Past Conference

Fall 2017 Conference: Differentiation of Self

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"The differentiation of a self does not take place in a vacuum. It involves the definition of self in relation to other selfs about important life issues important to self." - Murray Bowen, FTCP, p. 224

Course content and objectives:
  1. Clinicians who want to expand their perspective on how work based in differentiation of self is a resource for dealing with symptoms that impact health and reproduction as well as problems with marriage and raising children.
  2. Individuals who are using therapy to bring about changes in their own life and family.

The program will address the following questions:

This conference is for:

  • How do physiological reactions (stress, anxiety) in one person reflect patterns of reacting, such as distance or conflict, in the family?
  • What is different at higher or lower levels of Differentiation of self?
  • How can people use knowledge about physical reactions to better manage anxiety?
  • What are the differences between a focus on “being calm” and becoming more thoughtful?
  • What are the differences between working on differentiation of self and working on a particular type of relationship?

Conference Presenter: Victoria Harrison, MA, LMFT

Director, Center for the Study of Natural Systems and the Family, Houston, TX Faculty, Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, DC

Ms. Harrison began study with Murray Bowen and the faculty at Georgetown Family Center in 1976 where she also used biofeedback instruments to look at physiological reactions to relationships and stress. After moving back to Texas in 1991, Ms. Harrison established the Center for the Study of Natural Systems and the Family in Houston. ( She has commuted to DC since 1992 to serve as faculty for The Bowen Center where she directed the Postgraduate Training Program and launched the Online Introduction to Bowen Theory and Practice.

Ms. Harrison has a private practice in family systems psychotherapy using biofeedback and neurofeedback for self-regulation of anxiety in Houston. Her research and clinical focus are with symptoms that impact health and reproduction. She received the Caskie Research Award

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for her work on reactivity to relationships in development of endometriosis and for the study of physiological reactivity and differentiation of self between five family members. The Observations of Change Research project documents changes in physiological reactions and in symptoms and family functioning that accompany working on differentiation of self in one’s own family.

Her list of articles and book chapters include “A Wider Lens: Bowen Theory and A Natural Systems View of Symptoms”; “Emotional Reactivity, Fusion, and Differentiation of Self in Family Physiology: Clinical Case Research” and “Emotional Systems and Regulation of Reproduction with Ovulation as an Illustration.”

This one day program will discuss ways that Bowen theory guides work on differentiation of self that brings about changes in symptoms and functioning for the person and the family. Victoria Harrison will draw upon Murray Bowen’s observations about the family as an emotional system that governs the physiology, brains, relationship patterns and functioning of individuals. She will discuss evidence from science and her own research that can be used to better understand symptoms and stability as a reflection of anxiety in the family and differentiation of self.

Examples from her own family and from clinical practice will illustrate the benefits of using Bowen theory as a framework and how knowledge about physiological reactions can be employed, with and without using biofeedback and neurofeedback as part of the process.

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Clip Breakdown:

Download The Conference!

  • Parking on site available for $10.00/vehicle.
  • Limited number of partial scholarships available. Contact Lorna for details.
  • There are no activities included that are not offered for continuing education credit.
  • Contact Lorna for instructions regarding accommodations for disability. The program facility is ADA compliant.

Refund / Cancellation Policy:
Full refund less credit card fees will be applied through Friday, September 8, 2017. After that, contact Lorna directly

Please address any grievances to:
Lorna Hecht-Zablow, MFT
(619) 838-4551
591 Camino De La Reina, Suite 918
San Diego, CA 92108

Provider: Lorna Hecht, MFT, MFC35604, CEPA #035339. Clinical member of AAMFT and CAMFT.

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