Archive for Upcoming Events

February 10, 2017 – Application of Bowen Theory presentation by Priscilla Friesen

May 16, 2016 – “Coming of Age as a Clinician: A Bowen Theory Perspective,” An Application of Bowen Theory presentation by Ann Depner, ACSW

Moving Bowen Theory towards Science, Jim Smith, WPFC Director

Bowen was clear about basing his ideas in science. In moving Bowen theory towards science, I think it is central to define what is meant by being scientific.  I came to Pittsburgh in the late 1960s to study European phenomenological philosophy as an alternative approach and method for doing psychological research. I believed  then, as I do now, that historically the founders of psychology borrowed the scientific method from physics in order for psychology to be scientific. The focus on the scientific method in doing psychological research focused largely on those aspects of human functioning that can be quantified.  In recent years qualitative research has become acceptable, if not fashionable, for including subjectivity in psychological research. Most methods of qualitative research lack a definable theoretical base. I began doing qualitative research based on the phenomenological philosophy of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty in the early 1970s, using a method that is still being used and taught by Amedeo Giorgi. This method has a theoretical base that most other approaches to doing qualitative research lack. One of the many things that was attractive to me about Bowen’s thinking which I also came upon in the early 1970s was his unwillingness to reduce what he observed in his NIMH study to the then prevailing methods of psychology. He was scientific in a way that remained true to what he observed. Central to this was his detailed descriptions of what he observed. I saw – and see – Bowen’s work as being a paradigm change in the study of the human, just as I saw – and see – phenomenological thinking being a paradigm change in doing human scientific research.