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

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Conference Site: Online – Live Streaming Conference via Zoom

When: Friday, October 22, 2021. 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (PDT)

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

Conference Speakers & Topics:
Michael E. Kerr, M.D., Director of the Bowen Theory Academy Islesboro, ME. Director Emeritus of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C.
Conference Topic: “Systems Biology Meets Bowen Family Systems Theory”

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: What Difference do the Differences Make?”

Michael E. Kerr, M.D., Director of the Bowen Theory Academy in Islesboro, Maine. Director Emeritus of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C. – Dr. Kerr succeeded Murray Bowen as Director of the Georgetown Family Center in 1990 (Bowen Center for the Study of the Family). He is the co-author, with Dr. Bowen, of Family Evaluation: An Approach Based on Bowen Theory (Norton, 1988) and Bowen Theory Secrets: The Hidden Life of Families (Norton, 2019). His primary research interests have been the relationship of Bowen theory to evolutionary theory and the relationship of physical, emotional and social symptoms to family emotional process. His research interest also includes the development of a “Uni-disease” concept and explication of the process of differentiation of self. Dr. Kerr presents nationally and internationally on Bowen theory topics and has presented at annual San Diego conferences since 1999.

“Systems Biology Meets Bowen Family Systems Theory.” – Dr. Michael Kerr has long believed that for Bowen’s natural systems theory to be accepted by the natural sciences, it would require a systems theory of the individual. This development has become the province of “systems biology” over the last four decades. Much progress has been made, although a systems theory of the individual has not yet been fully developed, systems biologists are now recognizing the essential need for systems thinking in describing complex systems. The conference will address these ideas in a variety of different ways. Why is this an important step for Bowen theory? Bowen theory posits the possibility of broader systems thinking leading to emotional objectivity which permits a broader perspective on the human condition. Gaining emotional neutrality is important in the clinical application of Bowen theory: emotional objectivity inevitably leads to emotional neutrality. Emotional neutrality plus action leads to an increase in differentiation of self.

Course Content and Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the newest scientific discoveries in systems biology that are becoming part of public consciousness.
  • Describe the contribution that systems biology is making to solidify Bowen theory’s acceptance by the natural sciences.
  • Discuss Bowen theory’s unique understanding of the origins of chronic anxiety, in the individual and in the family.
  • Explain Bowen theory’s perspective on the human species in the context of the natural world.
  • Compare the distinction between cause-and-effect thinking and systems thinking.
  • Describe the giant step between systems thinking and a systems theory, and how closing this gap facilitates clinical application.

Kathleen Kerr, MSN, MA, CNS. Senior Faculty and Board Member of the Bowen Theory Academy, Islesboro, ME – 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 in Washington, D.C. from 1978 to 2012. She is a founding board member of the Bowen Theory Academy where she coordinates the Family History Data Base Project, which collects multi-generational family histories to study basic concepts in Bowen theory. Her major research interest includes: mother-offspring relationships, aging and the family, and applying Bowen theory to organizations. Ms. Kerr was invited to the Gombe Stream National Park and allowed access to Dr. Jane Goodall’s research data on the effect of mother-offspring relationships on adult behavior from the longitudinal chimpanzee studies.

“Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory: What Difference do the Differences Make?” – Attachment theory and Bowen theory have quite a few similarities. However, they also have some starling differences especially in the 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 (intensity) of emotional involvement 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 of origin and nuclear family, and in trying to lend a hand to others. Failure to understand the differences can be a major obstacle to Bowen theory’s concept of differentiation of self. The application of Bowen theory to clinical situations will be illustrated with clinical case presentations.

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 vs Continuum thinking.
  • Explicate the differences of Attachment theory and Bowen theory
  • Discuss how the differences in the two theories can take one to very different places in one’s understanding 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.

6.5 CE Credits (#SOU042) Southern CA Education & Training (SCTBT) is approved by CPA – Office of Professional Development to sponsor professional continuing education for California Psychologists. CA BBS accepts SCTBT’s provider approval status for CE Credits to LMFT’s/LCSW’s. Southern CA Education & Training (SCTBT) maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Registration Cost:
$185.00 (Licensed & Others)
$125.00 (Unlicensed – Students, Trainees & Registered Interns)

Online registration now open!

Registration fully refundable, less credit card fees, by September 24, 2021.

Upon completion of registration and prior to the conference, you will receive a Zoom invitation link to join the conference. More detailed information will follow.

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San Diego Bowen Theory Conference

San Diego Bowen Theory Conference - Online "Live" Zoom Conference. Registration Form. Friday, October 22, 2021. Click here to register.