Training & Courses

Training Programmes

Professional Training Programme in Bowen Family Systems Theory and Therapy 2018 - 2020

The 2-year part-time training programme aims to enhance the systemic perspective to viewing relationships and help and facilitate helping professionals to apply Bowen theory in clinical work. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this training programme recognized by any international organizations?

The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, Washington D.C., U.S.A., is the leading agency providing training on the Bowen theory. Its website lists The ISS Family Institute as one of the 16 organizations with programs that “are directed by people who trained extensively at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and who are in close contact with the most recent developments in Bowen theory and the science that informs theory”.

The ISS Family Institute has close relationship with the Bowen Center for the Study of Family.

  • It organizes regular conferences presented by the faculty of the Bowen Center.
  • Its Director of Programme, Mrs. Peggy Chan, regularly attends the meetings and conferences organized by the Bowen Center in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Chan is currently participating in an advanced program (Research Seminar) of the Bowen Center.
  • Mrs. Peggy Chan has presented at the 51st Annual Symposium of the Bowen Center.  She was the plenary speaker on “Learning and Teaching Bowen Family Systems Theory in the Context of the Chinese Culture – Resources and Challenges” at The First International Conference on Bowen Family Systems Theory in Pittsburg, U.S.A. in August, 2015. 
  • Mrs. Chan is currently a member of the Bowen Network Program for the Advancement of the Bowen Theory, and collaborates with other Bowen theory training centers around the world to promote better teaching and learning of Bowen theory. 

How can I benefit from this training programme?

Through in-depth study of how human emotional systems function, trainees will learn a comprehensive framework on how to understand human functioning and relationships. Trainees will get regular coaching on how to apply the theory to their clinical practice, work and family relationships, so that they can solve problems and manage themselves effectively in these arenas.

How can this programme help me in my counselling work?

Through learning the Bowen theory, this program helps the counselor to take a broad view of the clients’ situation, and also to have a firm grasp of the underlying emotional forces that impact on the family members. It helps the counselor to understand the functional patterns of the family system and its members, and not only focus on solving the presenting problems. The counselor will guide the clients to have fundamental changes in their functioning patterns, so that the clients will be more effective in future relationships. This theory sees the family as an emotional unit, and that members’ functioning is heavily influenced by one another. This offers the counselor flexibility in the target clients to work with. The counselor can work with any member of the family to address his/her participation in the problem, even though the person having the presenting problem refuses to come.

I am not a counselor, can I still benefit from this programme?

The Bowen theory offers very useful concepts to understand human functioning in social systems or relationship networks. It provides a roadmap or blue print for us to lead a functional life and solve problems in our relationships. Besides clinical work, it has been applied to a great variety of settings, such as work relationships, organizational management, pastoral or church settings, and international relationships. Therefore, anyone interested in self-change, and in enhancing one’s functioning in his/her relationship networks, will find this programme useful.

What is family research? Why is it an important part of this training programme?

Dr. Bowen found out that the interns who had undertaken family-of- origin work did better with their clinical work besides having better functioning families. Our families are thus seen as a laboratory for trying out our new behaviours, and for learning the Bowen theory experientially. By doing family research, trainees study the functioning patterns of their families-of-origin, how anxiety plays out in their family systems, how they have positioned themselves to their family members, and how they can function better. Family research provides the opportunity for the trainees to integrate the theory experientially, and is a very important part of our learning.


Programme Brochure

Click  here  to download the Programme Booklet.


Year 1: HK$24,000*
(COF/One-off payment before August 31, 2018: HK$23,000)

Year 2: HK$24,000*
(COF/One-off payment before August 31, 2019: HK$23,000)

Payments can be made annually by two installments (half of the
annual fee), to be paid before September 15, and January 15 of
each year.

*The amount includes an annual subscription of Family Systems Forum ,
a publication of the Center for the Study of Natural Systems and the
Family, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.


You may download the application form as below: 

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