Dedicated to the Development and Dissemination of Bowen Theory
Why I'm Attending the 56th Annual Symposium on Family Theory and Family Psychotherapy
Thoughts from Registrants
I was introduced to Bowen family systems theory early in my career as a United Methodist pastor. Initially, systems thinking helped me manage myself in relationship triangles in the congregation, especially during times of heightened anxiety. Over time, I began to see the importance of applying Bowen theory to the family. The concept of differentiation of self has made all the difference. I attend the Annual Symposium because of the top-notch thinking presented and discussed. In addition to the stimulating ideas, I particularly enjoy hearing about the latest research that is relevant to Bowen theory from the Distinguished Guest Lecturer and others in the Bowen network. Without fail, I return home with ideas of how to function better as a leader in my congregation and in my family.  
—  John Bell, MDiv
Senior Pastor 
Wesley United Methodist Church
Aurora, IL
I was getting my Master's when I attended my first conference, and have continued every year since. Each Symposium has given me a space to breathe, think, and get perspective. Being part of the dialogue between Bowen theory and other scientific fields has helped me grow both professionally and personally in unexpected ways. At these meetings I feel much like the naturalist, chasing birds, butterflies, or looking under rocks, believing that if I could see what I'm studying more clearly, it just might tell me something greater about the nature of things.
—  Guillermo Cancio-Bello, MS
Marriage and Family Therapist
Miami Shores and Coral Gables, FL
Each fall and spring I head to the mothership of Bowen theory. It is my version of the Great Migration. I began to attend the Symposia to connect my participation in the Postgraduate Training Program with exposure to scientific research, new ideas, and viewpoints. I continue to attend because I carry home a perspective or question that deepens or challenges my perspective on work, family, community, and the world. That impacts how I am present as a family member, pastor, teacher, and non-profit leader.
—  Emlyn Ott, DMin
Director of Doctor of Ministry Programs and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Leadership at Bexley Seabury Seminary
Chicago, IL
Executive Director of Healthy Congregations, Inc.
Delaware, OH
To me, the Annual Symposium at the Bowen Center represents a rare opportunity to think broadly about the complex problems that humans face on planet Earth without leaving the domain of natural science. It is so common to attend events where a specialized topic is presented in detail. But, I find it hard to find forums that consider the generalist view without becoming overly philosophical, political, or personal. For example, Bowen theory itself adds a few ideas about how the human family contends with the challenge of survival, but the Symposium provides a chance to consider how these ideas fit into the behavior of natural systems in general. The Symposium has generated the most intriguing lectures and discussions along these lines that I have ever attended. 
—  Patrick Stinson
Clinic Intern
Bowen Center for the Study of the Family
Washington, DC
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