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Board Members


Janet Watts
Transition Team
Interim President

Stephanie Nelson

Janet Watts  earned a Bachelor of Science degree  in Zoology and Chemistry from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She worked 5 years in the medical field before changing her career focus to the energy industry working both in power plants and corporate settings; leading people and projects of increasing complexity requiring advanced change management skills. She was introduced to Bowen Theory 20 years ago and began applying it to her personal and professional life. The opportunity to formally study Bowen Theory thru the Bowen Theory Education Center Training  Program has brought significant insights leading to life long changes in attitude and behavior, and a more comprehensive understanding of Bowen Theory.

Carla Goette 

For over twenty years, Carla has been a mental health therapist in the Chattanooga area. Her graduate work at UTC included extensive research in the area of children and the effects of parental death on their grieving process. Carla developed a grief support program for children, teens, and adults which she piloted in Chattanooga and eventually marketed nationwide.

Carla’s interest in Bowen Family Systems Theory began approximately twenty-five years ago when it was introduced by a local clinician whose training had been at Georgetown University where Murray Bowen taught. She has actively pursued more extensive training and understanding of the theory for the past five years. Carla has seen significant changes in the lives of her own clients by sharing and applying Bowen Theory to their families. As well, Carla acknowledges the work she has done with her family of origin and her nuclear family has changed the course of her life.


Carla has been married to Bill, a middleschool teacher for 34 years. They have two grown daughters and one daughter still in high school. She has two grandchildren whom she loves to spoil as often as she can. Carla and her family are very involved in a local church and have a special interest in local and foreign missions and teaching Bible to younger students.

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Lee Blackburn

Stephanie is a graduate of Ohio University in Athens, OH and University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked in the Mental Health field as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2001. She has lived and worked in different regions of the US and decided to make Chattanooga her home in 2014.

Stephanie provides individual and family therapy in an outpatient setting and is an Adjunct Professor in the Social Work Department at UTC. She was introduced to Bowen Family Theory while in graduate school and again by The Dwyers and Jean Blackburn. She began the Bowen Theory Education Training Program in 2016 and continues every year.

Stephanie utilizes the theory in her practice and has found the training helpful in understanding her own family system and relationships.

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Jean Blackburn
Emeritus Director

Psychiatric - Mental Health Clinical Specialist

Licensed by States of Tennessee and Georgia

Certified by American Nurses Association

Postgraduate Training Bowen Theory and Psychotherapy

Bowen Center for the Study of Family, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Master of Science in Nursing

Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida


Jean has been a practicing registered nurse for 52 years.  She prepared as an advanced practice nurse in 1972-73.  Enrolled in the postgraduate program at the Georgetown Family Center in 1975.  She began her career as a Bowen Theory therapist in 1975 and opened her private practice, "Family Systems Therapy" in 1978.  She has continued to study Bowen Theory and its application to the human condition since 1975.  She has frequently lectured on the topic of Bowen theory to various community groups, such as Vanderbilt University Graduate Students, Chattanooga Area Pastoral Care students, and centers that provide direct care to persons with psychiatric issues.  She has supervised graduate students in their field placement as they learned Bowen Theory.

Lee Blackburn is a technology wizard. He has brought our programming online and assists with all things technological. His understanding of theory comes naturally as the son of BTEC's Founder and President Emeritus. 

Dr. William Dwyer

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Rev. Jake Morrill

Jake Morrill is a minister, therapist, non-profit director, and leadership coach. He started serious study of systems thinking in 2004, after getting caught up in a church fight. Currently, he’s in his sixth year of the Post-Graduate Program at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family; he is also part of the Bowen Theory study group and the Bowen Theory in Organizations study group, both housed at the Bowen Center. This fall, Rockridge Press will publish his book, Unlocking the Art of Forgiveness. His website is

Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Specialist

Licensed as a Physician in the State of Tennessee, MD 4071

Member American Medical Association, Tennessee Medical Association and Hamilton County Medical Society

Member of the American College of Surgeons

Board Certified in Surgery by the American College of Surgeons

Serves as Treasurer for the Bowen Archives Project of Leaders for Tomorrow


Dr. Bill Dwyer graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Science degree and then attended Medical School at the University of Tennessee Medical Units in Memphis. Following the granting of his Medical Degree in 1960, he interned in Chicago at Michael Reese Hospital. Finishing there, he served in the Army Medical Corps until 1963 when he entered the Surgery Residency Program at the City of Memphis Hospitals.  Upon completing his four year Residency in Surgery, he performed a Fellowship in Surgery at the Lahey Clinic in Boston, and then moved to Chattanooga to establish a practice in General and Cancer Surgery. During this period of his life he came to know and admire the work of a fellow Physician, Dr. Murray Bowen, whose studies led to the theory of human behavior which bears his name. It was after retiring in 1997 that Dr. Dwyer decided to further his studies in Bowen Family Systems Theory at the Georgetown Family Center. This Post-graduate work continued for five years, and he began his practice in Family Systems Therapy in 2002. His office is located at 301 Belvoir Avenue in Chattanooga.

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Linda Dwyer 

Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Specialist

Licensed in the State of Tennessee

Certified by American Nurses Association


Linda graduated from the University of Tennessee Medical Units Memphis in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She formed and coordinated the Cancer Team at Erlanger Hospital in 1979, which led to the development of Hospice of Chattanooga. Her special interest in Cancer led to an interest in Family Systems and to Graduate School at Vanderbilt University where she completed a Masters Degree in Psychiatric Nursing in 1981. She then became the Director of Nursing and later Director of the Adult Program at Valley Psychiatric Hospital.


She did 5 years of Post-graduate work at the Georgetown Family Center and has been in private clinical practice in Chattanooga for the past 25 years, with an office at 551 Oak Street, until recently when she moved her office to 301 Belvoir Avenue in Chattanooga.

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