Founded in 1985. the Western Pennsylvania Family Center is a private, non-profit educational organization.
Our vision is to be the recognized regional resource for information about Bowen family systems theory, an innovative set of ideas about the evolution of humankind and human relationships. Bowen theory views the family and its functioning over generations as an integral part of all life. It tracks the family as a single unit that responds to internal and external events over time. Individuals are considered inseparable parts of the family as a whole, a family that is gradually evolving and changing. This contrasts with the prevailing model in psychology and psychiatry that views problems as flaws or disturbances within an individual person.
As a Center, we especially seek to facilitate the changes that flow from these ideas. As such, our mission is to enhance the knowledge of those who work with families and other systems by providing education, consultation, and research in basic principles of human functioning as contained in Bowen theory and in the other life sciences.
The Western Pennsylvania Family Center was founded by six professionals all trained in family systems theory, four of whom trained with Dr. Murray Bowen at the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, D.C. The faculty now numbers 17, all of whom are available for training and individual coaching in Bowen family systems theory. The faculty also consult with professionals working with families, organizations, and other professional contexts.
As a non-profit organization, much of our work is performed by generous volunteers who support our small, paid staff.
The Board of Directors of the Western Pennsylvania Family Center is made up of professionals from diverse backgrounds: attorneys, real estate professionals, clergy, mental health practitioners, business consultants, financial analysts, and so on.
The Western Pennsylvania Family Center is part of a growing network of education and training centers in the U.S. and Canada that utilize and teach Bowen theory.