The Prairie Center for Family Studies


Member of The National Network of Bowen Theory Training Programs

"Challenge & Crisis in the Family:  When the Going Gets Tough" with Dr. Dan Papero

Nov. 10, 2011**The Clarion Hotel**Manhattan, KS

Tammi Hawk Memorial Conference

About The Prairie CenterUp Coming SeminarsPREVIOUS SeminarsBowen Coaching GroupClinical Services

The Prairie Center web site is in the process of being updated by Tammi's husband, Tom.  Tammi's death on July 18, 2010 was a great loss to her family, her clients, and to the many mental health professionals who attended her Bowen Family Systems seminars.  Pam Allen has provided incredible leadership in organizing the "Tammi Hawk Memorial Conference" with Dr. Dan Papero on November 10, 2011 at the Clarion in Manhattan.  See the tab above for Upcoming Seminars for more information.

Kansas has provided a legacy of training in Bowen Family Systems Theory since Murray Bowen began his theoretical journey at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas. Today third and fourth generation practitioners can be found across the state stemming from these roots. Currently, KC Center for Family and Organizational Systems in Kansas City, MO is offering training at multiple levels which include psychotherapy, supervision and consultation groups, and seminars by visiting experts from The Bowen Center and affiliated sciences. 

The Prairie Center for Family Studies has offered the Family Evaluation Monthly consultation group led by Tamara J. Hawk, LSCSW and the quarterly coaching group lead by Daniel V. Papero, MSSW, PhD from The Bowen Center in Washington DC. Both of these groups are described in detail on page 4. Please contact Tom Hawk(  if you have further questions about these training opportunities.  




Topeka Consultation Group with Dan Papero, Ph.D. (2011-12)
Dr. Papero leads an all day consultation group three times a year that is designed to increase understanding of Bowen Systems Theory through practical application to life problems. The consultation group format minimizes “group emotional process,” and encourages individuals to observe and think independently while applying systems concepts.  The 2011-2012 group is being held twice on the Washburn University campus (August 26 and March 2), and once in Manhattan (November 11).  For more information contact Tim Peterson, Ph.D., at


Manhattan, KS Coaching Group: This group is held at 210-Southwind Pl.  and meets every other month on the 2nd Friday of the month from 9:00 -noon.  Participants can present their family, clinical case or work system in an effort to 'think systems.'  Dates are Sept. 9, Nov. 10 (no group due to Papero Conference), Jan. 13, March 9, and May 11th.  Contact person is:  Pamela Allen, LSCSW.  If you are interested in this group, contact Pam at:



Wichita, KS Coaching Group: This is a newly forming group sponsored by Gloria Jones, PhD. Gloria has participated in all the Prairie Center training seminars and Dan Papero's coaching group for seven years. If you are interested in this group, contact Gloria at



Topeka Consultation Group with Dan Papero, PhD.  Dr. Papero leads an all day coaching group three times a year. This year it is being hosted by Dr. Tim Peterson of  Washburn in August, November (Manhattan location), and March (Washburn campus). For information on dates, times, and expectations about participating in this group, contact Tim at:

The KC Center for Family and Organizational Systems

invites you to participate in this years programs. For details, go to the KC website at:                                             See the list of current programs on Program Calendar page                                                                    

Individuals participating in K.C. Center programs represent a large diversity of professional backgrounds including behavioral health, medicine, education, business, clergy, and other family serving professionals. The commonality is interest in learning and applying systems thinking to their personal and professional lives.

K.C. Center offerings include training, conferences, consultation groups, video series, webcast lectures, and video resources.  

 For questions contact Margaret Otto, 816-36-1721 ext. #5 or via email at

Heartland Conference: "Inflammation, Depression and Emotional Reactivity through a Systems Perspective" with Michael Kerr, M.D., Director Emeritus of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. (March 23, 24, 2012)

Postgraduate Education & Training Series

20011 - 2012 Educational Programs at The Kansas City Center:

Open Classroom 

Live Monthly Webcast Lectures with Michael Kerr, M.D.

Clinical Consultation Group

Postgraduate Seminar

Video Library

Annual 2011-2012 Video Series

Who Was Murray Bowen?
     Described by close associate and student of Bowen theory, Andrea M. Schara stated that "Murray Bowen (1913- 1990) was the first and only psychiatrist to describe a theory explaining human behavior. His understanding of the emotional processes in his own family distinguished him from all others in psychiatry. Few people really understood what he accomplished by studying his own family and then placing his theory in the midst of evolutionary biology." See
Dr. Bowen's story at Andrea M. Schara Ideas To Action website at 

     Victoria Harrison, a close associate of Dr. Bowen, current Director of the Board of the Center for the Study of Natural Systems and the Family in Houston TX and a faculty member at the Georgetown Family Center, described Dr. Bowen’s influence and contribution to the science of human behavior:(Visit Victoria Harrison’s  CSNSF

     “Bowen theory is not a theory about pathology, but about the interaction of variables that produce variation in human functioning. Instead of reducing the explanation of physical illness, for example, to one cause and the effect, natural systems theory outlines related variables to predict individual variation in health. Any symptoms, be they physical, psychiatric, behavioral, social or societal, are studied within the same broad theoretical framework. Both biology and behavior are considered under the influence of the same variables and symptoms and stability are the outcome of those variables.”

     Dr. Bowen spent his life developing and testing his theory. He began by combining repeated clinical observations with reading extensively in biology, the study of evolution, and all the natural sciences. In his own words: "Family Systems Theory contains no ideas that have not been part of the human experience through the centuries. The task of the theorist is to find the minimal number of congruent pieces from the total bank of human knowledge that fit together to tell a simple story about the nature of man, or whatever other phenomenon he attempts to describe."  He made a disciplined effort to "select consistent theoretical concepts that might some day conceptualize emotional illness as a product of that part of man he shares with lower forms of life."(FTCP,1978)

    "Murray Bowen was a scholar, researcher, clinician, teacher, and writer. He worked tirelessly toward a science of human behavior, one that viewed man as a part of all life. He was very active in professional organizations, always wanting to contribute in any way he could, usually trying to remind himself that there was only so much he could do. He has been credited as being one of those rare human beings who had a genuinely new idea. He had the courage to go against the psychiatric and societal mainstream, to stand up for what he believed about human behavior. Thanks to his efforts the world has been rewarded with a new theory of human behavior, one with the potential to replace Freudian theory with a radically new method of psychotherapy based on the new theory. " (The Bowen Center For The Study of The Family,


The National Network of Bowen Theory Training Programs                    

The Prairie Center is one of 13 Bowen Theory Network Training Programs across the nation. Each stives to provide education and training in Bowen theory consistent with the theory's basic concepts and principles. 

Business leadership consulting and development based on natural systems theory:

Leadership Coaching, Inc with John Engels, President; Emily Heider, Erik Thompson;  Kathy Wiseman, Daryl Pichan, and Ellis “Bobo” Stokely. Leadership Coaching, Inc. 63 Klink Rd. Rochester, New York 14625  Phone: 585-581-1347
Fax: 585-381-9050   Email:

Ideas To Action, Education, Consulting and Coaching; Andrea M. Schara  Visit the website for a review of Bowen Theory, blogging about applying theory to your life and the world around you.