CFC Post-graduate Training Program—Online!

ONLINE Training Program

2021-2022 Session Starts September 10, 2021

The uncertainty of the turbulent times we are experiencing is challenging to everyone. Professionals who want to continue advanced training in their field, or stay current with new developments are no exception. CFC has been offering a unique, customized post-graduate training program in Bowen Theory and Practice for 40 years, and will continue to so in the 2021-22 academic year. However, in recognition of current conditions related to public health safety, as well as the difficult economic times, this year’s training program will address those realities in the following ways:

  1. The entire program will be conducted online using the teleconferencing system zoom, so that trainees and faculty can continue to meet as a group each month, without needing to travel or meet in person.
  2. The tuition will be reduced by 28% to $1800 for this academic year, 2021-2022.


After months of sheltering in place, as we venture out this fall to a “new normal”, we will still need to be prudent with regard to exposure to the Covid-19 virus. At the same time, we need to continue our life’s work; to continue learning, growing, and achieving our professional goals. Today is a good time to consider starting or renewing a personal journey of learning the richness of Bowen theory for yourself, to enhance your effectiveness as a member of your family, with clients, in your work systems and with other important social groups and the wider community.

What Makes Bowen Theory Unique?

Bowen theory is not a flavor of the month, a passing fad or a quick-fix. Deciding to learn Bowen theory means you are thoughtfully choosing a new framework for understanding how families and other social groups operate at the emotional level, and how the emotional system informs the thinking system, and vice versa. The ability to define a self involves the integration of the emotional and thinking systems. It is unique because it is grounded in biology, evolution, and neuroscience that is supported by a significant amount of research and practice conducted over the last 70 years. It offers a different way to observe and think about human relationships, one well suited to our modern world. Bowen theory demonstrates an important move from individual, cause and effect thinking to systems thinking. Learning systems thinking can propel your on-going development, not only as a professional, but also as an individual who is part of a family and many other social groups.

Another important distinction between Bowen theory and other theories of human behavior is that it is the only theory that addresses the human family as the basic unit of emotional functioning. Devoting a theory to the fact that members of families are mutually interdependent offers an important broader and deeper perspective, one that encompasses more than the individual, more than the current nuclear family, and goes as far up the family tree as possible. It leads one to a better understanding of the importance of context, and captures and examines the multigenerational emotional process that is playing out today, and which will continue into subsequent generations if it continues to be “out of awareness”. With a wider field of vision and a framework for understanding the facts as they come to light, the insights into your own life today, your family history, and your work systems can come forth in a way that is transformational. Such studies help you get better at modifying your own anxiety. Many of your own symptoms of anxiety may be relieved, and you become a more valuable resource to others at home and at work.

Plan for Self

Have you become more mature and confident during the pandemic and economic recovery period? Have you used this time as an opportunity for personal growth? Did you become the calm presence in the midst of this storm?  Are you prepared for future ones?

One way to do that is by studying with Bowen theory experts who have made it their life’s work to keep increasing their knowledge and understanding of human behavior from a natural systems perspective. They keep pace with the new developments in biology, evolutionary theory, and neuroscience that are revealing more and more about how the brain functions, epigenetics, and the mind-body connections that result in a variety of mental, physical and social problems. These problems don’t develop out of thin air. They are the result of the complexities of the individual human, the human family, and the environment in which we live. Bowen theory provides a framework for greater understanding of the complexity of human systems. It is a theory that grows deeper and richer over time, evolving with the growing body of knowledge about natural systems and human biology. It is a vehicle for a journey of a lifetime.

Program Description and Curriculum

Program Goals

  • Clinical theory—to understand how the 8 concepts of Bowen theory work together to provide a comprehensive view of the family system
  • Clinical consultation—to learn how Bowen theory is implemented in practice through presentation of case studies by trainees and live consultations by faculty
  • Natural systems theory—to keep pace with the growing body of scientific knowledge about natural systems
  • Family of origin consultation—to study one’s own family with consultation from a Bowen family therapist

Program Description

This post-graduate program is a continuous immersive process that helps students integrate Bowen theory into their lives. Students meet on the first Friday of every month for study of the core curriculum from 9:00am to 4:00pm central time via the teleconference program Zoom. Faculty members conduct the monthly meetings using a combination of lecture, videos, discussion and case study presentations and consultations by trainees, as well as two hours devoted to a family of origin consultation group. Between monthy sessions, students are expected to complete reading and/or video assignments in preparation for upcoming meetings, and to prepare writing assignments that provide an opportunity for reflection on topics covered in prior months’ meetings. Second year students are expected to also prepare and present a final paper on a topic of their choosing demonstrating their understanding of Bowen theory. Students continuing beyond two years are encouraged to define their own assignments, areas of study, and styles of presentations. The progam also includes 3 conferences a year. The conference fees are part of the tuition and post-graduate trainees are required to attend. These conferences include:

  1. Fall Conference: Daniel Papero, PhD in our guest faculty for the day. Dr. Papero discusses his latest thinking on Bowen theory concepts and shows one or more video of consultations he has recorded to demonstrate the application of theory in practice. Dr. Papero is a Bowen theory expert, practitioner, author, and member of the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of Family in Washington, DC. One-day conference held on a Friday in October.
  2. Winter Conference: Clinical Applications of Bowen Theory, includes a morning keynote presentation by a CFC faculty member, a video tape of one of Dr. Bowen’s presentations with discussion facilitated by CFC faculty. In the afternoon, conference attendees have the opportunity to select from workshops on clinical applications of theory presented by faculty and other experienced Bowen practitioners. It is a one-day conference held on a Friday in February.
  3. Midwest Spring Symposium: This is a two-day conference held the first Friday and Saturday in May. A keynote speaker speaks each morning: one keynote is given by Michael Kerr, MD, a Bowen theory scholar, and Dr. Bowen’s successor at the Georgetown Family Center, now the President of the Bowen Theory Academy in Islesboro, ME. The other keynote is given by a guest scientist, following in the tradition started in the mid 1970’s by Dr. Bowen, of inviting scientists to annual symposiums to make sure the theory stays grounded in the natural sciences. In addition, Bowen experts are invited from around the country to submit short papers on Bowen theory. The afternoons are devoted to presentation of the papers and panel discussions with the keynote speakers from the morning. The dialogue between guest scientists and the Bowen theory scholars and practitioners offers a special opportunity for trainees to engage in thoughtful, lively discussions of the latest research with individuals leading the way to the developments in Bowen theory and the natural sciences.


Completion of each full year program is required for 78 CEU’s. A limited number of hours can be made up with projects determined in consultation with the program director.

Application Deadline—August 1, 2021

Applications are being accepted beginning March 2021. To obtain a copy of the application and schedule a phone interview, contact Sydney Reed, MSW.

For further information, contact Sydney Reed, MSW.