We are accepting applications for the next academic year, 2021-2022. If you have attended one of the Bowen Center’s training programs, such as the Postgraduate Program, you do not need to submit an application. Please contact Dr. John Millikin for more information. Subscribe to the email newsletter for important updates to this and other Bowen Center programs.
Apply for 2021-2022

Program Requirements

The Continuing Studies in Bowen Family Systems Theory Program is for professionals in various fields with at least one year of training in Bowen family systems theory. Admission criteria include a combination of educational background, experience in one’s profession, and the motivation to apply Bowen theory to one’s family and field of work.


The Continuing Studies in Bowen Family Systems Theory Program is for individuals who have attended at least one year in the Online Training Program or a Bowen network training program. Those who have attended several meetings offered by the Bowen Center and have been in coaching with a Bowen family systems coach will also be considered for enrollment in this program. Participants will have already developed a family diagram and applied some of Bowen’s central constructs to their own family.

Individuals interested in fully engaging Bowen theory on a deeper level and have more time to commit to learning and applying the constructs to their own family are encouraged to apply to the Postgraduate Training Program.

If an individual has been in a Bowen network training program with coaching, he/she may attend this program. Please contact the program director.

Dates for 2020-2021

Tuesday – 5:00pm – 7:00pm Eastern Time

October 13
November 10
December 8
January 12
February 9
March 9
April 13
May 11

Thursday – 8:00am – 10:00am Eastern Time

October 22
November 19
December 10
January 21
February 18
March 18
April 22
May 20

Each month will include:

  • Online classes and coaching monthly from October through May
  • 8 two-hour livestreamed faculty presentations with discussion
  • 8 hours of video discussions with faculty members
  • 8 one-hour individual monthly coaching/consultation by video conference
  • Reading assignments from Murray Bowen’s original work
  • Online access to teaching videos by Dr. Bowen and members of the Bowen Center faculty
  • 16 CEU/CEs can be earned in this program.


The nonrefundable tuition for the Continuing Studies Program is $1,700.00.

Purpose and Description of Program

The Continuing Studies Program includes 16 hours of lectures, 8 hours of video discussions, and 8 one-hour coaching sessions to support one’s family research. The program begins in October and is organized into two separate monthly sections through May. Students will choose to participate in either the Tuesday or Thursday section. Students are required to attend all 8 of the monthly class lectures, video discussions, and coaching sessions. Online Class Section (1) meets Tuesday evenings from 5pm – 7pm ET and Online Class Section (2) meets Thursday 8-10am ET. Students will remain in one section for the course entirety. Students access the class schedule once they are registered.

The Continuing Studies program is designed particularly for people who are motivated to consider Bowen theory as an alternative to conventional approaches to solving problems in families, organizations, or society. It provides a substantial experience in learning and using Bowen theory in one’s own family and field of work. The program will focus on theoretical concepts and how theory is learned and applied to one’s own family and work.

Coaching Requirement

The practice aspect of learning is an integral part of training programs that Murray Bowen originally established at the Georgetown University Family Center. Participants will schedule individual monthly sessions by video conference with faculty members where they can discuss their own family and the process of working on differentiation of self.

“The concept of differentiation has to do with self and not with others. Differentiation deals with working on one’s own self, with controlling self, with becoming a more responsible person, and permitting others to be themselves.” — Murray Bowen

Differentiation of self is the basis for learning and applying Bowen theory. Steps toward differentiation are described throughout the chapters in Bowen’s collected papers, Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. Everyone learns in his and her own unique way. The Continuing Studies Program will provide theoretical and experiential groundwork for the changes in a system that occur based on a family member, therapist or consultant who is working on differentiation.


The curriculum for each month and materials will be provided upon registration. Educational resources included in your tuition are online streaming of teaching tapes and faculty lectures associated with the monthly modules. You will be expected to purchase Family Therapy in Clinical Practice by Murray Bowen and other books on Bowen theory.

Sample of Course Readings

Please Note: Through the Amazon Associates program, The Bowen Center will receive a small commission if you purchase Family Therapy in Clinical Practice and Bowen Theory’s Secrets: Revealing the Hidden Life of Families with the provided links.

Sample Syllabus

Download Sample Syllabus


This course is designed for independent study through a combination of readings, instructional recordings, faculty presentations, scheduled discussions and consultations with a faculty member. A syllabus for the year will be provided upon acceptance. Reading and video material are done independently between monthly sessions.

Coaching consultation will be scheduled monthly by video conference between each participant and his or her faculty consultant.


John Millikin, PhD and Anne S. McKnight, EdD, LCSW will direct the Continuing Studies Program and be responsible for teaching, discussion, and consultation. The Bowen Center Faculty who teach and consult in this program are:

Laura R. Brooks, LCSW-C
Carrie E. Collier, PhD, LPC, CRC
Priscilla J. Friesen, LICSW
Victoria Harrison, MA, LMFT
Edward J. Henley, MDiv
Joan Jurkowski, MS, LCPC
Barbara Laymon, PhD, MPH
Mariana Martinez, PsyD
Anne S. McKnight, EdD, LCSW
John Millikin, PhD
Douglas C. Murphy, MA, LCMFT
Robert J. Noone, PhD
Daniel V. Papero, PhD, LCSW-C, LICSW
Amie Post, MA, LCMFT


The application process involves filling out the application form online, an application fee of $50, and an interview that will be scheduled after the application form is received.

Please contact John Millikin at jmillikin@thebowencenter.org to discuss your interest and questions.