The Systems Thinker - Center for Family Consultation's blog

The Gift That Never Stops Giving

Authored by Cecilia Guzman, M.S.

Back in 2004, I was introduced to Bowen Theory by a colleague of mine who gifted me some audio tapes of Dr. Bowen’s lectures. I was sold after listening to the first hour. It was the only psychological theory that truly made sense to me and I was hungry to learn more. Much of the affinity I felt toward Bowen theory resulted from my previous studies and career. My undergraduate degree was in Biology and my first career included doing research in molecular biology in the field that helped develop the statins for circulatory high cholesterol. Because Bowen theory is rooted in the natural sciences, I understood the language and ideas perhaps a tad better than others with no science background.

Soon after my initial introduction, another colleague mentioned there was a Bowen Center in Evanston, Illinois called The Center for Family Consultation. I quickly searched the internet and started attending conferences. I also joined a family of origin group. Both activities certainly expanded and improved my understanding of Bowen Family Systems Thinking (BFST) but I wanted more and quickly decided to apply for the Post Graduate Training Program (PGTP).

Bowen theory is a gift that never stops giving. The PGTP offered me a framework and access to BFST that one can only find and appreciate by experiencing in vivo learning. It is similar to discovering a wonderful hobby—let’s say– cooking authentic Italian cuisine and being offered a local grocery store that stocks all the necessary ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, porcini mushrooms, Arborio rice and Marcella Hazan* at your fingertips!

Many are the benefits of the PGTP for participants. Here are a few:

  • Classes offered by faculty provide an opportunity to access experts in BFST who apply this specialized thinking personally and professionally.
  • One reads more and is required to write about topics which imprint the concepts more strongly in memory.
  • One is afforded the opportunity to engage in useful discussions and is encouraged to ask questions and to test the theory (as good science should always do).
  • One’s Bowen network of resources and knowledgeable people greatly expands.
  • Finally, one’s knowledge of BFST increases exponentially and so does the ability to apply it.

I find that I never stop learning; understanding or appreciating the profound nature of any of the eight concepts and the PGTP provided the necessary foundation to continue expanding my knowledge. It is truly the gift that never stops giving and always improves one’s own functioning at home and in the office.

I encourage everyone to consider applying for the program to help improve your functioning at home and work. You do not have to be trained in the natural sciences. The program will teach you what is necessary. Give yourself the gift that never stops giving!

*Marcella Hazan is a famous Italian chef and cookbook author.

Cecelia Guzman

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