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

Advanced Training Programs in Family Systems Theory and Practice



**Applications open for 2023 Core Program Enrolment**


It is required to have some engagement with Bowen family systems theory through prior FSI training or supervision.

This means having attended FSI seminars, conferences, reading groups or having had supervision from FSI faculty in your workplace. Only those who have done Bowen theory training at recognised Bowen network centres (e.g., The Bowen Centre Introductory course) are eligible to enter without having prior FSI training or supervision.

The following offerings are suitable training opportunities to build your knowledge of Bowen family systems theory:

  • Workshops**
  • FSI Conference
  • Systems in Ministry Symposium

Once you have completed a minimum of 6 hours FSI training, you may also choose to complete the following in-depth training prior to enrolling in a certificate program:

** Workshops, the Family of Origin Research Group and the Clinical Supervision Group count as credit towards certification. This means you can start to work towards the program requirements prior to enrolling.

It is also a requirement to have a workplace setting that provides relevant case examples for the Certificate stream you are enrolling in.

Certificate Streams

Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Systems Therapy 

The Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Systems Therapy is accredited by the Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT) featuring training in relationship systems thinking and clinical application with individuals, couples and families. It is ideal for already practicing clinicians from various disciplines – including social work, psychology, psychiatry, occupational therapy, nursing – wanting to gain theory and practice experience in working with couples and families, moving towards certification as a clinical family therapist with the Australian Association of Family Therapy.

Certificate in Family Systems Theory & Application

The Certificate in Family Systems Theory and Application provides an opportunity for those wanting to integrate systems thinking in the relationships they are working – for example those in human resources, business, coaching, education, nursing, non-government agencies, family support, disability, drugs and alcohol and mental health. (For those not wanting a clinical family therapy component)

If you are unsuccessful in securing an immediate place in the programs, there are spaces available in a range of FSI groups and activities throughout the year which count as Recognised Prior Learning toward future applications to the core programs. All FSI Workshops, Reading Groups, Family of Origin Research Groups and FSI Clinical Supervision Groups completed up to 8 years prior to enrolment all count as Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) towards core programs. This allows opportunity for people to choose workshops they are interested in, and space out their learning by enrolling in one-off groups and programs that still count toward a core program.

The next intake for core programs will be for January 2023. Applications for the 2023 intake are open throughout the year and will close 30 September 2022.

Applications for the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Systems Family Therapy and the Certificate in Family Systems Theory and Application are welcome and places will be offered in November 2022 based on the following:

Amount of RPL points the candidate has at the time of application 

The flexibility of the Family Systems Institute programs allows participants the opportunity to complete elements of the programs prior to enrolling in the 2 year core program. FSI Workshops, Reading Groups, Family of Origin Research Groups and FSI Clinical Supervision Groups all count as Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) towards the whole program. Applications are prioritised based on the amount of RPL a participant has completed at the time of application, which recognises their investment in their learning pathway over time. For example, someone who has completed a Family of Origin Research Group and 4 workshops (27 hours in total) at the time of application, will be prioritised over an applicant who has only attended 3 workshops (9 hours).

Date the application is received 

In the case that candidates share the same number of RPL hours, applications are ordered in terms of date received.

Suitability of candidature.

A reference letter must support the suitability of candidature as outlined in the application form.

More information

Information session

This recording is a great way to learn more about the core programs if you missed the information sessions earlier this year.


Responses to common questions regarding workload, assessments etc. for the three certificate programs are available.


Here is what previous graduates have said about the FSI Certificate program

The Certificate Program has given me a solid foundation in Bowen Theory – such a useful theory for understanding all human relationships, including my own. This theory has revolutionised how I work with clients and how I respond in personal relationships.  


I found the certificate program to be not only transforming of my clinical practice but also, my life and relationships.


This Certificate Program has provided me with an excellent opportunity to work on many aspects of my self, understanding my self, my family better and how we as humans function which has helped me in my home and work life immensely. 


The certificate program was the perfect way to do a deep dive into my family of origin and to thoughtfully work on my limitations as a therapist and as a person over a decent time frame to be able to try out different aspects of theory.  



Hear what some certificate members in their final year of participation had to say – the journey of learning to think for self.

Certificate members

(Jane Cooper, with comments from Lauren Errington, Anna Lloyd, Erla Newhouse & Ken Morgan)

To find out more about the programs, please download an enquiry form and return by email to    

The next intake will be January 2023. Places are subject to availability. Timeline for applications:

  • Application intake open throughout the year
  • Applications close: 30th September
  • Applications will then be reviewed on a case by case basis

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