Bowen family systems theory provides a way to understand how families and social groups adapt to challenges and threats as a single, interlocking unit and relationship system. The theory explains how emotional systems adapt based on natural emotional processes. It describes how these adaptations can shape future coping of a family or social group. The conference and symposium provide an opportunity for presenters and attendees to explore the functioning of families and social groups as emotional systems. Each presentation does not focus on COVID-19. However, each presentation explores the functioning of emotional systems and ways they adapt to challenges and events. The COVID-19 virus will be a common discussion theme throughout the conference and symposium.