San Diego Bowen Family Systems Theory Live Zoom Conference


Conference Site: Live Zoom Conference

When: Friday, April 1, 2022. 8:00 am to 3:30 pm (PDT)

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

Conference Speaker
Daniel Papero, Ph.D., Senior Faculty member at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, Washington, D.C.
Conference Topic: Stuck! Functionally Helpless: The Challenge of Change and Progress

Darwin referred to the “struggle for existence” that faces all living creatures – a lifetime of challenge. The pressure to adapt to changing conditions waxes and wanes across a lifetime, but it never disappears. When that pressure to adapt intensifies, people respond with varying degrees of competency. Individuals, family systems, and broader societal systems often appear stuck, unable to shift their perception of their lives, their situations and unable to function more effectively and efficiently. Murray Bowen used the term “functionally helpless” to describe this “stuckness.” The functioning of the family system, impacted by internal and external pressures, repeats the same maneuvers over and over making little or no progress on addressing the challenges faced. Bowen theory’s answer to the dilemma lies in the concept of differentiation, an individual’s effort to shift functioning to greater effectiveness and efficiency while maintaining viable emotional contact with important other in the family system. This conference will describe the concept of functional helplessness and some of the factors that contribute to it. The clinical effort with the individual and/or the family aims at addressing the dilemma of functional helplessness by facilitating the effort of one or more family members to “function up” to improve the functional level of differentiation of self. This topic is timely and relevant considering the current world-wide challenges impacting the human species and life as we know it.

Course Content and Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the concept of functional helplessness as understood in Bowen Theory
  • Discuss the current scientific literature related to functional helplessness
  • Identify aspects of the “psychology” that contribute to functional helplessness
  • Describe the constellation of behaviors that indicate a state of functional helplessness in an individual, family system, and broader societal systems
  • Describe the challenge of change and progress under pressure
  • Demonstrate the clinical effort of one or more family members to improve their functional level of differentiation of self
  • Explain the role of the clinician when “lending a hand” to the process of differentiation of self

6.0 CE Credits (#SOU042) Southern CA Education & Training in Bowen Family Systems Theory & Psychotherapy is approved by California Psychological Association – Office of Professional Development (CPA-OPD) to sponsor continuing professional education for CA Psychologists. BBS accepts this approval for LCSW/LMFT/LPC. Southern CA Education & Training maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Daniel Papero, Ph.D. lectures both nationally and internationally on Bowen theory and is a former senior faculty member of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C. He is co-editor of the recently published article, The Family Emotional System: An Integrative Concept for Theory, Science and Practice (2015). Dr. Papero has been a yearly guest lecturer at Southern CA Education and Training in Bowen Family Systems and Theory conferences since March 2000.

Registration Cost:
$175.00 (Licensed & Others)
$125.00 (Unlicensed – Students, Trainees & Registered Interns)

Online registration now open!

Registration fully refundable, less cancellation fee, by March 11, 2022.

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.

To request accommodations for special needs, please contact Carolyn Jacobs, Psy.D.

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San Diego Bowen Theory Conference

San Diego Bowen Theory Conference - Online "Live" Zoom Conference. Registration Form. Friday, April 1, 2022. Click here to register.