Training & Courses

Training Programmes

Couple Counselling – the Family Systems Approach (CC 10/20)

Bowen theory stipulates that effective relationships involve developing a solid sense of self, getting the focus off of our partner and onto myself, and managing the emotional intensity between us. Instead of seeing marital problems as stemming from individual psychopathology, and therapy as helping the partners to satisfy each other’s needs, Bowen theory provides a systemic framework to understanding marital problems, and to manage the clinical relationships with the couple and their family systems.

This course aims to facilitate the application of the Bowen Family Systems theory to working with couples.

The teaching will be based on the book: Richardson, R. (2010). Couples in Conflict – A family Systems Approach to Marriage Counseling. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.


Course Content:

 1. What is a good marriage?!  Marriage and the family emotional system

2. A new way of caring - The counseling relationship in the Bowen theory

3. Assessment of the couple functioning – Defining the emotional process in the marriage, how anxiety and stress influence the emotional process in the marriage and the interlocking triangles.

4. Goals for the counseling process

5. Addressing the triangles in couple counseling  

6. Defining a self in the marriage and the extended family

7. The counseling process

Course Details:
Course Code: CC 10/20
Date & Time: Oct 28, Nov 4, 18, 25 & Dec 2, 9, 2020 (Wed)
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
(6 sessions, 18 hours)
Fee: HKD $4,000 (COF Membership: HKD $3,800) 
Venue: International Social Service Hong Kong Branch, 6/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Online (Zoom)
Target: Anyone who interested about marriage and couples
Instructor: Mrs. Peggy Chan B.Soc.Sc., M.Ed., R.S.W.
Language: Cantonese

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 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 Adjunct 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.



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