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Module A: Basic Course in Bowen Family Systems Theory

This course teaches systems thinking and the practice of it. Systems thinking broadens our perspective, enhances our objectivity, and lessens blame on others. An important area of study in this course is our emotional interdependency on our family members and our multigenerational family system which will throw light on how we can function more effectively in our family and significant relationships.

Bowen theory provides a comprehensive framework for the conceptualization of clients’ problems and a road map for treatment strategies. Hence, it is of great use to helping professionals. The instructor will also share personal examples of applying the theory in her daily life and clinical work and everyday practical scenarios that illustrate it. Living the theory in one’s own life is an essential aspect of the study.

 

Dilemmas that you might be facing

Our relationships with others can be full of puzzles and dilemmas.

  • You are annoyed with your partner or even hate each other, but you cannot live without each other.
  • You have tried your uttermost to help the less adequate member of your family, only to find him /her more and more dependent on you! You are at breaking point. Yet, you fear disaster if you withdraw your support for this helpless person. You feel trapped and helpless.
  • You take great care not to follow your parents’ footsteps and avoid committing their mistakes, only to find that your child is still suffering.

The pandemic with the concomitant impact on social relationships, job insecurities, and political instabilities pose further challenges to our peace of mind and connection with others.

 

About Bowen theory

Bowen theory helps you make sense of these dilemmas and learn practical ways of solving life problems. It also facilitates the conceptualization of clinical cases which greatly improves therapeutic outcomes.

Bowen theory is a theory about relationships developed by the late psychiatrist, Dr. Murray Bowen. The theory sees man and the human family as part of nature. It posits that the human family and social groups are governed by the same relationship processes that regulate other living organisms. It provides a comprehensive framework about human behaviour, (especially our automatic emotional reactions to others). It also offers strategies to deal with interpersonal difficulties and ways to manage self. Differentiation of self is the cornerstone of the theory. It is the capacity to undertake thoughtful and responsible actions, even under emotional pressure, and maintain meaningful connections. It is an essential quality for problem-solving and resilience.

Course Objectives

  • To provide introduction to the basic concepts of the Bowen theory
  • To enhance awareness and application of systems thinking to our life
  • To facilitate participants to learn to define self, and to practice being a “responsible self” in relationships
  • To facilitate conceptualization of clinical cases

Course Content

  • Family as an emotional system and an emotional unit –
  • Chronic and acute anxiety
  • The two life forces – the force towards togetherness and the force towards individuality – “Why do I have to follow your way?  Can’t I have my own say and my own way of life?”
  • The guidance systems for human
  • The eight emotional processes –
    • Differentiation of self,
    • Triangles,
    • Nuclear Family Emotional Process,
    • Family Projection Process,
    • Multigenerational Transmission Process,
    • Emotional Cut-off, Sibling position and,
    • Societal Emotional Process
  • Defining a self in the systems and learning to think system
  • Introduction to doing research of one’s family of origin and drawing family diagram

Course Details

Course Code:   BC 47/21 (Cantonese)
Date & Time:  June 12, 13, 14, 2021 (Sat, Sun & Mon) 
9:30 am – 1 pm, 2 pm – 5:30 pm
(3 days, total: 18 hours)
Fee: HKD $4,000  (COF Membership: HKD $3,800)
Venue: International Social Service Hong Kong Branch, 6/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, hong Kong.
Target: Helping professionals and anyone interested in personal and family betterment
Instructor: Ms. Berenice Lee, M. Counselling
Language: Cantonese supplemented with English

 

Instructors

Mrs. Peggy Chan    B.Soc.Sc., M.Ed., R.S.W.

Mrs. Peggy Chan is presently Director of Programme, ISS Family Institute, International Social Service Hong Kong Branch. Mrs. Peggy Chan started her study of Bowen theory in the early 1990s in Vancouver. She continues her study of Bowen theory through attending the Postgraduate Program on Bowen Family Systems theory and Its Applications at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, Washington DC, U.S.A. from 2008-2013, and the Bowen Center’s Research Seminar group since 2013. She is a member of the Bowen Center’s Network Program for the Advancement of the Bowen Theory since Nov. 2014, and collaborates with other Bowen theory training centers around the world to promote better teaching and learning of Bowen theory. She was a plenary speaker of the First International Conference on Bowen Family Systems Theory, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. in August, 2015.  Besides conducting training programmes on Bowen theory in Hong Kong, she has presented at conferences and workshops in China, Taiwan, and U.S.A. Working closely with non-governmental organizations, she conducts programmes for parents of school children and parents of substance abusers based on Bowen theory.

 

Mrs. Peggy Chan was trained as a social worker (B.Soc.Sc., HKU), and counselor (M.Ed., U. of Toronto) prior to her family systems training. She has over 20 years of experience in counseling individuals and families, conducting clinical supervision, and training professionals. Her areas of specialization include marital and women‘s issues, sexual issues, loss and grief, parent-child relationship difficulties, and cultural adaptation. She is Adjunct Assistant Professor of the University of Hong Kong, teaching and supervising M.Soc.Sc. (Counselling) students since 2002. She is Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association, and also Approved Supervisor of the Hong Kong Marriage and Family Therapy Association.

Ms. Berenice Lee     M. Counselling

Berenice first learned about Bowen family systems theory in her Master of Counselling course in Australia in 2006. She has been an active participant in various courses, workshops and conferences with ISSFI since 2010. She is a member of the ISSFI Circle of Friends (COF) Think Tank right from the start and has helped to organize programs for the Circle of Friends and Bowen Theory Conferences in many ways.

 

Berenice holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts in American Literature and Culture and Master of Counselling. She specializes in marital and family relationship counseling, parental guidance, personal coaching, psychotherapy for individuals, and workplace dynamics. She has a private practice in Hong Kong and uses Bowen theory as her framework that a person’s understanding of the effects of reciprocity will bring about a significant change for one’s whole family and the workplace.

Application

Please contact ISSFI at issfi@isshk.org if you are interested in this course when there is no upcoming course yet. 

 

You may download the application form as below, or proceed for online enrollment. 

Click here for application form in word format
Click here for application form in PDF format

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