Our Mission


The Western Pennsylvania Family Center (WPFC) is a non-profit educational organization [501(c)(3)], founded in September 1985 for the purpose of working with motivated individuals to improve their own functioning in—as well as the functioning of—their families, organizations, and communities, those human systems seeking to engage in life-affirming, harm-reducing behaviors across multiple generations. Toward that end, we utilize and teach a particular set of principles and practices derived from Murray Bowen’s family systems theory. Those principles and practices offer a means of learning to see, more objectively, the human systems we are each inextricably part of, even as we learn to manage ourselves as individuals for our own personal good and for the good of the larger systems to which we each belong, whether family, organization, or community.

In brief, our mission is to support the healthy functioning of families, organizations, communities, and other human systems toward a more sustainable future.


Who Is It For?

● For those who have a curiosity about the blind spots, gaps, and biases in their own thinking.

● For those who have a gut feeling that there is more to understanding relationships than ‘meets the eye.’

● For those who are interested in how real, lasting change occurs.

● For those who see facts and science as an orienting, ‘north star.’

● For those interested in learning how to navigate relationships and life in a more personally, fulfilling way.

● For those who dream of living a life that is more dynamic, resilient, and flexible.

● For those who question their own role in the outcome of their lives within the context of the systems they must live in and navigate simultaneously.

● For those who are exhausted by the impulse of feelings – which can continually lead to provoking conflict or preventing connection.

● For those interested in developing leadership qualities that do not exhaust or diminish the leader’s own health.

● For those who recognize connecting and communication as an integral part of community development.


Over the years, the Western Pennsylvania Center has consulted with many organizations, designing programs to meet their specific goals and objectives. Among them are:

A Second Chance, Inc.
Allegheny Children’s Initiative
Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families
The Bradley Center
Family Services of Western Pennsylvania
Head Start
Jewish Family and Children’s Service;
Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
Shady Lane School
United Cerebral Palsy
Wilkinsburg Ministerial Association

For more information, call (412) 362-2295 or Email: info@wpfc.net

Our Faculty

The Western Pennsylvania Family Center was founded by six professionals all trained in family systems theory, four of whom trained with Dr. Murray Bowen at the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, D.C. The faculty now numbers 17, all of whom are available for training and individual coaching in Bowen family systems theory. The faculty also consult with professionals working with families, organizations, and other professional contexts.

Founders: Paulina McCullough, Jim Smith, Stuart Libman, Walter Smith, Ann Vodeging Read, Cynthia Larkby

Our Staff

As a non-profit organization, much of our work is performed by generous volunteers who support our small, paid staff.

Board Members

The Board of Directors of the Western Pennsylvania Family Center is made up of professionals from diverse backgrounds: attorneys, real estate professionals, clergy, mental health practitioners, business consultants, financial analysts, and so on.

Other Bowen

The Western Pennsylvania Family Center is part of a growing network of education and training centers in the U.S. and Canada that utilize and teach Bowen theory.