San Diego Bowen Theory Conference - Online "Live" Zoom Conference


Conference Site: Online – Live Streaming Conference via Zoom

When: Friday, July 9, 2021. 9:00 am to 12:30 pm (PDT)

Sponsored by: Southern CA Education & Training in Bowen Theory, Carolyn Jacobs, Psy.D. (PSY15774), Director.

Conference Speaker: Kathleen B. Kerr, MSN, MA, CNS. Senior Faculty and Board Member of the Bowen Theory Academy, Islesboro, ME.

Conference Topic: Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory: Do the Differences Make Any Difference?

Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory have quite a few similarities. However, they have some startling differences especially in their assumptions about the underlying processes that create problems for people. Currently our society is permeated by the deprivation hypotheses of Attachment Theory. That is, if someone has a problem, this reflects their receiving too little or the wrong kind of parenting. Bowen Theory is 180 Degrees around the horn, which focuses instead on the intense emotional involvement of people with each other as generating problems. Bowen Theory focuses on the degree of emotional involvement of people with each other rather than the tone (style/type) of that involvement.

Currently, both Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory are respectable theories of human behavior. It is not a matter of which theory is right. However, each theory will take you to very different places in understanding your own behavior, your family and in trying to lend a hand to others. In particular, failure to understand the differences can be a major obstacle to Bowen Theory’s seminal concept; the process of differentiation of self.

This half-day (3.5 hours) conference will present the similarities and differences of the two theories and the importance of the differences for therapy. The application of Bowen Theory to clinical situations will be illustrated with clinical case presentations. There will be ample time for discussions and Q&A.

Course Content and Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the historical and cultural context of theory development: Bowlby’s Attachment Theory and Bowen’s Family Systems Theory.
  • Discuss the evolutionary research base for the two theories.
  • Compare and contrast the basic foundations of the two theories: Typology thinking (Ainsworth, – non-reciprocal, separate interactional behavioral systems in mother and child) vs. Continuum thinking (Bowen – reciprocal co-created relationship between mother and child in the context of the family emotional system).
  • Explicate the differences of Attachment Theory, “too little or the wrong kind of parenting” and Bowen theory, “too much parental involvement; fusion with a positive or negative valence on a continuum.
  • Discuss how the differences in the two theories can take one to different places in the evaluation of self and in one’s clinical work with others.
  • Demonstrate the application of Bowen theory through a clinical case presentation; the problem of too much parental involvement, the role of anxiety and differentiation of self, how the multigenerational patterns of behavior can be replicated in the next generation, and the impact on adult partner selection and life choices.

3.0 CE Credits (#SOU042) – This conference is approved by the CPA-Office of Professional Development (CPA-OPD) to sponsor professional continuing education to CA PSY/LCSW/LMFT. Southern CA Education & Training maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Kathleen B. Kerr, MSN, MA, CNS is a nurse clinical-specialist and has a private clinical practice in Islesboro, ME. Ms. Kerr is a researcher and a published writer. She presents both nationally and internationally on Bowen theory topics. She was on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family from 1978 to 2012. Ms. Kerr is a founding Board member of the Bowen Theory Academy where she coordinates the Family History Database Project, which collects multiple multi-generational family histories to study basic concepts in Bowen Theory. Her major research interest includes: mother-offspring relationships, aging and the family, applying Bowen theory to organizations, and applying Bowen Theory to the emergency room setting. Ms. Kerr was given access to the research data from the longitudinal research on chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park begun by Jane Goodall, Ph.D. to research the effect of mother-offspring relationships on adult behavior.

Registration Cost

  • $105.00 (Licensed and Others)
  • $75.00 (Unlicensed – Students, Trainees and Registered Interns)

Online registration now open!

Upon completion of registration and prior to the conference, you will receive an invitation link to join the conference via Zoom. More detailed information will be sent to access the conference.

Registration fully refundable, less credit card fees by June 15, 2021.

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San Diego Bowen Theory Conference

Online Live Streaming Bowen Theory Conference featuring Kathleen B. Kerr, MSN, MA, CNS. Registration Form. Friday, July 9, 2021. Click here to register.