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This year’s Distinguished Guest Lecturer, Karl Pillemer, PhD. Dr. Karl Pillemer is Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Senior Associate Dean for Research and Outreach in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell. “His major interests center on human development over the life course, with a special emphasis on family and social relationships in middle age and beyond…A major program of research is on intergenerational relations in later life, with a focus on determinants and consequences of the quality of adult child – older parent relationships”, particularly estrangement. His interest in estrangement brought him to the Bowen Center to better understand the concept of emotional cutoff.

Dr. Pillemer’s will speak at the Symposium on the following:

  • Family Rifts and How to Mend Them: Findings from the Cornell Estrangement and Reconciliation Project

    Dr. Pillemer has noted that the Symposium will be the first time he will present major findings from the Cornell Estrangement and Reconciliation Project, a five-year program of research which included collecting first-person accounts of estrangement and reconciliation from over 500 people; a national survey of 1,340 American adults to determine the prevalence of estrangement; and a survey of 60 family therapists from a variety of orientations regarding their views about estrangement. He will review the study’s outcomes, and the audience will have the opportunity to engage in interpreting them and exploring the relevance for Bowen theory.

  • Research and Real Life: How Can We Translate Research Findings to Clinical Practice?

    Dr. Pillemer has thought and written for many years about how to better translate social science findings to practitioners, such as family therapists. In this talk, he will present the main barriers to building a bridge between the worlds of research and practice. Focusing on the different “worlds” of researchers and practitioners that create a need for cross-cultural communication, he will identify barriers to the movement of basic research into applications and ideas that therapists, coaches, and other providers can actually use. In an effort to conceptualize the kinds of knowledge that would benefit the work of Bowen theory practitioners and to gain a better understanding of the types of research studies that could be done, he will propose some methods for better bridging the gap between science and service.

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Register Online (Early Bird Rate ends 10/1)

View/Print Registration Form (Early Bird Rate ends 10/1)

Adjoining Meeting

November 7, 2019 (Thursday)

Daniel V. Papero, PhD, MSSW
On “Meaningful Emotional Contact” and “Viable Emotional Contact”

Throughout his writings, Dr. Murray Bowen highlights the importance of an individual’s connection to his or her family system. He uses two terms to designate the most desirable kind of contact: 1. “meaningful emotional contact” and 2. “viable emotional contact”. This clinical conference will be directed to the understanding of the two terms and of “emotional distance”, the departure from such contact, and its implications.

Location: The Universities at Shady Grove
9636 Gudelsky Drive, Building III (The Camille Kendall Academic Center)
3rd Floor, Room 3241 (Crockett Theater)
Rockville, MD 20850

Register: The option to register for the adjoining Clinical Conference is available on the Symposium registration form.

About the 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.