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This year’s Distinguished Guest Lecturer, David Sloan Wilson, PhD. Dr. David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and president of the Evolution Institute. Dr. Wilson is an evolutionary biologist who is one of the leading thinkers and communicators in evolutionary theory. He oversees programs that apply the evolutionary sciences to real-world issues in fields as diverse as education, public policy, and the study of religion and spirituality. One of his recently published books is This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution.

Dr. Wilson will speak at the Symposium on the following:

  • Groups as Organisms: Implications for Therapy and Training

    Bowen theory’s systemic orientation stands in contrast with Individualism as the dominant intellectual tradition of the last 70 years. Individualism is at last yielding to Multilevel Selection (MLS) theory, which shows that functional organization can evolve (or fail to evolve) at any level of a multi-tier hierarchy of social units, such as from genes to ecosystems in biological systems and from individuals to global governance in human systems. He will provide an overview of MLS theory and the need for therapy and training to take place at the level of functionally oriented groups in addition to the individual person.

  • Prosocial: A Practical Framework for Managing Cultural Evolution in Real-World Settings

    When evolution is defined as any process that includes the three ingredients of variation, selection, and replication, then it exists in the form of personal and cultural evolution in addition to genetic evolution. In all cases, evolution frequently results in outcomes that create problems rather than solutions for normative goals such as personal fulfillment, group visions and missions, and long-term global sustainability. Work is required to manage evolutionary processes so that they become aligned with our normative goals at all scales. He will provide an overview of Prosocial.world (Prosocial for short), an ambitious practical framework for managing personal and cultural evolution, with collaborative potential in mind.

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About the Annual Symposium

The Annual Symposium on Family Theory and Family Psychotherapy is the most important meeting on Bowen theory and its applications. It brings together the liveliest minds in the Bowen network to present, question, and discuss their latest research and ideas. The Symposium also features a Distinguished Guest Lecturer from another scientific discipline whose research is relevant to Bowen theory.

Adjoining Clinical Conference

November 2, 2020 (Monday)

Daniel V. Papero, PhD, MSSW
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Families Under Pressure

Family systems periodically face challenges and stresses linked to the generational cycle itself. One of the most frequently described challenges is that of managing the care of an older family member. The pressures linked to these situations intensifies the pull on family members towards togetherness while also triggering the pull to be free of the tension and constraints of the family dilemma. How families handle the emotional reactiveness and interpersonal tensions among family members influences the competency of caregiving and the overall well-being of family members.

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