2019 Summer Conference

Register Now
Deadline: July 13, 2019

Friday, July 19, 2019

Family-of-Origin Work: Taking a new look at your family through the lens of Bowen theory

The study of one’s family of origin and ancestry can be fascinating by itself. Family research generally leads to a wider and more objective view of the family, which in turn can lead to better understanding and appreciation of one’s family.

Bowen theory takes the study of families to a deeper level. Viewing the family as an emotional system, with its triangles, reciprocal functioning, relationship patterns that repeat over generations, and its shifting levels of anxiety, reveals what Michael Kerr calls “The Hidden Life of Families.”

Seeing the family in this different way leads to a new way of thinking about the family…at its best and at its worst. Most importantly, it leads, gradually, to seeing oneself as part of the system. It opens up ideas and options for changing one’s own part. Kerr states:

“The effort boils down to using the lens of theory to think differently about family problems and acting based on the new way of thinking.”

This is the process of differentiation of self, of gaining personal maturity and greater responsibility for self. The gains in maturity that one achieves in one’s family of origin carry over into all other relationships.

Program Schedule

Onsite Registration

9:00am to 10:30am
“Family of Origin Work: History, Purpose, Process”
Stephanie Ferrera, MSW

10:30 to 10:45am

10:45 to Noon
“Autonomy and Connectedness across the Generations”
Robert Noone, PhD

Noon to 1:30pm
Lunch Break

1:30 to 3:00pm
“Differentiation of Self”
Video tape presentation by Murray Bowen, MD and Michael E. Kerr, MD
Discussion: Faculty presenters and program participants

3:00pm to 3:15pm

3:15pm to 4:30pm
“What does it mean ‘Being in contact with, but outside of an emotional system?’ A brief review of my efforts in family of origin work and my ‘Aha’ moment”
Cecilia Guzman, MS


Conference Presenters

Stephanie FerreraStephanie Ferrera, MSW studied with Murray Bowen in the Post-Graduate Training Program in Family Systems Theory at Georgetown University Family Center from 1978 to 1980. She has published book chapters and journal articles, and is on the editorial board of Family Systems, the journal of The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. Stephanie became a partner in Center for Family Consultation in 1980. She is in private practice of individual, marital, and family therapy in Oak Park, and is a mother of six, grandmother of seven.

Robert NooneRobert Noone, PhD has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than 40 years, is founding faculty of the Center for Family Consultation, and maintains a private practice in Evanston, IL. Dr. Noone is also a member of the faculty at The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, DC, and is the editor of Family Systems: The Journal of Natural Systems Thinking in Psychiatry and the Sciences.

Cecelia GuzmanCecilia Guzman, MS has been in private practice since 2002 where she was introduced to Bowen Theory by a colleague early in her career. She became a faculty member at the Center for Family Consultation in 2013. Cecilia has presented on various topics within Bowen theory to audiences in Chicago and Pittsburgh.

Date, Time & Location

Friday, July 19, 2019

8:30am: Registration
9am to 4:30pm conference
Lunch break: noon to 1:30pm
The Carleton of Oak Park Hotel
1110 Pleasant Street
Oak Park, Illinois 60302

Parking is free in all Carleton Hotel lots



Registration Fees

$125 per person
Students with ID: $90 per person

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)

6 hours approved for social worker, psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and professional counselor education credits.