Marriage Counseling Workshops in Bowen Family Systems Theory
Thank you for your interest in my therapist trainings and for your time on the site. At the inception of couples counseling in the 1950’s, a new way of thinking about emotional problems was emerging that differed fundamentally from the conventional psychodynamic theories of the time. Family Systems Theory and therapy still differs fundamentally from modern conventional approaches such as Sue Johnson’s EFT, David Schnarch’s Crucible Approach, and Terry Real’s RLT. My therapist trainings give both a beginner and advanced practitioner food for thought based in systems thinking. The trainings consist of both theory and practical exercises and application.
Family Systems Theory is an ecological perspective that sees the family as an emotional unit with individuals living under the same emotional skin. Family Systems Theory and therapy makes a study of the unequal distribution of anxiety in a family. When one family member seems to be having a problem, systems thinking might suggest they are the symptom barer for the larger group. For example, a systems approach would consider the entire family as having an emotional reactivity around eating/feeding/food rather than just one person having an eating disorder. It is a non-pathologizing perspective that encourages clients to learn to observe themselves and the emotional systems in which they live with discernment rather than blame.
Therapist trainings in Family Systems Theory provide an alternative to therapist trainings in EFT and EFT Therapy for couples. Where EFT and EFT Therapy encourage clients to focus on the acceptance of emotion and on creating emotional safety in a marriage, Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) encourages clients to focus on the development of self and the integration of emotion with facts or logic.
Where EFT takes the approach that function follows feeling, BFST takes the approach that feeling follows function. In other words, EFT works to help people feel better so that they will function better while BFST works to help people function better so that they will feel better. BFST teaches that helping people learn to function better in the face of difficult emotion promotes resilience which results in a more sustainable and stable outcome for the long term.
Beyond therapist trainings, my ultimate goal is to create a community of therapists in Fort Collins who wish to learn more about Bowen Family Systems Theory and therapy. Please let me know if you’re interested in more information or in being a part of that effort. As our community develops I will post more here. For now, you will find information on upcoming trainings below. Click on the name of the training to learn more and to pay/save your spot.