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

FSI Trainer - Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown_2

Jenny Brown PhD, has worked as a social worker and family therapist since the early 1980s.  Her clinical work has been in alternate care, couple therapy, family therapy, adult mental health, family homelessness, expatriate families and child and family health. Jenny’s research over the past years has focussed on parents and their involvement in their child’s mental health treatment. She is well regarded in Australia for her training in Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Theory and has been dedicated to developing the application of this model in clinical practice and training since the early 1990s.

Having trained in family therapy with the Marriage Guidance Council, Jenny moved to the United States and completed her Masters doing her field work with Dr Salvador Minuchin and his Family Studies Institute in New York City. Jenny then undertook an advanced training program at the Family Institute of Westchester, New York where she was supervised for 2 years by Betty Carter, one of the founders of the Women’s Project in family Therapy. It was here that Jenny was introduced to the work of Murray Bowen and expanded her understanding of the theory by undertaking her own family of origin coaching, and training in the art of teaching the model.  At the completion of her training Jenny was offered a teaching fellowship at the Institute. Jenny has also practiced in the UK where she trained at the Tavistock for accreditation as a systemic supervisor. Her commitment to learning has been recognized with University awards at the University of Sydney and Columbia University.

Upon her return to Australia in 1996, Jenny has worked in child and adolescent mental health, private practice, supervised many teams of clinicians and has presented widely on family systems applications to academic institutions, agencies and national & international conferences.

As part of her work at the FSI, Jenny supervises various health care professionals and organisations and is developing parent coaching programs and systems training for those in Family Businesses; and church and pastoral work.

Jenny’s was awarded a PhD at the University of NSW in 2017. Her research looks at parents’ experience of their adolescents’ mental health treatment


Book chapter, “Agents of Change: A Group of Women in a Shelter” in: Mutual aid groups, vulnerable populations, and the life cycle; Editors: Alex Gitterman,Lawrence Shulman. Columbia University Press, 1994.

Bowen Family Systems Theory and Practice: Illustration and Critique”; Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (ANZJFT) Vol.20 No.2 pp. 94-103. 1999.

Going Home Again: A family of origin approach to individual therapy”. Psychotherapy in Australia Vol.14 No.1 pp. 12-18. Nov 2007.

We Don’t Need Your Help, But Will You Please Fix Our Children? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (ANZJFT) Vol.29 No.2 pp. 61-69. 2008.

Is Bowen Theory still relevant in the Family Therapy field?: A discussion of common challenges and confusion about the usefulness of Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Approach.” Journal of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW Inc (CAPA) Quarterly Issue 3 pp. 11-17. 2008.

Inviting each partner out of the fusion:  Bowen Family Systems Theory and couple therapy.” Co-authored with Joanne Wright. The CAPA Quarterly.  pp. 17-20. Issue Two, 2010.

“Restless Bedfellows: Taking Bowen Theory into a Child-focused Adolescent Treatment Unit in Australia.” Chapter in Bringing Systems Thinking to Life Expanding the Horizons for Bowen Family Systems TheoryPublisher: Routledge. Edited by Ona Cohn Bregman, and Charles White. 2010.

Growing Yourself Up: How to bring your best to all of life’s relationships”. Book in press March 2012. Exisle Publishing.

Two therapists working “systemically” What are the similarities and differences?, Jenny Brown with comments from Laurie MacKinnon, Internal Paper

Bowen Family Systems Theory & Grief: thinking about variation in the grief response and recovery, Jenny Brown (appears as chapter in “Loss and recovery: responding to grief with the compassion of Christ and the skills of all Gods people.” Ed. Wesley M, Mosaic press, 2012).

Collaborative Approaches to Family Systems Supervision: Differentiation of Self, Linda MacKay & Jenny Brown, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy 2014, 34, 325–337.


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