Books & Articles

Books and Resources on the Bowen Theory

The core of my theory has to do with the degree to which people are able to distinguish between the feeling process and the intellectual process.”

Murray Bowen, M.D.

For people who are interested in learning more about Bowen theory please see the list of books below. Please note Living Systems Counselling does not sell these books.

The Murray Bowen Archives Project also has a wealth of material available, much of it is free. You will find it here: Murray Bowen Archives

Classic Theory Books:

  • Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York. Jason Aronson, Inc. 1978.
  • Gilbert, Roberta M. Eight concepts of Bowen Theory. Leading Systems Press; 2006
  • Kerr, Michael, E. & Bowen, Murray. Family Evaluation: The Role of Family as an Emotional Unit That Governs Individual Behavior and Development. New York. W.W. Norton & Co., 1988.
  • Kerr, Michael, E. Bowen Theory’s Secrets: Revealing the Hidden Life of Families, W.W. Norton & Co., 2019.   Read the book review here.
  • Papero, Daniel V. Bowen Family Systems Theory. Allyn and Bacon, Needham Heights, Mass. 1990.

For Clients:

  • Brown, Jenny. Growing Yourself Up: How to bring your best to all of life’s relationships. Exisle Publishing, 2012.
  • Gilbert, Roberta, M. Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions. Minneapolis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1992.
  • Gilbert, Roberta M. Connecting with Our Children. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Toronto, 1999.
  • Lerner, Harriet. The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You’re Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate. HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.
  • Richardson, Ronald W. Family Ties That Bind: A Self-Help Guide to Change through Family of Origin Therapy. Vancouver, Self-Council Press, 1984.
  • Schnarch, David. Passionate Marriage: Love, Sex, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships. Owl Books (NY); Reprint edition, May 1, 1998.

For Clinicians:

  • Boyd, Clarence. Committment to Principles. A selection of letters written by Murray Bowen to clients and colleagues. Free at: Boyd Letters
  • Bregman, Ona Cohn and White, Charles (Eds.). Bringing Systems Thinking to Life: Expanding the Horizons for Bowen Family Systems Theory. Routledge, 2010.
  • Daniel Papero, Randall Frost, Laura Havstad and Robert Noone. Natural Systems Thinking and the Human Family. Systems 2018, 6(2), 19; – 01
  • Richardson, Ronald W. Couples in Conflict; A Family Systems Approach to Marriage Counseling. Fortress Press, 2010.
  • Titelman, Peter, editor. Clinical Applications of Bowen Family Systems Theory. The Hawthorn Press, 1990
  • Titelman, Peter, editor. Emotional Cutoff: Bowen Family Systems Perspectives. The Haworth Clinical Practice Press, An Imprint of the Haworth Press Inc., New York, 2003
  • Titelman, Peter, editor. Triangles: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives. The Hawthorn Press, 2007.
  • Toman, Walter. Family Constellation, Its Effects on Personality and Social Behavior. Springer Publishing Co., New York,1961

For the Workplace:

  • Riley, Ruth & Wiseman, Kathleen Klaus. Understanding Organizations: Application of Bowen Family Systems Theory. Washington, DC. The Georgetown Family Centre, 1982.
  • Richardson, Lois & Richardson, Ronald W. Birth Order and You: How Your Sex and Position in the Family Affects your Personality and Relationships. Vancouver, Self Council Press, 1990.

For your Church:

  • Friedman, Edwin H. Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue. New York. The Guildford Press, 1985.
  • Richardson, Ronald W. Creating A Healthier Church: Family Systems Theory, Leadership and Congregational Life. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1996.
  • Richardson, Ronald W. Becoming A Healthier Pastor: Family Systems Theory and the Pastor’s Own Family. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2004.
  • Richardson, Ronald W. Polarization and the Healthier Church: Applying Bowen Family Systems Theory to Conflict and Change in Society and Congregational Life. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.
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Free Articles by Living Systems Counselling Society Members

Read some of our newsletter articles below:

Forgiveness & Systems Theoryby Margaret Anne Speak, MA, CCC

Thinking Systems About the Family Life Cycle by Andrea Kiss, MA, CCC

Why Do So Many Marriages Fail? by Margaret Anne Speak, MA, CCC

Measuring a Marriage’s Emotional Fusion by Randy Frost, Mdiv, RCC

The Relational Brain by Lois Walker, RCC

Play Therapy by Mary Frost, RCC

Your Brain and the Emotional Systems by Mark Smith, MSW, RSW

Finance and Fear, Fact or Fiction? by David Galloway

The Family as an Emotional Unit by Randal Frost, RCC

Triangles in the Workplace by David Galloway

Becoming Your Best by Margaret Anne Speak

Stress and the Family by Randy Frost, RCC

Neurofeedback by Lois Walker, RCC

Sibling Position by Devana Weiss, RCC

Emotional Neutrality by David Galloway