Volume 6 Number 3Spring 2022
Review of Dr. Robert Noone's book:
by Stephanie Ferrera
Murray Bowen described his life’s work as “an odyssey toward science.” Drawing from knowledge of evolution, biology, and the natural sciences, he studied the human family and created an original theory that significantly advances the science of human behavior. His goal was to bring a greater level of scientific objectivity to our understanding of our own species.

Dr. Bowen trained a generation of psychiatrists and students of human behavior. A number of them went on to create what I call a “community of Bowen theory scholars.” They have founded training centers, pursued research and writing, and, most importantly have engaged with scientists across many disciplines to explore both the common ground and the differences between Bowen theory and other theories of human behavior.

In the forefront of this group is Dr. Robert Noone, a founder and faculty member of the Center for Family Consultation. His career began in the 1960s as a member of a crisis intervention team in a state mental health hospital. This job provided the golden opportunity to visit symptomatic patients in their own homes, to observe family interaction, and to see the adaptability of family members in finding resources and solving their own problems. In his new book, Dr. Noone describes how this powerful experience influenced his thinking: “I was hooked. A novel and exciting way of viewing human behavior was underway.” (p. 6)
Self and Family reflects the scope and depth of Bowen theory as the author has come to know it over five decades of study, research, teaching, and clinical practice. It encompasses a clear and comprehensive explanation of the eight concepts within the theory. It places the development of the theory within the historical context of Bowen’s groundbreaking research. One sees how Bowen’s clinical approach evolved alongside the expanding view of the family as a multigenerational system. The reader shares the excitement of discovery as the story unfolds. 

Dr. Noone has taken important steps forward on the odyssey toward a science of human behavior with wide-ranging study of the abundant knowledge of human evolution and behavior that has come from the natural sciences in recent decades. The reader is offered scholarly coverage of research from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, epigenetics, anthropology, physiology, developmental and social science. Through concise summaries of research, and well-selected quotes from scientists, one is introduced to some of the best thinking of principal investigators in diverse fields of research. Guided by Noone’s mastery of complex, integrative systems thinking, one begins to see the way areas of knowledge connect. Of special interest is Noone’s connection between the evolution of the brain and that of the family. The co-evolution of the brain and the family hypothesis proposes that the evolution of the brain and the family “have been inextricably woven together over the course of hominid evolution.” (p. 97)

A science of human behavior is clearly a work in progress and an open-ended expedition. Noone leaves us with a host of questions that await further study. In summary, this is a book for all who want to go more deeply into understanding the self, the family, and the great story of how we came to be the large-brained species that now dominates the natural world. It is for those who want to learn Bowen Family Systems Theory, for those who want to work on their own differentiation of self, for clinicians who want a solid conceptual framework for practice, and for the scientifically curious who want to follow the growing literature and exciting developments in the odyssey toward science that inspired Murray Bowen.
Registration is open for the 2022 Midwest Symposium!

39th Midwest Symposium
on Family Systems Theory and Therapy
May 6 & 7, 2022
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Online via Zoom

The Family Emotional System:
Its Influence on Behavior, Relationships, and Symptom Development

Featuring Keynote & Short Paper Presentations
and Panel & Audience Discussions
Keynote Speakers:
Michael E. Kerr, M.D.
President of the Bowen Theory Academy

"Systems Biology Meets Bowen Family Systems Theory: Implications and Likely Outcome"
"Highlights From 'Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking'"
Dr. Kerr is President of the Bowen Theory Academy in Islesboro, Maine and Director Emeritus of the Bowen Center for Study of the Family in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Family Evaluation and the recently published, Bowen Theory’s Secrets: The Hidden Life of Families.

Dr. Kerr’s research interests include cancer and family emotional process, the development of a unidisease concept, and the process of differentiation of self. His primary research interests have been the relationship of physical, emotional and social symptoms to family emotional process, and the process of differentiation of self in clinical work.
Kira A. Cassidy, M.Sc.
Research Associate with the Yellowstone Wolf Project

"Wolf Packs and Family Dynamics: Research from Yellowstone National Park on the Lives of Gray Wolves"

Kira Cassidy is a research associate with the Yellowstone Wolf Project where she started in 2007 following the Druid Peak and Agate Creek packs during the program’s intensive winter studies. Ms. Cassidy has continued to examine how wolf pack social behavior impacts the species’ life history and also how pack dynamics compare to other social mammals, including humans.
Daniel Papero, Ph.D.
Bowen Center for the Study of the Family

"The Composition of the Family System and Adaptive Success"

Dr. Papero is on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the book Bowen Family Systems Theory and co-editor of the book The Family Emotional System. He has been a frequent presenter both nationally and internationally on Bowen theory and family psychotherapy. Among his many interests is the development of a systems model for family assessment (Family Systems, 2018).
Other Presentations:

"Aging and Emotional Process Over the Life Course"
  • Mignonette N. Keller, PhD

"Societal Emotional Process"
  • Jim Edd Jones, PhD

"Extended Family and Development: An Evolutionary Perspective"
  • Robert J. Noone, PhD

"The Evolution of the Benefit of Stress"
  • Laurie Lassiter, PhD

"A Kind of Bridge: Neighborhood Leadership in the Wake of Violence"
  • Erik Thompson, MA

"Modeling in Science: A Requirement for Bowen Theory"
  • Patrick Stinson, PsyD

"Searching for Nature’s Rules"
  • Stephanie Ferrera, MSW

"Bowen Theory, Physics, the Arts, and Meditation"
  • Leslie Ann Fox, MA

"Preserving Vitality Later in Life Is the Same as in Early Life: Work on Differentiation Of Self"
  • Carrie E. Collier, PhD
CFC faculty presentations -
Spring & Summer 2022
Robert Noone, PhD, is presenting at the Western Pennsylvania Family Center's Symposium on Friday, June 10, 2022. The conference will be on zoom and the title of Dr. Noone’s presentation is: "Anxiety, Physiology, and Human Behavior".

Lisa Moss, MSW, is facilitating a series of in person workshops on resiliency for veterans at Cook County Jail on behalf of the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces. Her next workshop presentation will be in April. The American Red Cross also offers this program via Zoom as part of their Service to Veterans. The goal of each workshop is to provide a safe, educational space for participants to discuss challenges and concerns and learn the tools to build upon their natural resilience. The workshops are free and open to anyone with a military veteran affiliation. The website link above provides further information.
CFC Faculty in Print - Discount extended!
Special 30% Discount Offering

Lexington Books
Pages 228
Hardback - Oct 2021 - $100.00 (£77.00) After discount $77.00
eBook - Oct 2021 - $45.00 (£35.00) (coming soon) After discount $31.50

To order go to: https://Rowman.com/Lexington or call:
1-800-462-6420 and use code LXFANDF30

Bowen Theory and the Shaping of Adaptive Capacity
by Robert J. Noone, published by Rowman and Littlefield, 2021.

Family psychiatrist and researcher Murray Bowen’s effort to contribute to a science of human behavior led to the famous Family Study Project at NIMH and the later development of a formal theory of the family and its clinical application. Later known as Bowen theory, it represented a radical departure from the individualistic paradigm predominant in psychiatry. Following Bowen’s mode, this book examines the interplay between the individual and the family in shaping the differential capacity to effectively adapt to life’s many challenges.

Note: The publisher is offering a 30% discount using the information on this link: Family and Self: Bowen Theory and the Shaping of Adaptive Capacity

What is CFC faculty reading and viewing?
Luca, a wonderful animated movie for Bowen theory parents/grandparents with young kids. It’s about friendship, individuality and being a self in your family. It is in English but I think was originally in Italian and they left many delightful Italian phrases in place. Pure charm. Available to purchase $19 through Xfinity. - Kelly Matthews-Pluta

Encanto, a 2021 American computer-animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. It’s the story of a multigeneration family’s struggle to survive via over-the-top coping mechanisms. It’s a family therapist’s drama with multigeneration process, cutoff, differentiation and more. The music is by Lin-Manual Miranda and, in spite of being sung very quickly, rose to the top of the U.S. musical charts. Entertaining for all ages - Sydney Reed Streaming online.

Hoosiers. It is the movie to watch when you need to feel better about the world after watching the evening news. Called by some “the greatest sports story every filmed”, it documents the raise of a small town basketball team in Indiana to the state championship. Based on a true story, it is a wonderful description of individuals challenged to do their best managing intense emotional processes and rising to the occasion. - Sydney Reed Streaming online.

International Meeting Announcement

Managing Relations in a Changing World

Bowen Systems Theory in Organizations, Families and Communities

The Third International Conference will be held in Sörbyn,
Swedish Lapland, Sweden June 13-15, 2022

CFC Postgraduate Training Program: Applications now being accepted for the 2022-2023 Academic Year!

Program Goals

  • Clinical theory—to understand how the 8 concepts of Bowen theory work together to provide a comprehensive view of the family system
  • Clinical consultation—to learn how Bowen theory is implemented in practice through presentation of case studies by trainees and live consultations by faculty
  • Natural systems theory—to keep pace with the growing body of scientific knowledge about natural systems
  • Family of origin consultation—to study one’s own family and the part one plays in it with consultation from a Bowen family therapist

Program Description

This post-graduate program is a continuous immersive process that helps students integrate Bowen theory into their lives. Students meet on the first Friday of every month for study of the core curriculum from 9:00am to 4:00pm Central Time via the teleconference program Zoom. Faculty members conduct the monthly meetings using a combination of lecture, videos, discussion and case study presentations and consultations by trainees, as well as two hours devoted to a family of origin consultation group.
Between monthly sessions, students are expected to complete reading and/or video assignments in preparation for upcoming meetings, and to prepare writing assignments that provide an opportunity for reflection on topics covered in prior months’ meetings. Second year students are expected to also prepare and present a final paper on a topic of their choosing demonstrating their understanding of Bowen theory. Students continuing beyond two years are encouraged to define their own assignments, areas of study, and styles of presentations.
The program also includes attending 3 conferences a year. The conference fees are included in the annual tuition and post-graduate trainees are required to attend. Travel expenses are not included if a program is done onsite. In the 2022-23 the Fall Conference in October will be done on Zoom; the 2023 Clinical Day of Applications and the Midwest Symposium on Family Systems Theory and Therapy may be done on sight in Chicago depending on the status of the pandemic.

CEU’s: 78 per year

Tuition: $2000 per year

Application Fee: $100

Applications Being Accepted Now—Deadline: August 1, 2022

For further information go to the CFC website or email Sydney Reed, MSW

Upcoming - CFC’s Annual Conferences and Online Courses, Spring 2022

Monthly on Mondays from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM CDT
Next Sessions Meetings begin February 28, 2022

Guest Presenter: Amie Post, MA, LCMF
Executive Director, Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County, Inc. and Faculty, Bowen Center for the Study of Family

Friday, July 22, 2022
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM CST

CFC News published quarterly by Center for Family Consultation

"The goal...is to rise up out of the emotional togetherness that binds us all."
Murray Bowen, M.D.