Bowen Family Systems Theory 101

New session starts Thursday, March 5, 2020.

Runs for 8 consecutive weeks from 10 to 11 AM.

Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) is a comprehensive theory of the family based on Dr. Murray Bowen’s view of the human as part of nature and the family as a natural system. Dr. Bowen developed a framework for describing the emotional process and identifying automatic patterns of behavior among family members.

This series of eight, one-hour lectures and discussions is conducted online using the free downloadable teleconferencing technology The program is designed to provide participants with a general overview of each concept of Bowen Family Systems Theory.

Bowen 101 covers:

  • Differentiation of Self
  • Triangles
  • The Nuclear Family Emotional System
  • Family Projection Process
  • Multigenerational Transmission Process
  • Emotional Cutoff
  • Sibling Position
  • Societal Emotional Process

A basic understanding of the eight concepts offers participants the opportunity to begin conceptualizing clinical cases through the lens of BFST. Gaining a new, broader perspective on behavior patterns in families can significantly improve outcomes of the therapeutic process.

Participants are encouraged to read Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta Gilbert. Other references will be recommended during the course.


Cecilia Guzman provides a passionate, engaged, and vulnerable overview of Bowen Family Systems Theory. Her willingness to share personal stories, respond to questions, and point to relevant studies make for a worthwhile investment of time. For Folks needing an introduction to Bowen Theory or for those needing a refresher, Guzman’s “Bowen 101” is helpful.

—William Lee Mangrum, Durango, CO


Participation will require video conferencing capabilities through (at no additional expense). There you can download a free version of the software or head to an app store. A computer, tablet, or smartphone with microphone and video camera are required. Prior to each session, participants will receive by email a meeting ID# and instructions for logging on.


Registration Fees

Participant fees are $400 for the series of 8 lectures.


Earn up to 8 CEUs with full-series attendance! The program is approved for social worker, psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and professional counselor education credits. For further information, contact Cecilia Guzman.

Meeting schedule for upcoming program

The next class meets for 8 consecutive weeks at 10:00am on Thursdays starting Thursday, March 5, 2020.

Additional Information

Please contact Cecilia Guzman, the Faculty Coordinator.