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

The Life and Times of Dr Murray Bowen

Jenny Brown in conversation with Dan Papero reveal a fascinating historical context for the development of Bowen theory as well as the world of psychiatry and the family therapy field that emerged after World War 2.

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Photos of Dr Murray Bowen –  credit:  Andrea Schara MURRAY BOWEN ARCHIVE : All the facts in the discussion presented in these pod casts can be validated and expanded upon in the documents in the archival record that exists at the National Library of Medicine (and is now open to researchers) and in the Bowen family private archives located in Williamsburg. Follow this link for more information.

Podcast 1: Bowen’s Growing Up Years

Our first podcast explores the growing up years of Dr Murray Bowen and his family background. This is all presented from the perspective of Dan Papero PhD, MSW who worked along side Dr Bowen for several years.

Podcast 2: Bowen’s World War 2 Experience and Early Psychiatry Training

Podcast 2 looks at Bowen in the 2nd world war and his shift to psychiatry.
“Following medical training, Murray Bowen served five years of active duty with the Army during World War II, 1941-46. He served in the United States and Europe, rising from the rank of Lieutenant to Major. He had been accepted for a fellowship in surgery at the Mayo Clinic to begin after military service, but Bowen’s wartime experiences resulted in a change of interest from surgery to psychiatry.”

Podcast 3: Bowen’s psychoanalytic training and work at Menninger’s

Dr Karl Menninger outside the Topeka Kansas clinic
Dr Karl Menninger outside the Topeka Kansas clinic

Podcast 3 looks at Bowen’s psychoanalytic training and work at Menninger’s. Dan Papero explores how his time at Menninger’s has had an influence on the development of Bowen theory. (Jenny Brown in conversation with Dan Papero)

Podcast 4:  Bowen’s NIMH research project

Bowen left Menninger’s in 1954 and began a historic family research program at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. This program, called the Family Study Program, involved hospitalizing entire families on a specialized research ward.

An excellent resource and further information on this research: (Amazon)

Podcast 5: Bowen and his Research in his Family of Origin

This podcast explores Bowen’s research with his own family and his ‘anonymous paper’ based on his 1968 conference presentation of his many years of effort to observe emotional process in his family of origin and to differentiate himself from his parental extended family.

Podcast 6: Bowen’s move to Georgetown University School of Medicine 

This podcast looks at Bowen’s move to Georgetown University School of Medicine – plus his multiple family research project.

Podcast 7: Bowen’s Training Initiatives

This podcast looks at Bowen’s training initiatives with the Georgetown Family Centre.

Photo credit: Andrea Schara

Podcast 8: The end of Bowen’s Life

This podcast explores the end of Bowen’s life and how he managed the final years of his professional life.

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