2018 Summer Conference

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Friday, July 20, 2018

From Family to Society: The Broad Scope of Bowen Systems Thinking

Katharine Gratwick Baker, Ph.D.

Bowen Family Systems Theory applies to all human systems, large and small. As he was creating a theory of the family as an emotional system, Murray Bowen was also taking notes on the functioning of larger systems. In 1974, he introduced the concept: Emotional Process in Society (EPS). In the years since he published this work, his ideas have proved to be prophetic. Others have continued to explore and expand the concept, applying it to various societies, international relations, politics, climate change, as well as to organizations.

Dr. Katharine Gratwick Baker is a leading researcher and writer on the concept of EPS. It has been far more than an academic project for her, as she has taken the ideas into her own family and community, into her career as a family clinician and executive coach, and currently into the founding of a “virtual village” in Northampton, MA.

Program Description

Dr. Baker will illustrate how Bowen theory has guided her thinking, research, writing, and on-the-ground projects—her personal “living of the theory” for more than 30 years. Dr. Baker will engage attendees with her many illustrations of how Bowen theory applies to all human systems, large and small. The richness of Bowen theory comes to life beginning with a description of Dr. Baker’s own family of origin and its relevant multi-generational themes. Then, moving through a deep dive into Bowen’s concept of Emotional Process in Society, she describes the various projects she has undertaken to flesh out the concept: research on the grandchildren of the Stalin purges, the translation of a gripping Gulag memoir, and case studies of US presidential candidates as well as terrorists.

“Dr. Baker will also show how Bowen’s concept of Emotional Process in Society inspired her to consult to business leaders and organizations, and how one can take the understanding of emotional process in the wider society back into one’s own family and community. The concept has influenced her participation on local government boards and provided a framework for founding a “virtual village” in Northampton, giving older people the opportunity to age in their own homes.”

Dr. Baker recently published “Emotional Process in Society: A Review and Expansion of the Concept,” in the journal, Family Systems. She is the co-author of the book, “Leading a Business in Anxious Times.”

Date, Time & Location

July 20, 2018

8:30am: Registration
9am to 4pm conference
Lunch break: noon to 1:30pm

The Carleton of Oak Park Hotel
1110 Pleasant Street
Oak Park, Illinois 60302

Tel: (708) 848-5000 | moc.letohnotelracnull@ofni

Free parking in Carleton Hotel parking lots
Hotel is one block from CTA Green Line




Registration Fees

$125 per person
Groups of 3 or more: $100 per person
Student w/ID: $90 per person

Early bird registration by July 10, 2018: $100 per person

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)

6 CEUs will be awarded. Approved for social worker, psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and professional counselor education credits.

For More Information

Please contact Stephanie Ferrera for additional information.