Chronic Illness and the Family: Mar 23 & 24

March 23 & 24 (Friday/Saturday)

St. Paul’s Hospital

With Dr. Steve Cole, Dr. Michael Kerr & Joan Jurkowski

Register at:

Conference Description
Registration fee: the registration fee is refundable less $40 before March 1, 2018 and only refundable after March 1, 2018. for emergencies as determined by Living Systems.
Register early, seats are limited! A letter of attendance will be available for CE credit purposes

Bowen family systems theory describes emotional patterns of functioning in the family that contribute to the development of physical, psychiatric, and social symptoms. Every chronic illness includes an emotional process that operates in both the family and in the person who develops the illness. The emerging field of social genomics has begun to identify how social relationships and genes interact to shape susceptibility to disease. For most of us, our family is the most influential set of relationships we have, both as children and as adults. This conference will explore how emotional process in the family can interact with the expression of certain genes in members of the family that affect our behaviour and our health. In addition, the conference will examine the possibility that modifying patterns of family interaction may alter the expression of genes linked to health and illness.


Dr. Michael E. Kerr is a family psychiatrist who has studied the possible influence of the family in the creation and course of cancer and other chronic illnesses throughout his career. Dr. Kerr was a close colleague of Dr. Bowen and succeeded him as Director of the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, DC. He is co-author with Dr. Bowen of the book Family Evaluation and is writing another book entitled The Hidden Life of Families. He is currently director of the Bowen Theory Academy. Dr. Steve Cole is a Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the UCLA School of Medicine. His research maps the biological pathways by which social environments influence gene expression, including genes that affect replication of viruses like HIV, the response of the immune system, and the progression and metastasis of cancer. Dr. Cole pioneered the field of human social genomics and supports a worldwide array of research programs as Director of the UCLA Core Laboratory
of Social Genomics. Steve Cole is also a gifted presenter of his research. Joan Jurkowski is a registered LCPC who is on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and has a private practice in Baltimore, Maryland. She has a longstanding personal and professional interest in the relationship between family emotional process and cancer.

Learning Objectives

• To learn about a family system’s approach to the treatment of Chronic Illness.
• To explore how emotional process in the family can interact with the expression of certain genes in members of the family that
affect our behaviour and our health
• To explore how the therapist’s thinking guides the process of therapy.

Download the complete brochure HERE