Bowen Family Systems Streaming Video Presentations

Missed a conference? No problem! Living Systems Counselling is pleased to offer video streaming and downloading of past conference presentations and public lectures. The public lecture content and Family Matters UDC-TV series is free of charge (see below). The conference presentations can be purchased in whole or by individual segments. These videos are direct recordings of the live conference and have the flavor of a live recording vs. a studio recording. These are one of the kind sessions that are not offered anywhere else. All the conferences discuss Bowen Family Systems Theory and its practical application to family counselling and family therapy in the context of the conference topic.

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The Public videos listed below are free to watch and download. Conference videos all have trailers, on the first video in the series only, that provide an introduction to the Conference.

You pay for the videos on Vimeo where the videos are hosted. You will have to create a Vimeo account to do this if you don’t already have one. You will be able to stream and/or download the videos from Vimeo. While downloading will require approximately 1.5 GB of local storage, you will be able to watch the video anytime you wish for as long as you wish with no impact on your internet usage. Note: Living Systems Counselling cannot provide technical support on the use of Vimeo.

Please remember that your purchase of the video is for your personal use only. Contact us for group rates at Please let us know the size of the group.

Two Day Conferences

Chronic Illness and the Family
Dr. Steve Cole, Dr. Michael Kerr, and Joan Kurkowski. March 2018.

To watch the trailer or subscribe to the video click here.

Bowen family systems theory describes emotional patterns of functioning in the family that contribute to the development of physical, psychiatric, and social symptoms. Every chronic illness includes an emotional process that operates in both the family and in the person who develops the illness. For most of us, our family is the most influential set of relationships we have, both as children and as adults. This conference will explore how emotional process in the family can interact with the expression of certain genes in members of the family that affect our behaviour and our health. In addition, the conference will examine the possibility that modifying patterns of family interaction may alter the expression of genes linked to health and illness.

Trauma and the Family: Widening the Lens.
Dr. Papero, Dr Smith, Mr Hardie. March 2017.

To watch the trailer or subscribe to the video click here.

Increasing symptomatic conditions and behaviours have been attributed to a traumatic experience or event. This conference will review ways in which trauma therapy is conceived and approached and it will also broaden the lens to consider how the family relationship process contributes to the outcome for the symptomatic individual. Dr. Daniel Papero presents an assessment and treatment approach based on Bowen Family Systems theory. The conference will include several clinical cases presented by clinicians who follow a systems approach in the treatment of trauma.

The Miracle of Systems Thinking
Dr. Michael Kerr. Oct. 2013

To watch the trailer or subscribe to the video click here.

When we get stuck in relationship dilemmas, we often keep trying harder by doing the same thing over and over again. We pressure others to be different, less “selfish”, more “altruistic”. Sometimes it takes a radical shift in thinking to lead to a radical shift in entrenched patterns of relating. Differentiation of self is the opposite of trying to change others. The idea encompasses doing for self without being selfish and doing for others without being selfless. When stuck relationships change, the result can seem almost miraculous. This conference will describe such a paradigm shift with a series of lectures and will illustrate its clinical applications with case presentations.

From Generation to Generation: The Interplay between Genes and Family Process.
Dr. Michael Meaney and Dr. Daniel Papero and other knowledgeable speakers. Feb. 2012.

To watch the trailer or to subscribe or download this program click here.

For millennia, people have speculated about how family strengths and weaknesses pass from one generation of a family to the next. The same parents can produce children whose level of functioning may differ significantly.

The family systems theory developed by Murray Bowen describes how family emotional process can adversely influence the behavior of children. The emotional programming they received in their family can adversely affect the next generation.

The field of epigenetics has begun to document how parental functioning in one generation can affect the expression of genes that influence reactivity to stress and brain development in their offspring.

This conference will explore how family emotional process in one generation can influence levels of functioning including genetic expression in the next. Dr. Michael Meaney of McGill University, a pioneer in the field of epigenetics, and Dr. Daniel Papero of the Bowen Center, an expert in Bowen theory and therapy, will lead the expedition, joined by Dr. Clyde Hertzman, Dr. Anne McKnight and Dr. Bob Noone.


Two Day Conferences

Stress and the Family: Widening the Lens.
Dr. Bruce McEwen and Dr. Michael Kerr. Oct. 2010.

To watch the trailer or subscribe to the video click here.

We usually think of excessive stress as a problem for the individual. Most of the research on stress has focused on the physiology of a single person, yet most people grow up in families. How does the family as an emotional unit affect the intensity and duration of the stress response for each member of the family?

At this conference, we will attempt to widen the lens on how the stress response of the individual fits into an understanding of the family as an emotional unit.

Nature and Nurture: The Relational Brain.
Dr. Kerr and Dr. Panksepp. May 2008.

To watch the trailer or subscribe to the video click here.

This conference will describe how the brain organizes itself through its interactions with the most important people in its relationship system and will examine the implications of this knowledge for the practice of family therapy.

Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp has spent a lifetime studying core emotional systems of the brain from which human social behavior emerges. Our social brains, he believes, arise from sub-neocortical systems that evoke SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC and PLAY. Dr. Panksepp suggests that an understanding of these core emotional systems provides a new vision for psychiatry and psychotherapy and potential new ways to conceptualize and treat emotional problems.

Family psychiatrist Michael Kerr looks at how patterns of relationships in a family may actually affect the complexity of interactions within and between cells, their surrounding tissue and within organs of the body.

Nature and Nurture: Exploring the Interplay Between Temperament and Family Functioning.
Dr. J. Kagan (Harvard University) and Dr. Kerr. March 2006.

To watch the trailer or subscribe to the video click here.

This conference brings together two major thinkers in developmental psychology with one of the foremost authority on Bowen family systems theory. Dr. Kagan and Dr. Kerr explore the complex interplay between temperament and family functioning in how children develop.

The Importance of Research for Family Theory and Therapy.
Dr. M. Gottman (Ph.D.), Dr. Kerr (MD) and others. March 2004

To watch the trailer or subscribe to the video click here.

This conference brings together two influential streams of family research for the first time.

Dr. Michael Kerr, one of the late Dr. Bowen’s closest associates, continues the extension of theory with his own research on the possible influence of the family emotional system on the development and course of chronic physical illnesses.

Dr. Gottman and his colleagues have refined their methodology to the point where they can predict which couples will divorce with 93% accuracy. Dr. Gottman has drawn also on his research to develop his own approach to therapy.

Child Abuse in the Family Emotional Process
Dr. W H. Smith. Oct. 2002.

To watch the trailer or subscribe to the video click here.

For the past 15 years, Dr. Smith has focused on understanding family violence and child abuse. He uses the family systems theory to explore the complex emotional factors triggering family systems to injure others in the family.

Public Lectures (Free)

Conflict from the Perspective of Bowen Theory Seminar
Dr. Papero. Oct. 2005.

This four-hour block of time explores the area of conflict from the perspective of Bowen theory, including thoughts about addressing conflict.

Click here to watch part 1.

Click here to watch part 2.

Family Matters – Univ of District of Columbia TV Series.

This is a Public Service broadcast hosted by Bowen Family Center in Washington, DC. This informative series features interviews with experts on various aspects of Bowen Family Systems Theory. Four of the most recent in the series are below. Search “Family Matters UDC-TV” to see the full list of over 90 half-hour broadcasts!

Karl Pillemer – Intergenerational Relationships

Karl Pillemer – Understanding Estrangment

Walter Smith – Child Abuse and Family Emotional Process

Jenny Brown – Parents Focused on “Fixing” Children

ily therapy
family therapy techniques

Public Lectures (Free)

Let’s talk about our relationship! Let’s not and say we did.
Dr. Papero. Oct. 2005.

Dr. Papero discusses the difficulty of talking to people in our important relationships. Approximately 1 hour, 50 minutes.

Click here to watch

Marriage – be careful what you ask for.
Dr. Papero. Oct. 2005.

Marriage, for better or for worse; be carefulwhat you ask for. How did all those cute endearing traits turn out to drive you crazy?

Click here to watch