Upcoming Presentations

Past Presentations

The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family

  • You Can do Better – Understanding the Emotional Side of the Family Business.  (Hong Kong, May 17-18, 2018). Professionals who work with family businesses face the challenge of working not only with the business per se, but also with the family. Bowen Theory provides a lens to understand emotional factors that operate in families and which often obstruct advancement of the business in areas such as professionalization, succession, and change of ownership. What happens in the family affects the business and what happens in the business affects the family. Therefore lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and other professionals are better equipped when they develop a deeper appreciation of the emotional side of the family who owns the business. The theory provides practical recommendations for their professional engagement with the family business.


  • Bowen Theory Applied to Latin Families  (Hong Kong, May 17-18, 2018). Familism is a quality that characterizes the Latin culture. It refers to the importance given to extended family ties and the tendency to maintain proximity with the family group. Bowen theory points at the multigenerational family as an emotional unit which governs individual functioning. The idea that family members influence each other is not foreign to Latin culture. Bowen theory has the power to explain this influence. Another characteristic of Latin culture is collectivism, referring to the value given to supporting the wellbeing of the group. For some people being available to others result in the loss of self, yet, there is another a way to be for the group without paying such a deer price. The concept of Differentiation of Self and the understanding of the togetherness-individuality counterbalancing life forces illuminate this difference.


  • Transfering Family Wealth and Non-Material Legacy Across Generations. (Hong Kong, May 17-18, 2018). Most families have an idea about how they want to transcend through time. It implies the desire to transfer their wealth to the next generation and also their not material legacy including values, family ties, knowledge, traditions, and social relevance. This is not an easy task to accomplish as it is filled with obstacles, many of which are rooted in the family emotional process and remain invisible until they pose a challenge. Bowen Family Systems Theory describes the factors that increase the chances of a family successfully transmitting their wealth and legacy. For instance, the way family members relate to each other in the nuclear and extended family, the relevance of knowledge of the multigenerational history, and actions to increase the capacity to adapt to life challenges all have a decisive effect on the transfer of the material and non-material legacy.


  • Practices in Early Childhood Education Directed Towards Developing Differentiation of Self. Spring Meeting Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. The Family and Child Development: A Systems Approach to Theory and Practice.  (Arlington, VA, April 13-14, 2018). Individual thinking has traditionally guided the design of early childhood education methods, and family has been considered a “support” to the efforts of schools or day-care facilities. How would early childhood education look if the family assumed the main responsibility for the child’s education? What would change if the family was recognized as the most important environment in which the child develops? This presentation will integrate knowledge about early childhood development, experience teaching toddlers and pre-school children, and Bowen Family Systems Theory. It will discuss the implications of placing Differentiation of Self at the heart of early childhood interventions and some ideas on how to translate this into concrete elements in programming and practices.
  • Defining a Self: An Interview with Dr. PaperoAnnual Clinical Day. (Washington, DC. October, 2017).
  • Sibling Relationships and Bowen Theory. Post Graduate Program.  (Washington, DC. March,  2017).
  • Sibling Relationships. Clinical Day.  (Washington, DC. September 2016).
  • What Really Matters When Consulting with Culturally Diverse Families. Clinical Conference. (Washington, DC. October, 2015). Much importance has been given to clients’ cultural differences in clinical work. This presentation described ways clinicians can assess how focusing on cultural variables helps to understand clients and to what extent this focus can blur the assessment of individual and family functioning. The presenter discussed her experience in incorporating cultural variables using Bowen theory.
  • Exploration of Family of Origin: Advances Toward Objectivity and Neutrality. Clinical Conference. (Washington DC. February, 2015).
  • Ethics Seminar.  Mental health professionals (Washington, DC. 2013).

Family Firm Institute. Annual Meetings

  • Flipping the Switch of the Intellect.  Master Class (Chicago, October, 2017). Just as electricity power industry, commerce and global GDP, emotions power humans to action. Emotions represent a very intense force that requires regulating mechanisms for it to be useful and constructive, otherwise, it may “burn” the system and make it less functional. The intellectual system represents such mechanism. Integration between intellect and emotion is required when facing an important decision such as those that families have to make around managing wealth and/or the family business and transferring wealth and/or the business to the next generation. Consultants from all areas of expertise work with the family emotionality, whether they see it or not. They don’t have to be experts in human behavior to be able to recognize, manage, and channel the emotionality in ways that are beneficial to the families they work with. Emotions and relationship patterns often make rather easy decisions become difficult. This presentation will address what keeps families stuck and what consultants can do to facilitate movement. A 15 min interview will illustrate the efforts of a brother and a sister as they make decisions around mother and her estate.
  • Mas que una Reunión Familiar, Esto Parece un Campo de Batalla. Intervención con Familias en Conflicto Basada en la Teoría de Bowen / More Than a Family Meeting, This Looks Like a Battlefield! Managing Difficult Conversations with Families Using Bowen Theroy. Master Class Iberoamerica Group. (Chicago, October, 2017). Los consultores no necesitan ser psicólogos expertos para guiar a las familias del conflicto al diálogo. La Teoría Familiar Sistémica de Bowen marca un camino. En base a la Teoría he definido una serie de principios que guían mis intervenciones. ¡Su efectividad ha sido para mí un gran descubrimiento!
  • Myths and Realities of Succesful Latin Family Governance Structures. (London, October, 2015). Living in a globalized world, families struggle to build governance structures around culture and legacy. Strategies that worked several hundred years ago may need to adapt to an Eastern and Western combined best practices model. We will evaluate a Latin Family’s 150-year journey to adapt and combine such models focused on the human capital.

Purposeful Planning Institute

  • Honor Culture.   PPI Teleconference. (March 2018).
  • Managing family conflict informed by Bowen Family Systems Theory.  PPI Teleconference. (October 10th at Noon EST). Consultants do not have to be “behavioral experts” to be able to guide families out of a conflictual interaction. Based on Bowen Family Systems Theory and the knowledge about the forces that govern family life, a few principles can be drawn to guide consultants in their work with families in conflict. Professionals benefit from incorporating a few simple, solid and practical ideas. These principles are basic and straightforward, yet, the ability of consultants to put them into practice during emotionally intense situations only comes with reflection and practice in both the private and in the professional arenas.
  • I love My Siblings, But Now We Also Have to Be Business Partners! An Analysis of Sibling Group Decision Making Based on Bowen Family Systems Theory. (Denver, August 2015). Sharing the dining table with siblings is one thing, but becoming business partners is a different story. Many sibling groups encounter a serious roadblock when they are faced with the challenge of managing wealth or run a business that has been passed on to them from the previous generation. They are faced with the need to collaborate in new ways while old patterns or relationships are still operating. A systems view of the multigenerational family guided by Bowen theory will provide a way to understand what sibling groups are up against and what they can do to succeed.
  • Building Blocks to Family Governance. A Case Study. (Orlando, March 2015). Only 12% of family business survive the third generation. 85% (of the 70% that fails) is due to problems with communication, trust, and preparation for the next generation. Family businesses represent 90% of enterprises in the US and 30% of these will change leadership in the next 5 years. To be prepared for this trend, “Building blocks to Family Governance” objectives include:
    • Identify the key characteristics of a governance structure to increase communication and trust
    • Differentiate the business of the family and family business to improve survival and thrive
    • Evaluate a case and strategies to improve preparation for the next generation

Centro Carmel. Dominican Republic

Instituto Latinoamericano de Estudios de la Familia, A.C.

Latin Private Wealth Summit.

Entrepreneurial Organization (EO)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),
Washington, DC

Universidad Complutense, Madrid, España;
STIRPE, Madrid, España;
Centro Antheo, Valladolid, España;
Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, España;
Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao, España

Universidad de Comillas, UNINPS, Madrid, España

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, España

Collegio Fugoli, Lugo, España

Facultad de Formación del Profesorado, Lugo, España

Pan-American Health Organization

Instituto Medico Psicológico de Atención a la Familia IMAFA, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Child Center and Adult Services, Inc. (now Aspire Counseling), Gaithersburg, MD

Catholic Charities School of Social Service, Washington, DC

St. Mary’s Center, Washington, DC

Counseling Center, University of Maryland Baltimore County