Bowen Family Systems Theory and Narrative Therapy

This online 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 person’s 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 online module focuses on ways of externalising the problem, so it seen as 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. 10 CPD hours

Cost of Course: $110

Successful completion of this E-Learning Course earns 10 ACMHN continuing professional education (CPE) points. 

This course is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).               

                                         CPD-PACFA Endorsement-LOGO-2017

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 therapist’s 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