Postgraduate Education & Training Series
*Distance Learning Available*

A Unique, Concentrated Course Of Study

The Series is a unique, concentrated course of learning and study of Bowen family systems theory with presentations by KC Center faculty and national guest lecturers. Participants are individuals with postgraduate degrees from a broad range of professional backgrounds who’ve had some exposure to Bowen family systems theory.

A Distinctly Different Theory

Bowen family systems theory is notably different from the long practiced and widely held individual, cause and effect way of thinking and approach to treating symptoms. Systems theory is a theory of human behavior and can be applied to all human problems.

The Family Emotional Unit

Bowen theory describes how families function. Murray Bowen identified the family as an emotional unit with patterned ways of interaction with various degrees of intensity. These repetitive ways of relating throughout an individual’s developmental years result in automatic ways of functioning especially under pressure. The family emotional system then is seen as the primary regulator of individual and family functioning.

Consistent With All Natural Systems

Bowen sought interdisciplinary dialogue with other natural systems researchers and scientists to keep the theory open to new scientific findings and consistent with how all natural systems function. Dr. Bowen made clear the theory would either be found to be consistent with all natural systems or would need to be modified. Toward that end Series presentations often include scientific information and participants are encouraged to question theoretical concepts and ideas given their own family and clinical experience as well current scientific information.

Overall Objective

The Training Series’ overall objective is to assist individuals in the study and learning of Bowen family systems theory. The Series encourages the practice of systems thinking and provides opportunities to apply theory in one’s personal and professional lives. The learning and application of theory often come with increased self-awareness and more mature, thoughtful functioning that has an eye to the long term best interest of self as well as that of the family and/or organization.


2017-2018 General Program Information

Monthly Program: September through May

Nine Class Days: DISTANCE LEARNING AVAILABLE FOR THIS SERIES!! 1) Meet in 2nd floor conference room, Northland Human Service Center, 3100 NE 83rd Street, Kansas City, MO  64119 – OR – 2) Join the class via online access (Zoom) starting in fall of 2017!

CEUs: A total of 54 CEUs are available

2016-17 Program Dates: The third Friday of the month: Sept 15, Oct 20, Nov 17, Dec 15, 2017; Jan 19, Feb 16, Mar 16, Apr 20, May 18, 2018

Time: 9:00am-4:00pm CST

Past Presenters: Lona Hardy, LCSW, Michael Kerr, MD, Robert Noone, PhD, Margaret Otto, LSCSW, Daniel Papero, PhD,  Kathy Riordan, LSCSW, LCMFT.

Dr. Michael Kerr’s Webcast Lectures

Michael Kerr, MD, Director Emeritus of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, Washington, DC, and current Director of the Bowen Theory Academy, Islesboro, ME, gives monthly webcast lectures on theoretical and clinical topics.

Group & Individual Consultation

The acquisition of Bowen theory requires learning the facts of one’s own family system, consideration of one’s own functional position and application of theory in one’s personal and professional lives.  Small group consultation time focuses on lecture material, family of origin, clinical and work systems challenges. Additionally individual consultation is available each month throughout the program year.

Trainee Responsibilities

  • Participate in lecture discussions
  • Practice thinking systems
  • Complete and discuss reading assignments
  • Consider facts and emotional process of one’s own family
  • Prepare for group and individual consultation
  • Apply theory to family, clinical and work problems
  • Prepare end of year presentation and paper

Application Process

  • Contact or 816-436-1721, ext. 4.
  • Complete and submit application form with $50 administrative fee
  • In-person interview
  • Receive letter of acceptance and make tuition payment
  • EXTENDED DEADLINE TO APPLY:  August 30, 2017