Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Annual Spring Conference

June 21 @ 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM EDT


This is an online conference, and all presentations and discussions will occur utilizing ZOOM technology. Registrants for the conference will be emailed information to connect to the conference at 7:00AM, and participants are asked to connect fifteen minutes before conference start time. Participants will be given written instructions for how to ask questions and make comments during the conference. Participants are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the use of ZOOM technology before the meeting.

Attachment theory has become our national paradigm for understanding human behavior, while also guiding our policies and interventions in response to troubling behaviors. It shares some important similarities with Bowen’s family systems theory, yet the two theories also have some important differences. These lead to different professional practices, personal work within one’s own family, and to broader social programming and education.

Our morning keynote speaker, Kathleen Kerr, MSN, MA, CNS, APRN—will explore these theoretical similarities and differences in depth and highlight the impact these differences make. She will also be reflecting with us on the afternoon presentations that will be looking at: 1) the challenge of seeing one’s own parents more objectively from within the pull of the family system’s emotional field; 2) the contextual factors that draw our thinking in the direction of attachment theory; and 3) how the professional’s own family processes and automatic reactivity can invite certain interactions with clients.

These additional presentations will be made by Ashley North, LMFT, Heather Brown, LMFT, and Carl Jensen, MDiv, MSEd. Participant time for Q & A will follow each presentation.


Keynote Speaker

Kathleen Kerr, MSN, MA, CNS, APRN is a clinical nurse specialist, and has had a private practice since 1975. She was on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family from 1978 to 2012. She is a founding Board member of the Bowen Theory Academy, since 2011, where she coordinates the Family History Database Project, which collects multiple multi-generational family histories to study basic concepts in Bowen theory and the Research Seminar. Her interests have included: aging and the family, applying Bowen theory to organizations, the different kinds of systems thinking, mother-offspring relationships, healthcare and applying Bowen theory in the emergency room. She has published articles on a number of these topics. She was given access to the data from the longitudinal research on chimpanzees begun by Jane Goodall, Ph.D. and did a pilot study on the effect of mother-offspring relationships on adult behavior.


Registration Fees

WPFC offers registration for both live attendance and to view the recording of the conference for those unable to attend on the scheduled date. Social Workers, LPCs and LMFTs who register to view the conference recording are still eligible to receive all credit hours for viewing the recorded conference for a period of 2 years after the conference date. This option is not currently available to Psychologists due to APA guidelines.

Please note: the conference recordings will be available to all registrants for a period of 30 days. 

      • $150 – Live Attendance via Zoom
      • $150 – Conference Recording Only
      • $80 – Student Rate: Please send a scanned copy of your student ID or other proof of enrollment to rebecca@wpfc.net in order to receive a discount code to be used during checkout.


The WPFC Scholarship Fund was created to provide financial aid to students, clinicians and other professionals facing financial hardships. This fund is made available through the generosity of our donors to keep education accessible and Bowen Family System Theory within reach to further one’s own work.

If you would like to receive financial assistance for this program,  please click here to send an email to rebecca@wpfc.net for more information.


Speaker Bios and Conference Schedule

Learning Objectives

12 Learning Objectives for 6 Training Hours

Participants will be able to:

      1. List three similarities between Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory.
      2. Describe three differences between Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory.
      3. List key concepts of Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory.
      4. Identify key elements of the research base for Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory.
      5. Clarify and address confusion in the family field between Bowen Theory and Attachment Theory.
      6. Identify and answer the key question Attachment Theory and Bowen Theory are each trying to address.
      7. Think about attachment systemically and objectively.
      8. Focus on the stability of the self regardless of attachment.
      9. Learn systems theory through therapist application to self when what is presented in clinical situations may relate to both the therapist’s automatic reactions and related family processes.
      10. Test how systems theory can be applied as a lens and framework for understanding and responding to behavior, thus clarifying both theory and behavior.
      11. Explore the context of Attachment Theory.
      12. Utilize Bowen Theory to explore context.


Continuing Education Credits

Social Work:

CEs available for Social Workers, LPCs and LMFTs who register to view the recorded conference. ***The conference recording will be available for viewing and eligible for continuing education credits for a period of 2 years after the conference date.*** Should you choose to view the recording for credits, you are responsible for tracking your viewing progress within the 2 year timeframe. Once you’ve completed the recording in full, you’ll need to verify that with WPFC’s admin, Rebecca Keller (rebecca@wpfc.net) in order to receive the required evaluation. Should you have any questions about this option, please send an email to rebecca@wpfc.net.

LSW/LCSW, LPC and LMFT continuing education credits are $15.00 per person.  

This program is offered for 6 hours of social work continuing education through co-sponsorship of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, a Council on Social Work Education-accredited school and, therefore, a PA pre-approved provider of social work continuing education. These credit hours satisfy requirements for LSW/LCSW, LPC and LMFT biennial license renewal. For information on social work continuing education call (412) 624-6902.

Please note:

        • Participants requesting Social Work CEs will receive their credits from our co-sponsor approximately 3-6 weeks after the conference takes place. WPFC does not provide participants with their certificate.



Psychology continuing education credits will be provided for a fee of $25.00 paid directly to GPPA. All Psychology CE recipients must attend the conference live (via Zoom) to receive their credits. ***After the program has been completed, recipients will receive a link to submit a training evaluation and submit their CE payment online through GPPA’s website.



Conference Registration questions:  Contact Rebecca Keller at rebecca@wpfc.net

WPFC programs and services: Cynthia Larkby, Ph.D. at Cynthia.larkby.phd@icloud.com


Day 1
06/21/2024 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Free – $150.00


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Conference Recording
$ 150.00
6 Social Work CEs
Available whether you attend live or view the recording only. Credits are only available for a duration of two years from the date of the training [June 21, 2026].
$ 15.00