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 Study Group on “Death and Chronic Illness in the Family” (Edited by Peter Titelman & Sydney K. Reed, 2018)

Death is a natural cycle of life. Every family will experience a death in their family at one time or another. Some deaths are more tragic and unexpected than others that may have long lasting effects on the surviving members of the family while others may be natural and expected. Nevertheless, when death comes, it still upsets the homeostasis of the existing family system. How does one cope and adjust to these changes and effects?

This study group will read through the chapters of “Death and Chronic Illness in the Family” edited by Dr. Peter Titelman and Ms. Sydney Reed to learn how one can go back to their family history to have clearer insights on how deaths and chronic illness affect the family’s functioning and how one can turn the tide from adverse effects to positive growth that can build stronger reconnection with the extended family to have better relationships.

The book “Death and Chronic Illness in the Family” comprises 4 parts: 1. Bowen Theory perspectives on death in the family, 2. Death in the Therapist’s own family, 3. Chronic illness in the therapist’s own family and 4. Death in clinical practice. The study group will cover 3 parts of the book.

The study group will be divided into 3 batches. Participants can choose any one batch to join or any combination of the batches to discuss the chapters. Participants are expected to read the chapter in advance and be prepared to discuss their insights and take away and how they can observe and apply their insights into their own family research. 



  • This study group is for those who have attended Bowen Theory Basic Course, Growing-up When Faced with Death in the Family or have at least some basic concepts of Bowen theory.
  • Participants must have a copy of the textbook and are expected to read the chapter before attending the study group.
  • Participants are expected to come prepared to discuss the chapter and reflect upon their own functioning patterns at the study group.



  • To promote self-learning of Bowen theory
  • To promote understanding of Bowen theory’s perspective regarding death and chronic illness in the family
  • To promote participant’s initiative to identify concepts of interest or of challenge to self
  • To enhance integration of the theory



Course Code: SG-DCI 03/21 SG-DCI 04/22 SG-DCI 05/22
Chapters & Topics: Chapters 14 – 18
“Death in clinical practice”
Chapters 5 – 9
“Death in the therapist’s own family”
Chapters 10 – 13
“Chronic illness in the therapist own family”
Date & Time: Oct 12, Nov 9, Dec 7, 2021 & Jan 4, Feb 8, 2022
7:00 – 9:00 pm
(5 sessions, 10 hours)
Feb 8, Mar 8, Apr 12, May 10, Jun 14, 2022
7:00 – 9:00 pm
(5 sessions, 10 hours)
Jul 7, Aug 9, Sep 13, Oct 11, 2022
7:00 – 9:00 pm
(4 sessions, 8 hours)
Fee: HK$150 / session (COF Membership: HK$140 / session)
HK$720 / 5 sessions (COF Membership: HK$680 / 5 sessions)
HK$150 / session (COF Membership: HK$140 / session)
HK$720 / 5 sessions (COF Membership: HK$680 / 5 sessions)
HK$150 / session (COF Membership: HK$140 / session)
HK$570 / 4 sessions (COF Membership: HK$530 / 4 sessions)
Venue: International Social Service Hong Kong Branch, 6/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.  
Target: Participants should have had basic training in Bowen theory.  
Facilitator: Ms. Berenice Lee, M. Counselling  
Language: Cantonese supplemented with English  



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.



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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