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49th Symposium on Family Theory and Family Psychotherapy
November 2-3rd, 2012

Recordings of the Symposium are available as an audio MP3 set. Please order online or contact the Center at info@thebowencenter.org or 202-965-4400 to reserve your DVD set.

Distinguished Guest Lecturer: Stephen J. Suomi, PhD
Chief of the Laboratory of Comparative Ethology at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland

Recent research with both humans and rhesus monkeys has provided compelling evidence of gene-environment (G x E) interactions throughout development. One interpretation of the research is that secure attachment relationships somehow confer resiliency to individuals who carry alleles that may otherwise increase their risk for adverse developmental outcomes ("maternal buffering"). Research has suggested that much of this "buffering" may be taking place in the context of early face-to-face interactions between rhesus monkey infants and their mothers.

MEETING SECTIONS

SECTION ONE

Welcome and Introduction —  Anne S. McKnight, EdD

The Family-Brain Connection and Self-Regulation — Robert J. Noone, PhD
Several lines of research describe the functioning of the prefrontal cortex in regulating more automatic response systems. Consistent with the concept of differentiation of this research shows how variation in the “intermix” of the intellectual and emotional systems might result within the context of the family over the course of development and over generations.

Differentiation of Self: Top Down/Bottom Up —  Priscilla Friesen, MSW
Differentiating a self involves the effort to change or interrupt deeply embedded relationship patterns. Incorporating neurofeedback into family consultation interrupts reactivity at multiple levels of the system.

Panel Discussion

SECTION TWO

Alzheimer’s Disease and the Family —  Mignonette N. Keller, PhD
The goal of this case study is to identify and evaluate factors within the family relationship system that influence the development and course of Alzheimer’s disease from a systems perspective.

Attachment and the Developmental Process —  Daniel V. Papero, MSW, PhD
An avalanche of research on the interplay between emotion and cognition has entered the literature in the past decade. Research on human brain development has blossomed. Findings from these research areas are relevant to Bowen theory.

Panel Discussion


SECTION THREE

Child Focus in Families and Institutions  —  David S. Hargrove, PhD
Families and institutions use child focus to manage anxiety. Individual theory leads to blaming parents, schools, and children. A systems perspective is helpful in understanding the role that each plays which then leads to more effective ways to manage anxiety.

Synchronicity, Coordination, Sequences, and Differentiation of Self — Kathleen B. Kerr, MSN, MA
In the early mother-infant relationship, sensitivity and coordinated behavior promote infant survival. Attachment theory assumes the more sensitive the mother the better her mothering. Differentiation of self suggests a process of mother and infant becoming less sensitive and synchronous—promoting self-regulation rather than other-regulation.

Functional Interdependence and Variability in Adoptive Parent-Child Relationships —  Laura Brooks, MSW
Evidence of variability in the level and characteristics of functional interdependence in adoptive parent-child relationships will be defined and examined in one family from the perspective of Bowen theory.

Panel Discussion


SECTION FOUR

Revisiting the Societal Regression Concept — Michael E. Kerr, MD
The societal regression concept describes a shift in the balance between individuality and togetherness that manifests itself at the societal level. People commonly misinterpret the concept when they fail to distinguish between individualism and individuality.

The Power of Bowen Family Systems Theory to Address Public Policy Questions —  Patricia A. Comella, JD
Bowen theory has the power and versatility to address public policy questions. It facilitates understanding emotional functioning at multiple levels of organization and the interdependencies of species co-creating the contexts out of which the questions emerge.

Panel Discussion


SECTIONS FIVE AND SIX: DISTINGUISHED GUEST LECTURER

Risk, Resilience and Gene-Environment Interplay in Primates - Part I & II  — Stephen J. Suomi, PhD
Recent research with both humans and rhesus monkeys has provided compelling evidence of gene-environment (G x E) interactions throughout development. One interpretation of the research is that secure attachment relationships somehow confer resiliency to individuals who carry alleles that may otherwise increase their risk for adverse developmental outcomes ("maternal buffering"). Research has suggested that much of this "buffering" may be taking place in the context of early face-to-face interactions between rhesus monkey infants and their mothers.

Panel Discussion


SECTION SEVEN

Epigenetics: Implications for Bowen Theory  — Anne S. McKnight, EdD
A basic overview of mechanisms of epigenetic regulation will be presented. The implications of understanding epigenetics for Bowen theory will be discussed.

Human Evolution and the Emotional System —  Laurie Lassiter, PhD, MSW
Bowen’s concept of the emotional system offers observations of human group interactions evolved through natural selection that have not otherwise been made and that contribute to understanding Homo sapiens as a eusocial species.

Panel Discussion


SECTION EIGHT

On What Basis Could Concepts Be Added to Bowen Theory  — Randall T. Frost, MDiv
Murray Bowen used explicit criteria to assemble Bowen family systems theory. The same line of reasoning used by Bowen can also be applied to making decisions about what concepts, if any, could be added to the theory.

Thoreau’s Thoughts on Nature and Family Emotional Process —  Robert Williamson, MDiv
Henry Thoreau’s thoughts about nature placed in the context of family emotional process suggest that both his practice of daily walks and his beliefs about nature supported his need to be close to others and also his need to get away.

Panel Discussion



Code Name Image Price Availability  
DVD-AS-49-Set 49th Annual Symposium DVD Set   $300.00  
AS-49-12-MP3 49th Annual Symposium MP3   $125.00  

For more information, please contact The Bowen Center at 202-965-4400 or info@thebowencenter.org