Bowen Theory and Meditation

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Deadline: FEBRUARY 7, 2021

The study group on Bowen Theory and Meditation is intended for individuals who already have knowledge of Bowen Theory, meditation or mindfulness, and seek to further their independent studies of these topics. While each member of the study group is on a self-directed learning path; the common theme in this study group is to understand how Bowen theory, science, and meditation and/or mindfulness practices (eastern and/or western) intersect, i.e., how they are similar, different and/or synergistic. The study group is for people interested in working on such ideas, and who would benefit from presenting their ideas and listening to the ideas of others.


History of the Study Group

At Bowen Theory and Mindfulness, the 2016 Center for Family Consultation (CFC) Summer Conference, six practitioners of Bowen Theory presented on commonalities and differences in these two bodies of knowledge, including the Bowen theory concepts of differentiation of self, and its core principle of chronic anxiety. The Summer Conference grew out of a CFC study group that began in 2014 and stimulated a thoughtful discussion among presenters, CFC faculty and the audience members. Continuing in 2017, and accepting new members, the study group expanded its general purpose “to examine mindfulness and meditation theory and practices through the lenses of Bowen Theory and science, including the applicable neuroscience”. Meeting via online video-conference, the study group provides a forum for development, presentation, and discussion of individual study projects for professional use. In 2020, the members plan to continue working on their projects and open membership in the study group to include others who may be interested in looking at mindfulness and meditation through the lens of Bowen theory and science.


Study Group Mission

To develop scholarly work that explores meditation and mindfulness through the lenses of Bowen theory and evidence-based science. The following are examples of the kind of questions that members are exploring: What is self? What is the relationship between meditation theory and practice and Bowen theory and practice? What does knowledge of meditation add to the exploration of the balance between individuality and togetherness forces? Can meditation contribute to our understanding of higher stages of differentiation of self? Can meditation traditions contribute to the development of Bowen theory? Can Bowen theory contribute to the development of meditation tradition/practices


2021 Program Coordinators

Lisa Moss, Leslie Fox, Erik Thompson, and Marla Zipin


Operating Assumptions & Criteria for Participation in the Study Group

    1. The group will be a forum for those with a keen interest in the relationship between the theory and practice of Bowen theory and meditation, including their relationship to neuroscience. Each member will work toward defining a scholarly project for professional use or presentation in some format and forum. “Scholarly” work is defined as literature review, presentation and refining of ideas, writing, research, and the like. The study group meetings will be 90 minutes.


    1. Each member of BTM will be responsible to present during at least one meeting during the course of the year. The presenter will be responsible for the first half of the 90-minute meeting as follows:
      1. Select a topic beforehand
      2. Identify and email a reading assignment on your topic (10 pages or less) to the participants, along with a few prep questions on the reading.
      3. The presenter will facilitate a 15-minute discussion on the reading assignment.
      4. The presenter will prepare and present a 15-minute presentation
      5. They will then participate in a 15-minute facilitated conversation


    1. 40 minutes will be allotted at each meeting for an open discussion facilitated by one of the program coordinators. It will be an opportunity for members to share ideas and ask questions of their peers.


    1. Members will develop definitions of key terms from Bowen theory or meditation for themselves.


    1. The meetings will not emphasize working towards consensus between members.


Auditing Option: For individuals interested in thinking more about how Bowen theory, science, and meditation and/or mindfulness practices (eastern and/or western) intersect, but are not interested at this time in creating a more formal study project, an auditing option is offered to individuals who agree to attend and participate in the discussions of the readings and following presentations.

Study Group Logistics


Meets Monday’s at 10:30am to 12:00pm CST.
Starts February 8, 2021

The study group will meet 7 times in 2021 via video conference on February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14, September 13 and November 8.

Video Format

CFC will provide video technology to support the scheduled study group meetings via the internet using the application. Participants must have their own computer or mobile device with a camera to access the video conference.



Register Now

The registration deadline is February 7, 2021.

Registration Fee: $200.00

1.5 CEUs for each session attended, approved for Social Workers, Professional Counselors/Clinical Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists and Clinical Psychologists


For More Info

About joining the study group or auditing to participate in discussions, please contact the CFC administrative program coordinators: Lisa Moss or Leslie Fox.