KC Center for Family Systems

Postgraduate Education & Training Series 2022-2023

Distance Learning is Available!

A Unique, Concentrated Course of Study

The Series is a unique, concentrated course of learning and study of Bowen family systems theory with presentations by KC Center faculty and national guest lecturers. Participants are individuals with Master’s or Doctorate degrees from a broad range of professional backgrounds who’ve had some exposure to Bowen family systems theory. Participation is not limited only to mental and health professionals.

A Distinctly Different Theory

Bowen family systems theory is notably different from the long practiced and widely held individual, cause and effect way of thinking and
approach to treating symptoms. Systems theory is a theory of human behavior and can be applied to all human problems.

The Family Emotional Unit

Bowen theory describes how families function. Murray Bowen, M.D., identified the family as an emotional unit with patterned ways of interaction with various degrees of intensity. These repetitive ways of relating throughout an individual’s developmental years result in automatic ways of functioning especially under pressure. The family emotional system then is seen as the primary regulator of individual and family functioning.

Consistent with All Natural Systems

Bowen sought interdisciplinary dialogue with other natural systems researchers and scientists to keep the theory open to new scientific findings and consistent with how all-natural systems function. Dr. Bowen made clear the theory would either be found to be consistent with all natural systems or would need to be modified. Toward that end Series presentations often include scientific information and participants are encouraged to question theoretical concepts and ideas given their own family and clinical experience as well as current scientific information.

Overall Objective

The Training Series’ overall objective is to assist individuals in the study and understanding of Bowen family systems theory. The Series encourages the practice of systems thinking and provides opportunities to apply theory in one’s personal and professional lives. The learning and application of theory often come with increased self-awareness and more mature, thoughtful functioning that has an eye to the long-term best interest of self as well as that of the family and/or organization.

More Information

General Program Information
  • Monthly Program: September through May – Nine Class Days
  • A hybrid model is offered: Distance learning is available via Zoom. Depending on the pandemic, an on-site option will be available at the Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods campus in Northland Human Service Center, 3100 NE 83rd St, Kansas City, MO 64119.
  • CEUs: 6.0 for each class day
  • Tuition: Tuition is $1960. It can be paid in full or in two payments, Aug & Nov
Bowen Theory Academy Webcast Presentations

Michael Kerr, MD, Director of the Bowen Theory Academy, Islesboro, ME, or Kathleen B. Kerr, MSN, MA, CNS gives monthly webcast lectures on theoretical and clinical topics.

Group & Individual Consultation

The acquisition of Bowen theory requires learning the facts of one’s own family system, consideration of one’s own functional position and application of theory in one’s personal and professional lives. Small group consultation time focuses on lecture material, family of origin, clinical and work systems challenges. Additionally, individual consultation is available each month throughout the program year, either on-site or through an online invitation.

Trainee Responsibilities
  • Participate in class lecture discussions
  • Practice thinking systems
  • Complete and discuss reading assignments
  • Consider facts and emotional process of one’s own family
  • Prepare for group and individual consultation
  • Work to apply theory to family, clinical and work problems
  • Prepare end of year presentation and paper

Application Process

How to Apply
  • Complete the application form found on the Education & Training webpage – https://www.kcfamilysystems.org/education-training/. Only applicants with Masters or Doctorate degrees will be considered.
    • Note: Family of Origin Diagram that is included in the application can be sent via email, regular mail, or fax – the KC Center will take in any form you prefer.
  • Pay $50 administrative fee by check or online – complete the payment form – https://www.kcfamilysystems.org/registration/
  • If application criteria met and administrative fee has been paid, you will be contacted for an in-person interview (Skype/Zoom)
  • Receive letter of acceptance and make tuition payment
  • Any questions, contact us by: