Training & Courses

Training Programmes

Module C: Clinical Applications of Bowen Family Systems Theory

The Bowen theory provides a roadmap for self-change.  It offers a comprehensive framework for understanding our emotional functioning and relationship patterns with others.The goal of therapy is to modify the family relationship system and effect fundamental change in the individual, not just symptom reduction.  Clients will learn to identify and correct dysfunctional patterns in relationships and try out their best functioning guided by clear thinking and well-thought out principles.

This course provides an initial overview of how to apply Bowen theory to clinical work.  

Course Objectives

To help clinicians apply Bowen theory in clinical work. Illustrations will be made with case examples facing issues such as marital difficulties, depression, and child-focused families.

Course Content
  • Systemic and multi-generational assessment and conceptualization, constructing the family diagram, developing hypothesis
  • Maintaining neutrality and objectivity
  • Defining the emotional process
  • Detriangling
  • Taking I- position, the therapist’s management of self in the session
  • Use of questions and displacement stories
  • Learning to think systems and maintain a research attitude
Course Details
Course Code: CA  20/18
Date & Time:              Sept. 11, 18, Oct. 9, 16 & 23, 2018 (Tues.)  6:45 pm - 9:45 pm
Venue:  International Social Service Hong Kong Branch 6/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong


HK$3,600 /person (COF HK$3,500)

Target participants:

Social workers, counsellors, psychologists, therapists and teachers. (Prerequisite requirement: Completion of Module A: Basic Course in Bowen Family Systems Theory)


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 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 since Nov. 2014, and collaborates with other Bowen theory training centers around the world to promote better teaching and learning of Bowen theory. She was a plenary speaker of the First International Conference on Bowen Family Systems Theory, Pittsburg, U.S.A. in August, 2015.  Besides conducting training programmes on Bowen theory in Hong Kong, she has presented at conferences and workshops in China, Taiwan, and U.S.A. Working closely with non-governmental organizations, she conducts programmes for parents of school children and parents of substance abusers based on Bowen theory.

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, and also Approved Supervisor of the Hong Kong Marriage and Family Therapy Association.


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