Training & Courses

Training Programmes

Couple Counselling – the Family Systems Approach (CC 14/24)


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 for 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.



  • What is a good marriage?
  • Marriage and the family emotional system.
  • A new way of caring – The counselling relationship in Bowen theory
  • 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.
  • Goals for the counselling process
  • Addressing the triangles in couple counselling
  • Defining a self in the marriage and the extended family
  • The counselling process


Course Code: CC 14/24
Date & Time:

March 6, 13, 20, April 10, 17 & 24, 2024 (Wed)
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
(6 sessions, 18 hours)

Fee: HKD $4,000 (COF Membership: HKD $3,800) 

Hybrid: Zoom + in-person attendance (ISS-HK, 6/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)

Target: Anyone who is interested in marriage and couple relationships.
Instructor: Mrs. Peggy Chan B.Soc.Sc., M.Ed., R.S.W.
Language: Cantonese supplemented with English

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 by 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 the 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.



課程內容實用,絕對是一個非常有用的框架,對處理家長工作、夫婦關係非常有幫助! Peggy 亦是一位非常有心的導師!
坦白說,我有少少愛上了「Bowen Theory」,令我在工作上有很大的反思及得著!
– Christy Leung, Social Worker, Hong Kong.


Great to re-visit the concepts of Bowen Theory specifically in the context of marriage. The course further deepens my understanding in providing interventions in enhancing the I- position, regulating emotional reactivity in relationships and rethinking about therapeutic relationships.
Peggy is enthusiastic about teaching at all times. The course is v inspiring as usual.
– Elsa Lau, Specialist Trauma Counsellor, Australia.



Bowen theory teaches us to take an active stance in relationships, instead of  blaming the other person or feeling like a victim.


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

Feel free to write to any time to inform us of your interest in this course even when there is no date set for the class yet. We can form a class any time when there are at least 6 interested persons for the course.