Workshop 1

Narcissism, Addiction, and Bowen Theory

The heated communication in Dec. 2021 between the celebrated Mr. Wang Lee Hom (王力宏), singer, song writer, director and actor, and his ex-wife, Ms. Li Jinglui (李靚蕾), over their controversial divorce has sparked off much interest and thoughts about issues such as narcissism and sexual addiction in addition to infidelity, and the role and position of woman in a marriage.


Narcissism is commonly portrayed as an individual pathology. The trait is derived from the myth of Narcissus, who became so entranced with the reflection of his image in a pool of water that he died fixated on his beauty. Freud adopted the name to describe behavior of extreme self-involvement to the degree that it makes a person ignore the needs of those around them. A constellation of traits, it lives on a continuum. The mildest form would be form of vanity or self-importance. In the extreme, with specific criteria in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual – V for psychiatric illnesses, it is diagnosed as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissistic people are often viewed in the popular opinion as having a sense of entitlement (that they believe they are superior to others and deserve special treatment), manipulative of others so that their own needs will always come first, need for admiration, arrogant, and lacking empathy. Diagnostic criteria give a more nuanced picture of ways in which the individual is dependent on others for self appraisal.


Likewise, the common belief is that addiction to sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling or video gaming, is an internal problem of the individual. Treatment solutions focus on the cognitive-behavioral functioning, spiritual condition and self-esteem of the individual. Mainstream opinion is founded in the Freudian assumption that these undesirable traits and behaviors in the individual are caused by early childhood experiences and inadequate mothering.


This workshop presents these two symptomatic behaviors of narcissism and addiction in the individual, from the family systems perspective.


  • What is the difference in basic assumptions from individual theories and from family systems theory?
  • How do these two symptomatic behaviours evolve or develop in the family system?
  • What parts do the symptomatic individual (the Identified Patient) and his relationship environment play in the culmination of such behaviour patterns?
  • What difference will it make if these two symptomatic behaviours are understood with the family systems perspective?
  • What are the treatment implications and strategies?


Course Details

Course Code:   WS 01/22
Date & Time:  June 4, 2022 (Sat)
9:30 am – 12 noon
Fee: HKD $500 /per workshop
(COF Membership: HKD $475 /per workshop)
HKD $900 /workshop 1 & 2
(COF Membership: HKD $855 /workshop 1 & 2)
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Target: Helping professionals
Instructor: Dr. Mercy Burton Russell, MSW, EDD
Mrs. Peggy Chan,  B.Soc.Sc., M.Ed., R.S.W.
Language: English

Workshop 2

Purely a clinical exercise –
Suppose you are the therapist of Mr. Wang Lee Hom (王力宏), and
Ms. Lee Jinglui (李靚蕾) …

Based on the information displayed through this couple’s communication on the social media, let’s re-construct and conceptualize the case, and discuss treatment strategies.


  • What framework guides you in understanding this case?
  • What emotional processes do you see in this family system?
  • What functional position(s) have Mr. Wong and Ms. Lee taken up?
  • How have these functional position(s) affected their relationship with each other and their functioning in the larger family system?
  • What questions would you ask of Mr. Wang and Ms. Lee during the session?
  • Considering Mr. Wang Lee Hom’s popularity and the media attention on his divorce from Ms. Lee Jinglui, what is the role of social attention on the family dynamics?
  • What would be your treatment strategy?


It is expected that the participants will take part actively and share their thoughts freely.

Please understand that this is a simulation exercise with the purpose to enhance curiosity, strengthen systemic understanding of the emotional functioning of families and individuals, and explore clinical application of Bowen theory in such a family situation.


Course Details

Course Code:   WS 02/22
Date & Time:  June 11, 2022 (Sat)
9:30 am – 12 noon
Fee: HKD $500 /per workshop
(COF Membership: HKD $475 /per workshop)
HKD $900 /workshop 1 & 2
(COF Membership: HKD $855 /workshop 1 & 2)
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Target: Helping professionals.
The participant should have attended workshop 1.
Instructor: Dr. Mercy Burton Russell, MSW, EDD
Mrs. Peggy Chan,  B.Soc.Sc., M.Ed., R.S.W.
Language: English


Dr. Mercy Burton Russell, MSW, EDD

Dr. Russell is a psychotherapist and leadership consultant with 30 years of experience in the application and teaching of Bowen Family Systems Theory in a wide range of clinical, social service, organizational and community systems settings. Trained in 1985 as a Clinical Social Worker at UCLA, she completed her postgraduate studies at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in 1995. In 2016 she completed her doctoral studies at the University of Vermont in Policy and Leadership Studies. Dr. Russellwas the founding President of the Vermont Center for the Study of the Familyin 1997 and has been a colleague in Programs in Bowen Theory in Sebastopol, CA. Both organizations belong to the Bowen Center for Family Studies Network. In her clinical work, she has substantial experience working with addiction issues, offering clinical service and program development in inpatient and outpatient chemical dependency treatment programs. She has consulted with child protective services and provided therapy services for victims of sexual abuse, sex offenders, sexually aggressive children as well as their families. In addition, she has conducted inpatient group therapy for adult, adolescent and child psychiatric patients. Dr. Russell incorporated Biofeedback and Neurofeedback in her clinical practice in the 1990s as a useful adjunct to therapy based in family systems. She is the speaker of the 2021 Bowen Theory Conference hosted by the ISS Family Institute and also a presenter at the 2nd International Conference on Bowen Family Systems Theory (2018) held in Hong Kong. She offered her rich knowledge and experience in working with young people, parents and children with special learning needs and mental health issues from the Bowen Family Systems perspective. Dr. Russell will present a family systems perspective on addiction and the behavioral phenomena labeled Narcissistic Personality Disorder in these two coming workshops. She hopes to bring new and refreshing perspectives to the role of the therapist and effective strategies for families of in these challenging situations.

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. She was trained as a social worker (B.Soc.Sc., HKU), and counsellor (M.Ed., U. of Toronto) prior to her family systems training. She has studied and practiced Bowen theory for 30 years, having attended the Postgraduate Program in Bowen Family Systems Theory and Its Applications for 5 years at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, Washington DC, U.S.A., and continuing her study in the Research Seminar Group of the Center since 2013. Peggy offers training, supervision and counselling services to families and individuals guided by Bowen theory. In her counselling work, her areas of specialization include marital and women‘s issues, parent-child relationship difficulties, and in-law issues. She is Fellow and Approved Supervisor (Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association), Approved Supervisor (Hong Kong Marriage and Family Therapy Association), and Certified Social Work Specialist (Hong Kong Academy of Social Work).

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    Public: HKD $500 /per workshopCOF Membership: HKD $475 /per workshopHKD $900 /workshop 1 & 2COF Membership: HKD $855 /workshop 1 & 2

    Workshop 1: June 4, 2022 (Sat) 9:30 am – 12 noonWorkshop 2: June 11, 2022 (Sat) 9:30 am – 12 noon

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