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14th Annual Symposium: 
Featured Speaker:
Dr. Daniel Papero, Ph.D., LCSW-C, LISCW
September 27, 2024
Early Bird Registration $99
through September 1
Price increases to $119 on September 1
Chattanooga State Community College

Erlanger Health Sciences Center

Room 1085

 or Zoom


CEUS are available 

This program has been submitted for

 7.0 continuing education hours for social workers,

and Chattanooga State Community College professional development.

NASW CEUs are included in your registration.










For online registration, click the button above, then return and complete the payment!


For mail-in registration, print out the brochure below, complete the form on the right hand side, and mail it with your check to the address listed in order to be registered for the symposium. 

Registration closes on September 26 at 8:00 pm.

Any registrations after that time will receive a link with a recording of the event

the following week. 






Our annual symposium is intended to broaden the community's awareness of Bowen Theory and provide practical knowledge to people working in

  • health care,

  • social work,

  • clergy, 

  • community and business organizations. 

The symposium also launches an eight month training program in Bowen Theory. 

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 education and training for The Bowen Theory of natural systems developed by Murray Bowen, M.D., and its application to the human condition. Our Annual Symposium is held in September and precedes our eight month training program in Bowen Theory.


Both the symposium and the training program are patterned after The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Georgetown, Washington, DC, of which we are a satellite. Our annual symposium is intended to broaden the community's awareness of Bowen Theory and provide practical knowledge to people working in health care, social work, clergy, business, and community organizations. The symposium also launches an eight month training program in Bowen Theory.  Our professional training program provides a basic introduction and training in Bowen Theory, the study of natural systems, and the family.  Through collaboration with Chattanooga State Community College's  Continuing Education Department, credits will be available for both the symposium and the training program for additional fees.

Chattanooga State CEUs
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Bowen Theory Education Center's
Annual Symposium
Past Speakers

Dr. Walter Smith, Jr., Ph. D

Dr. Smith is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Smith has a primary interest in applying Bowen theory to family violence, child abuse, and organizational functioning. He is a licensed psychologist and a graduate of the Georgetown Family Center's Post Graduate Program in Family Theory and Family Psychotherapy. Dr. Smith is a founder of the Western Pennsylvania Family Center. He maintains a small private practice. He is the former executive director of Family Resources, a child abuse treatment and prevention organization in Pittsburgh, and is a frequent national and international lecturer. His symposium presentation will focus on Child abuse, intimate partner violence, and elder abuse, which are forms of family violence that can be understood as an aspect of family emotional processes. This presentation examines patterns of family functioning that relate to violence when the perpetrator of aggression is another family member. These patterns not only reflect immediate circumstances that trigger violence but also long-term aspects of family functioning. The presentation also will focus on how human services and helping social systems can be useful to family violence prevention and intervention. 

Amie Post, MA, LCMT
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Amie Post is currently serving as the Executive/Clinical Director at the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County, Maryland, whose efforts work to interrupt patterns of conflict and violence, develop capacity in families and help all move forward more effectively. Additionally, Amie maintains a private clinical practice in Towson, MD and is a Clinical Associate at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington DC.  Amie has been a student of Bowen Family Systems Theory since 2001 when she was a master’s student in Marriage and Family Therapy at Seton Hill University. She has completed four years of study at the Postgraduate Training Program of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and served as a Clinical Intern there.  Amie is on the faculty and serves as a member of the Board at the Bowen Center.

Over the course of her career Amie has worked with humans from all ages and stages - from being a two-year old preschool teacher to assisting older adults in a nursing home, in education, congregational leadership, counseling and caregiving. This breadth and depth of experience has provided a way of thinking about human development across the lifespan and helps Amie conceptualize the problems families and individuals encounter through an evolutionary lens of adaptation to challenge. 

Andrea Schara, LICSW
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Andrea, as a student of Dr. Murray Bowen and later as faculty at the Georgetown Family Center, has a unique understanding and approach to coaching individuals and families. 

Ms. Schara is a Family Systems Coach with 38 years of experience. She specializes in coaching people to have more fun and be more creative as they seek to define a self in their family and social systems. NeurOptimal Neurofeedback is a tool she uses to enable greater integration of the mind/body as people begin to alter old patterns in the relationships system.

Her second book, Your Mindful Compass: Breakthrough Strategies For Navigating Life/Work Relationships In Any Social Jungle, was published in 2013. 

Currently, she sees individuals and families in Darien, Ct. and in Washington, DC. In addition, she offers family weekend retreats at the Zen Farm in Fredericksburg, Va.

Ms. Schara is also available for meetings and small group learning experiences and currently is teaching in the Navigating Systems program.

Dr. Daniel Papero, Ph.D., LCSW-C, LISCW
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After graduate training in social work at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Dr. Papero entered postgraduate training in family systems theory and psychotherapy at the Georgetown University Family Center. In 1982, Dr. Bowen invited him to join the faculty of the Georgetown University Family Center.

He has written numerous articles and book chapters on various aspects of family systems theory and family psychotherapy and, in 1990, published a basic introduction to family systems, Bowen Family Systems Theory. He serves on the editorial board of Family Systems and of the Family Business Client.


He currently gives between fifteen and twenty invited presentations yearly to various professional groups across the country on topics related to family systems theory, family psychotherapy, and the functioning of corporations and organizations.

In recent years he has consulted increasingly with organizations in both the private and public sectors about the impact of relationships on functioning and about the emotional process of organizations.


Dr. Papero maintains his consulting practice in Washington, DC.

Michael Kerr, MD
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Michael E. Kerr, MD succeeded Murray Bowen as Director of the Georgetown Family Center in 1990, following a close twenty-year association.

Dr. Kerr is the co-author with Murray Bowen of Family Evaluation: An Approach Based on Bowen Theory which was published by W.W. Norton & Company in 1988. He has also written many articles and book chapters related to Bowen theory and its applications. He was the founding editor of Family Systems: A Journal of Natural Systems Thinking in Psychiatry and the Sciences and served from 1994 to 2014. 


Dr. Kerr’s primary research interests have been the relationship of Bowen theory to evolutionary theory, the relationship of physical, emotional, and social symptoms to family emotional process, and the process of differentiation in clinical work. At an Annual Family Symposium, he proposed a new concept in Bowen theory called, “the unidisease.” He is developing an article on the unidisease concept for publication. 

He speaks frequently around the country at medical schools, universities, meetings of national organizations, and regional conferences on these and other topics related to Bowen theory. 


He produced a video series with Dr. Bowen entitled, The Bowen-Kerr Interview Series, in which Dr. Kerr interviews Dr. Bowen on a wide variety of topics. He has produced a video lecture series on the concepts of the Bowen theory, a lecture tape entitled, “Why Do Siblings Turn Out So Differently?” and a lecture tape called, “Towards A Systems Concept of Supernatural Phenomena: A Status Report.”

Roberta Gilbert, MD
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Dr. Gilbert is a psychiatrist whose primary interest is in Bowen family systems theory and its applications for individuals, families, organizational leaders and therapists. 

Dr. Gilbert attended medical school and completed her specialty training in psychiatry at SUNY at Buffalo. Postgraduate training included two years in the Family Program of the Menninger Clinic and the Postgraduate Program at the Georgetown University Family Center from 1982 to 1987. 


She has been on the faculty of the Bowen Center since 1988, serving as a presenter and supervisor. She has also been an editorial consultant for Family Systems, published by the Bowen Center. She has served on program committee and the Journal editorial board. She is a regular presenter at the Clinical Conference Series. 


In addition to her psychiatric practice, Dr. Gilbert provides leadership training for clergy and other leaders of organizations in Richmond, VA. 


Dr. Gilbert’s books include Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interaction, Connecting With Our Children: Guiding Principles for Parents, Extraordinary Leadership, The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory, and The Cornerstone Concept. 


She resides in Pompano Beach, Florida where she is writing a new book while presenting, and working with a Bowen interest group there. She also works with leaders in a phone and Skype-based practice.

Anne McKnight, EDD, LCSW, LICSW
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Dr. Anne S. McKnight has been the Director of the Bowen Center since January 1, 2011.

Dr. McKnight has been a member of the Bowen Center faculty since 1992. Her activities have included directing, teaching, and supervising in the postgraduate training programs, leading the internship program, organizing and presenting at conferences sponsored by the Bowen Center and at meetings nationally and internationally. As a family therapist for 40 years, she developed a special interest in families with addiction from working, teaching, and supervising students in a child and family substance abuse program in Virginia. Among other topics, she has presented on Families with Addiction, The Relationship World of the Young Adult, Death in the Family, Looking Up the Family Tree, Epigenetics and Bowen Theory, and Ethics in Family Therapy.

Dr. Anne McKnight is a family therapist in private practice in Arlington, VA and at the Bowen Center.

Dr. Kathleen Smith
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Dr. Kathleen Smith is a licensed therapist and author of the new book, Everything Isn’t Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down, with Hachette Books. 

A graduate of Harvard University and George Washington University, she’s written for popular websites like Salon, Slate, New York Magazine, Psychology Today, Lifehacker, Bustle, Everyday Health, Psycom, Psychotherapy Networker, Psychology Today, Counseling Today, and many others.

Interviews with Kathleen have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Women’s Healthmagazine, Women’s World magazine, and television programs including Good Morning Washington.

She is a student of Bowen Family Systems Theory and an associate faculty member of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. Kathleen has a private therapy practice in Washington, DC, and is the host of the TV show Family Matters, produced by the University of the District of Columbia. 

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