About the Center

The Bowen Theory Education Center is a not for profit organization established in Chattanooga, TN in 2008. The Center's principal purpose is to provide an education and training center for teaching the Bowen Theory of natural systems developed by Murray Bowen, M.D., and its application to the human condition.

The Chattanooga Bowen Theory Education Center, Inc (BTEC) was established in 2008, and acquired a 501 (c) (3) status in August 2010. The Mission of the Bowen Theory Education Center is to provide knowledge of concepts, principles and the application of Bowen Theory through a supervised experiential learning process, that includes practice and application of Bowen Theory in human conditions.

Bowen Theory is based on fifty years of scientific study. Dr. Murray Bowen was the originator. He observed that human behavior is governed by the family relationships and the generational history of the family. Dr. Bowen conceptualized the family as an emotional unit and regards family relationships as the primary source of human behavior.The theory addresses one’s level of human functioning, and how it relates to problems that develop in the family and in society. Bowen’s pioneering research demonstrated that viewing a problem as a part of the family’s multi-generational process was more effective than viewing it as a problem in the individual. In general, Bowen Theory assumes that most dysfunctions are ushered in by an overload of anxiety which disturbs thinking and influences behavior. Bowen Theory provides an individual with the means to manage his anxiety, allowing changes in behavior. In addition to explaining human functioning, the theory demonstrates methods that improve the overall functioning of the family and it’s individual members. This improvement transfers to the broader society. Therefore, the theory is applicable to many human conditions and areas of human functioning..

Dr. Bowen’s research began at the National Institute of Health and Georgetown University Medical School before he established the first center, The Georgetown Family Center, in 1975. The original multi-focused center, now known as The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, offers training and direct services to clients, as well as continuing research. The Bowen Theory Education Center in Chattanooga is an independent nonprofit entity. Three members of the Chattanooga faculty were trained at the original center; of which, two of the faculty trained with Murray Bowen. Currently, there are at least 10 Bowen Education Centers in the United States and Canada.

Goals of the Chattanooga Bowen Theory Education Center are summarized under our Vision, Mission, and Goals statement.

The Center’s initial program is our annual Bowen Theory Symposium.