Training & Courses

Training Programmes

Module A: Basic Course in Bowen Family Systems Theory


Bowen family systems theory, developed by Dr. Murray Bowen, provides a comprehensive framework to understanding human behavior and relationships. It helps us understand the emotional processes of our family systems, the impact of our emotional interdependency on one another, and the automatic emotional patterns of behavior amongst family members.

The theory provides a blue print to lead a functional life and solve problems in our relationships, through knowledge of how the emotional system operates, and managing self effectively in our relationship systems. It is also very useful for conceptualization of clinical cases which greatly improves therapeutic outcomes.

The theory highlights the development of the differentiation of self which is the capacity of an individual to undertake thoughtful and responsible actions for self and also for his/her group even in face of emotional pressure. It is a very important quality for problem-solving, resilience, and functional interpersonal relationships.

The theory has been applied to a wide variety of situations and settings such as work-place relationships, organizational management, mental health, church congregations and pastoral care, besides family life.

Course Objectives
  • To provide introduction to the basic concepts of the Bowen theory
  • To enhance awareness and application of systems thinking to our life
  • To facilitate participants to learn to define self, and to practice being a “responsible self” in relationships
  • To facilitate conceptualization of clinical cases
Course Content
  • Family as an emotional system
  • Chronic and acute anxiety
  • The two life forces – the force towards togetherness and the force towards individuality
  • The eight emotional processes
  • Differentiation of self, Triangles, Nuclear Family Emotional Process, Family Projection Process, Multigenerational Transmission Process, Emotional Cut-off, Sibling position and Societal Emotional Process.
  • Defining a self in the systems and learning to think systems
Course Code:

BC 29/17

Date & Time:

Dec. 13, 20, 2017 & Jan. 3, 17, 24 & 31, 2018 (Wed) 6:45 pm- 9:45 pm

Fee: $3,700 (COF: $3,600)  (include book: Chinese version of "One Family"s Story")



Mrs. Peggy Chan     B.Soc.Sc., M.Ed., R.S.W.

Mrs. Peggy Chan is presently Director of Programme, ISS Family Institute, International Social Service Hong Kong Branch. Mrs. Peggy Chan started her study of Bowen theory in the early 1990s in Vancouver. She continues her study of Bowen theory through attending the Postgraduate Program on Bowen Family Systems theory and Its Applications at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, Washington DC, U.S.A. from 2008-2013, and the Bowen Center’s Research Seminar group since 2013. She is a member of the Bowen Center’s Network Program for the Advancement of the Bowen Theory, working in collaboration with other Bowen theory training centers around the world.  Mrs. Chan presents work based in Bowen theory at the Bowen Center and throughout the world.  She had presented at the 51st Annual Symposium of the Bowen Center in Nov., 2014, and was a plenary speaker of the First International Conference on Bowen Family Systems Theory, Pittsburg, U.S.A. in August, 2015.

Mrs. Peggy Chan was trained as a social worker (B.Soc.Sc., HKU), and counselor (M.Ed., U. of Toronto) prior to her family systems training. She has over 20 years of experience in counseling individuals and families, conducting clinical supervision, and training professionals. Her areas of specialization include marital and women‘s issues, sexual issues, loss and grief, parent-child relationship difficulties, and cultural adaptation. She is Honorary Assistant Professor of the University of Hong Kong, teaching and supervising M.Soc.Sc. (Counselling) students since 2002. She is Associate Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association.



You may download the application form as below, or proceed for online enrollment. 

Click here for application form in word format
Click here for application form in PDF format