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Center for Family Consultation

Annual Fundraising Letter, 2020

In 1974, as he was extending the theory of the family as an emotional system to the larger society, Dr. Bowen saw indicators that mankind was heading into “crises of unparalleled proportions.”  He wrote: “The thesis here is that he might modify his future course if he can gain some control over …his instinctual emotional reactiveness, and begin taking constructive action based on his fund of knowledge and logical thinking.”  (Bowen, 1978.  281)

The seriousness and complexity of the social and environmental problems Bowen wrote about in the 1970s have become increasingly real in the decades since.  The global pandemic of 2020 may be the culmination of the disturbed relationship between our species and the rest of nature.  This year has presented us humans with a test of our adaptability, individually and collectively. For Center for Family Consultation, as for many organizations, the limitations imposed by the virus raised the question of how to continue our work in a safe, socially distant way.  

Our tech-talented faculty members and volunteers rose to the occasion, and we held the Annual Midwest Symposium, our first virtual conference via Zoom on May 1, followed by our summer and fall conferences.  In the quick shift to this new mode of operation, we discovered some advantages.  Putting the meeting online opened it up to a larger audience than would have been possible with an in-person meeting.   Without the breaks for socializing, we found that attention to the learning was more concentrated.  Going online with our “Post-Graduate Training Program” in the fall allowed us to increase the number of trainees and lower the tuition.  We also added a nine-month online leadership training program for businesses and organizations entitled “Leading a Business in Anxious Times.”  Our introductory course, “Bowen Family Systems Theory 101”, was presented twice this year due to increased demand, attracting people from all over the country.  Online learning is clearly in accord with our mission to develop and extend the knowledge and systems thinking that is the essence of Bowen theory.  

This is our once-a-year request for your financial help.  CFC’s faculty is all volunteer and your donation will directly support its programs and guest speakers.  Join us in this moment of great change and opportunity toward the “constructive action based on our fund of knowledge and logical thinking” that is called for in our time.  

Sincerely,

Center for Family Consultation Faculty
Stephanie Ferrera, Robert Noone, Sydney Reed, Leslie Fox, Kelly Matthews-Pluta, Lisa Moss, Cecilia Guzman, John Bell, Patty Sheridan