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4 february 2022

How can we make use of the Bowen systems theory in our daily life?

How can we make use of the Bowen systems theory in our daily life?

The goal of Bowenforum Sweden is to share the knowledge about how we all will change our pattern of behavior depending on the level of anxiety that we are exposed to in the family, at work or in any other environment which is important in our life. A rare opportunity to get an insight in various research and applications from around the world will be available this summer.

Below you can find the presentation of three of our speakers who will come to Sörbyn in Swedish Lapland. Their presentations will show very different applications with good use of the Bowen systems theory.

Monday 11.20-12.00

Peggy Chan, M.Ed, RSW. Mrs. Peggy Chan was trained as a social worker B.Soc.Sc. at Hong Kong University and counselor M.Ed., University of Toronto.

Teaching and Learning Bowen theory in the local cultural context - Resources and challenges.

This presenter will discuss ways of addressing this issue through her experience of learning and teaching Bowen theory in her local Chinese cultural context. Resources and challenges will also be identified.

“By highlighting that Bowen theory is about studying how people vary in their functioning and about managing self, it clarifies that it is not about advancing one’s individual interests at the expense of the common good. Differentiation is about being thoughtful and emotionally separate which in turn will benefit the larger group that the person is in.”

Monday 15.25-15.55

Daniel Papero, PhD is a faculty member at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, DC.  

Dr. Papero has also contributed to the growing literature on Bowen theory and its application broadly to human problems. Most recently (2015) Dr. Papero served with Dr. Robert J. Noone as co-editor of a new book, The Family Emotional System: An lntegrative Concept for Theory, Science, and Practice.

Developing a systems model to assess family system functioning.
Dr. Papero will talk about the idea Murray Bowen had and often came back to, a system of family diagnosis or assessment. He believed that it would be possible to create a family diagnostic system that could be used alongside or even in place of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). In his portion of the book Family Evaluation, Michael Kerr proposed a general schema for such an assessment.

Monday 13.55-14.25

Marie Simonsson, M.Sc.

Manager and CEO for 20 years before deciding to study Management and Organizational Leadership at Springfield College, Mass. where she received a Master of Science and was a part time adjunct professor for two years there. The past 15 years management consulting and several board positions. Trains and consults with Bowen theory after having participated in the Post Graduate Training Program of the Bowen Center. Recently translated the first Bowen Theory literature to Swedish.

Anxious Organizations and Their Lack of Sustainability
An organization’s success or failure to implement and work with a sustainable decision-making process appears to be closely connected to its level of chronic anxiety. Anxious organizations with anxious leaders tend to prefer short term emotional solutions even if these are counter effective to the long-term rational goal of sustainability. The demands of sustainability in organizations are relatively new. Up until now sustainability in a company has often been thought to be equal to profitability. Rational CRS (Central Reservation System) have not resulted in sound organizations. Sustainability in the organizational environment has developed and today we expect the best performing organizations to work, live and think sustainability in their everyday procedures and decision making. This has in itself forced most organizations into unknown territory. As yesterday’s truths and behavior are no longer good enough management, employees often live with a heightened level of chronic anxiety due to a changing and more insecure future.


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