About Us

We develop and apply family systems theory, to assist people in their efforts to improve relationships

About Us

The Family Systems Institute provides a range of personal and professional development opportunities in Bowen family systems theory to people in mental health, counselling, leadership, faith communities, education services and other human service fields.

Our mission is to make Bowen family systems theory accessible for people to help assist them in navigating human relationships.

We believe that Bowen family systems theory offers greater self-awareness and that less anxiety is possible through a clearer understanding human relationships with this lens. Those who have studied and applied Bowen’s theory in their life and work report:

  • Increased self-awareness, responsibility and emotion regulation; and
  • Reduced anxiety through a clearer understanding of life’s relationships, particularly through focusing efforts and energy on things that are in their locus of control.

Because relationships are an essential part of our everyday life – at home, at work, in our communities – the Family Systems Institute is committed to providing opportunities for people to engage with the learning and application of the theory in their own lives in a range of contexts:

  • Training for clinicians and counsellors wanting an in-depth understanding of the theory and its application for their therapeutic work
  • Training for people in workplaces, education services, community organisations and other fields who are interested in the theory and its application for building healthy relationships in their own contexts
  • Training for clergy and other religious leaders who are interested in the theory and its application in their communities
  • Family of origin research opportunities through groups or individual programs which guide people to thinking about the theory and its application in their own multigenerational family
  • Supervision for individuals and groups is available for individuals or organisations who are interested in applying the theory and thinking about its application in their own work context or team
  • Individual, couple and family counselling with a family systems approach is available from the Family Systems Practice, our partner organisation.

Current post modern debates “have enlarged our thinking and teaching, but have not necessitated any basic change in our family therapy model, which includes all levels of the system from the biological and intrapsychic level of the individual, through the family level, to the socio-political-cultural context, and on to the ecological…

Thus Bowen theory, the most elaborated theoretical system in the family field, and perhaps the least understood and appreciated, has obviously tapped into something more than one person’s vision of the family as an emotional system. Bowen theory provides a set of principles that are sound enough, profound enough, and flexible enough to be applied to human situations, conditions, and dilemmas not yet dreamed of.

– Betty Carter & Monica McGoldrick, Forward to Reweaving the Family Tapestry. Ed F Herz Brown 1990.

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