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Bowen Family Systems Theory and Narrative Therapy

Event Details
Date: ongoing
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 10


Organiser: Clinical Supervision Services

Event date has passed

This e-Learning module provides participants with a solid understanding of both Bowen Family System and Narrative Therapy. Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) is an intergenerational approach to family therapy that emphasises the importance of a therapist understanding his/her own background when working with families. This online module explores the 8 key concepts of BFST and provides participants with a thorough knowledge of how to apply BSFT with a client or a family. Bowen family systems theory analyses human behaviour viewing the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions within the unit. It explores how a change in one persons functioning predictably follows reciprocal changes in the functioning of others.

The goal of this module is to enhance your systemic perspective of human relationships applying Bowen theory in clinical work. Narrative Therapy is a respectful and non-blaming approach to therapy that centres people as experts in their lives. This e-Learning module focuses on ways of externalizing the problem, so it seen as a separate from the person. Participants will develop a thorough knowledge of how to apply this model therapy in practice. Narrative therapy has a special relevance and application for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and populations where story-telling is central for defining personal identity. It has also been widely used with persons experiencing serious mental health issues like trauma, violence and abuse, self-harm, eating disorders and hearing voices in psychosis. The module consists of 6 self-paced sections and includes video demonstration, practical examples, reflective tasks, readings and a short quiz. The course is suitable for health and welfare professionals who currently or intend to work with families. It is anticipated that the module will take 8-10 Hours.

3 Self -paced Chapters for Bowen Family Systems Therapy (BFST):

  • Introduction to BFST,
  • BFST 8 Concepts,
  • BFST in Practice.

3 Self -paced Chapters for Narrative Therapy:

  • Introduction to Narrative Therapy,
  • Externalising Conversations,
  • Practice Map for Narrative Therapy.

The module includes videos reflective learning tasks, practice examples, demonstrations, references and a short quiz at the end of the module. The course provides a number of up to date and reliable references. A Certificate of Completion is issued on the completion of the Course.

Learning objectives

Part 1 Bowen Family Systems Theory

  • To develop an understanding of the intergenerational approach to family therapy
  • To be able to identify the eight concepts in the Bowen model including triangles and intergenerational patterns in families, the family emotional system and multi-generational transmission process
  • To know how to apply BSFT in practice
  • To know how to apply this model in practice to help family members work towards greater levels of differentiation, including decreased reactivity and increased responsibility for self
  • To understand the role of therapy to help the family to become less emotionally reactive
  • To introduce the role of therapist to maintain a differentiated stance including the therapists resolution of family of origin issues

Part 2 Narrative Therapy

  • To develop a thorough knowledge of how to engage with the client to separate the individual from the problem using non-blaming language
  • To develop an understanding of the core techniques of this model including externalization, deconstruction and interviewing techniques to identify unique outcomes
  • To provide examples of how to use questions effectively in therapy identifying openings to alternative story development including exceptions from past, present and future

Presenter details

This e-learning short course was written by Glenn Larner B.A. (Honours) Psychology 1964, Masters in Clinical Psychology 1979 PhD 2010 editor-in-chief of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (ANZJFT) since 2010, an accredited supervisor with the Australian Association of Family Therapy and authorised by Christine Senediak BA. (Hons), M Psychol (Clin) M. Family Therapy. Christine is Principal Director of Sydney Family Therapy Training Institute. (SFTTI) She has over 30 years experience working as a clinical psychologist, educator and supervisor. She has a strong interest in evidence based practice and systems theory and integrates this in her work as therapist, educator and supervisor.In 2014 she was appointed one of 12 National trainers to provide PsyBA Supervisor training and in 2015 the practice has grown to now provide five Master classes in supervision and has a team of experienced Clinical Psychologists and a Neuropsychologist who also offer training in the field. In addition to her work with AHPRA. Christine also offers supervision, short courses and workshops and consults to agencies on matters relating to mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan.

Method of delivery



Per module $110

Package options available please refer to provider website for further information



AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers