This year’s two-day Symposium entitled, Family and Its Influence on Development throughout the Life Course, will focus on the developmental process of the human in health and adjustment across the life course. Two eminent scientists, Dr. Gregory Miller and Dr. Elizabeth Skowron, will present their research and will participate in a roundtable discussion and panels. Ms. Victoria Harrison will be the lead faculty throughout the conference. Other presenters will address how Bowen theory gives a framework for understanding the impact of family life on the child and her future development.
To view schedule, please click on “Schedule” tab above
Distinguished Guest Lecturers
Lead Faculty Member
About the Symposium
The Annual Symposium 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.
Friday, November 3, 2017
Family, Chronic Anxiety, and Sustained Vulnerability to Heightened Stress Reactivity over the Life Course
Robert J. Noone, PhD
This presentation purports that the level of chronic anxiety at play in the family both determines the impact of early life adversity on the development of individuals and the degree to which vulnerability to stress is sustained over the life course.
Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspective
Barbara Laymon, MPH, MS, LGPC
Although Felitti’s groundbreaking work on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is almost twenty years old, the problem remains largely inexorable. Here, I explore the difference that a Bowen family systems theory perspective might make in understanding and addressing ACEs.
Understanding and Ameliorating the Physical Health Problems Associated with Early Life Adversity
Dr. Miller will present evidence that early adversity affects physical health across the lifespan, discuss our evolving knowledge of the mechanisms involved, and consider the protective role that psychological interventions with families may have.
The Immature Parent
In this talk I will attempt to explore the roots of the parental focus and discuss how a parent might start or restart his or her own developmental effort to increase personal maturity and thus reduce vulnerability to the parental focus.
Emotional Cut-Off and Family Projection in an Adopted Family
The Adoption Family Study, now going on for twelve years, describes within-family variability in families with adopted children. This presentation describes emotional cutoff and family projection process in a research family that includes a single parent with a birth child and an adopted child.
The Difference Bowen Theory Makes for Research and Clinical Practice
When studying reactions to adversity, Bowen theory includes the impact of relationships between generations of the family and during childhood over biology and behavior of family members. Examples from the Observations of Change research project will illustrate factors that influence symptom development and variation in changes in anxious physiology and functioning associated with decreasing symptoms and improving functioning for the family.
What Happens When the Hitting Stops? Understanding Symptom Development in Children Exposed to Domestic Violence through the Lens of Bowen Family Systems Theory
Family experiences of domestic violence are often viewed as traumatic to the children who are exposed to domestic violence. Bowen family systems theory offers a different lens to view symptom development in children who have experienced violence in their families.
End of Day
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Targeting Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Self-Regulation in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Child Welfare Families
Dr. Skowron will present findings from her program of research documenting real-time associations in mother and child autonomic physiology and observed behaviors in child welfare-involved families. Current NIH-funded research on Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), focused on investigating the neurobiological bases of change in parent & child self-regulation skills will be discussed, along with a brief discussion of PCIT’s theorized mechanisms of change and preliminary study findings through the lens of Bowen theory and its basic principles.
The Parenting Soft/Hard Split
Jennifer Brown, PhD
Exploring qualitative data on parents reveals a repeating theme of parenting-style tensions about whether a tougher or more nurturing style is appropriate for their symptomatic child.
The Developing Child: Perspectives of Attachment and Family Systems Theories
Attachment theory and family systems theory both consider the relationship between the mother and child. This presentation will explore how the differences in the theoretical orientation affect the clinical assessment, treatment, and outcome for the child.
Roundtable Discussion – Victoria Harrison, Gregory Miller,
Robert Noone, Daniel Papero, Elizabeth Skowron
Of Elegies and Hip Hop: Measures for Mitigating a Regression
Anthony Wilgus, MSW
Emotional process in society can compromise vulnerable groups. However, the experiences of a poor white person from Appalachia with an addicted mother and an African American man with a history of criminal behavior yield some of the critical components necessary for modifying a family regression.
The Family Projection Process across the Socioeconomic Spectrum
Michael Sullivan, LMSW
The family projection process is a relationship pattern that operates within all families. This presentation will examine the variation in this pattern within families across the socioeconomic spectrum.
End of Day
George Mason University Arlington Campus
3351 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22201
Public Transportation and Driving Directions
Please visit George Mason’s Arlington Campus directions page for details on public transportation and driving directions.
Visitor parking is available in Founders Hall Garage on a first-come, first-serve basis. The full-day rate is $15 on Friday, and $8 on Saturday.
For further information, please email The Bowen Center.
Hyatt Centric Arlington
1325 Wilson Boulevard Arlington, VA 22209, US
Bowen Center Room Block
The Bowen Center has reserved a room block for conference attendees on the following dates:
- Tuesday, October 31 – $209 USD
- Wednesday, November 1 – $209 USD
- Thursday, November 2 – $139 USD
- Friday, November 3 – $139 USD
The cutoff date for the room block is Friday, October 6, 2017 at 5:00pm Eastern Time
Driving and Transportation Options
- Please visit the Hyatt Centric Arlington Map, Parking & Transportation page for driving directions and available transportation options.
On-site parking: $25 USD daily
For further information, please email The Bowen Center.
Continuing Education Credits
The Georgetown Family Center is approved as a(n):
- Independent provider of continuing education credit by the Maryland State Board of Social Work Examiners and the District of Columbia Board of Social Work.
- Approved provider of continuing education by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work for licensed social workers #SW-0419.
- NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP #6225) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.
The conference offers a maximum of 11 hours of Category I continuing education credit for social workers and for counselors.
If you plan to participate in the CEU/CE process, it is necessary to:
- Pay the CEU/CE fee of $30
- Sign CEU/CE registration form each day of the conference
- Prepare to stay for the entire conference
- Submit a completed evaluation at the end of the conference
Return policy: Friday, October 20, 2017 is the last day to receive a refund for the Symposium registration. Please note that refunds will be given minus a $75 administrative fee.