuse and working with families with a history of child abuse.

About Dr. Walter Smith



Family Systems & Child Abuse

An interview with Jenny Brown (Pre-recorded)



Day 2  Reflecting on the family, community & society in relation to trauma impacts and recovery


Keynote 1 Amie Post

Amie Post

MA, LCMFT. Executive/Clinical Director of the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County, Inc. And Faculty at The Bowen Centre for the Study of the Family.

Violence in the Family – A Systems View to Help Navigate Rough Waters

Exploring the intersection of domestic violence, trauma-informed care and Bowen theory

About Amie Post



Keynote 2 Louise Campbell

Louise Campbell

Education Officer Aboriginal Education Catholic Schools Office

Transgenerational Trauma – The Stolen Generations

Louise will speak from her personal experience about transgenerational trauma, stolen generations, and the impacts of this.  She will also speak to how family and community can be the impetus to strengthen well-being and identity when dealt such a blow.

About Louise Campbell



Afternoon session Interview with Anna Lloyd

Anna Lloyd

Individual, Couple and Family Therapist in Private Practice in Inner West Sydney. She spent close to 5 years as the Family Therapist for leading in-patient treatment centre Byron Private in the Byron Hinterland, where she had the privilege of facilitating family programs for hundreds of families facing trauma, addiction, mood and eating disorders.

Trauma & addictions: How the family system mediates this linkage

About Anna Lloyd




Work within a Bowen family systems frame recognises that any extended focus on feeling responses reduces the ability of the survivor to think rationally, to have access to her higher cortical functions, and consequently set a course of action, guided by her own principles and values. Thus the focus is not on the reparative relationship of therapist and client, given this can replicate the original fusion from which the survivor is trying to escape.


—Trauma and Bowen Family Systems Theory: Working with Adults Who were Abused as Children, Linda MacKay, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (ANZJFT) Vol.33 No.3 2012 pp. 232-241.



2021 Conference reviews

What did you find most helpful?

Many commented on the online breakout group experience:

I found the breakout rooms provided an opportunity to reflect on the learning from the presentations, which proved both helpful and valuable for my own processing of what I had learned and observed.


The ability to engage with each of the presentations via the breakout groups.



Others commented on the respectful way that different approaches were considered:

It’s tough to choose one thing- it was such a well thought out program. The opportunity for contrasting different theoretical approaches and clarify thinking around these was probably the most useful thing.


Clarity of thought presented neutrally enable my own compare and contrast thinking.



Booking Information



Kirribilli Club and professionally filmed and live streamed


Conference Chairs

Onsite—Dr Lisa Newling (Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist)

Online—Wayne Caruana (Reg Psychologist)



Online – (Early Bird now Closed)

Cost –

  • 1 day – $345
  • 2 days – $560 (save $50)


Watch as a group and receive 20% discount per person.


  • Professionally filmed and streamed, capturing the immediacy of an in-person event
  • 2 weeks delayed stream viewing of presentations—you can attend the live parts that fit your schedule and watch what you missed later
  • Option to be part of facilitated small group discussions throughout
  • Professional development resources package. Contains all PowerPoints and articles and video links relevant to each presentation.
  • Certificate of attendance for PD records


Online breakout group experience

“A significant strength of last years online conference was the regular small breakout groups. I enjoyed working together with other delegates in engaging with the presented material. Hearing from peers and processing questions to ask the presenters enabled me to crystallise my thinking and learning.”


—Wayne Caruna, Professional Officer (Psychologist), Catholic Schools Office, Hunter Region


Onsite (Places Full)

No discounts for onsite tickets.

  • 2 days – $610 GST incl.


2 days only – numbers restricted to 45 attendees. Includes full catering and onsite facilitated breakout groups.


Additional price reductions (online only)

  • Students – 15% University/TAFE discounts (with proof of student status in a relevant course – minimum 2 full days of study per week)
  • Groups – 20% for 4 or more people watching together (through one link). 20% discount per person. They must manage their own technology and have the capacity to separate into groups of 4 to be part of online breakout groups. Min 4 Max 8 in a group. Designate one person as a key contact for the watch party and agree location (required for booking).


Contact office to purchase a student or group ticket at


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




Bookings are closed for this event.

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Date(s) - 18/08/2021 - 19/08/2021
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Kirribilli Club

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