Edward W. Beal, a graduate of the Menninger School of Psychiatry, first met Murray Bowen at the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry in 1971. Intrigued by Bowen’s systems view of the family, Dr. Beal moved to the Washington, DC area where he set up a private practice and participated in the postgraduate training program from 1973 to 1975. Dr. Beal was appointed to the faculty of the Georgetown University Family Center in 1975.

His initial interests were focused on comparing different theories of family therapy and their application to psychiatric diagnoses. In the 1980s, his interest shifted to the application of family systems theory to divorcing families. He coordinated an Annual Conference on Divorce sponsored by the Family Center from 1978 to 1983, presented multiple papers and published several book chapters as well as co-authored the book, Adult Children of Divorce with Gloria Hochman. His clinical practice has included working with families with complex litigation issues surrounding divorce and child custody.

Dr. Beal also organized and participated in the Family Center faculty presentations at the national meetings of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Orthopsychiatry Association, and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

This past decade, he has focused on the application of Bowen theory to societal emotional processes. His work has led to the presentation of papers on the application of family theory to the separation of powers doctrine in the U. S. Constitution. In 2010 Doctor Beal began working part time at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center with service men and women who were deploying to and returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.