Boers, Arthur R. Never Call Them Jerks: Healthy Responses to Difficult Behavior. Washington D.C.: Rowman & Littlefield / Alban Books, 1999. Pp. 147.
Presents an insightful and balanced view to the question of how to deal with difficult behavior in congregations.
Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1985. Pp. 566.
Encompassing the breadth and depth of Dr. Murray Bowen’s contributions to the field of family therapy, this compilation of Dr. Bowen’s published articles gathers the development of his thinking into one volume.
Bregman, Ona Cohn and Charles M. White. Bringing Systems Thinking to Life: Expanding the Horizons for Bowen Family Systems Theory. New York: Routledge and Taylor & Francis, 2011. Pp. 392.
Presents the diversity and breadth of Bowen theory applications in various relationship systems across a broad spectrum of professions, disciplines, cultures, and nations; provides three chapters of never-before-published material by Dr. Bowen.
Creech, R. Robert. Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2019. Pp. 226.
Friedman, Edwin H. A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. New York: Seabury Books, 2007. Pp. 160.
A polished edition of the book Friedman left incomplete at his death in 1996. Edited by Margaret Treadwell and Edward Beal, it offers ideas Friedman developed after publication of this well-known Generation to Generation.
Friedman, Edwin H. Friedman’s Fables. New York: Guilford Press, 1990. Pp. 213.
Analogies in story form which look at family systems concepts in an entertaining way.
Friedman, Edwin H. Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue. New York:
Guilford Press, 1985. Pp. 319.
Provides an important family systems perspective on church dynamics. Sections focus on families within the congregation, the congregation as a system, and the clergy family.
Friedman, Edwin H. The Myth of the Shiksa and Other Essays. New York: Seabury Books, 2008. Pp. 225.
A collection of Friedman’s essays that had been previously published in various journals or presented at various conferences, rich in wisdom and humor.
Friedman, Edwin H. What Are You Going to Do With Your Life? New York: Seabury Books, 2009. Pp.185
A collection of writings – most previously unpublished – from the acclaimed writer, rabbi, and therapist regarding personal growth, development, and fulfillment.
Galindo, Israel. The Hidden Lives of Congregations: Discerning Church Dynamics. Herndon, VA: Rowman & Littlefield / Alban Bookss, 2006. Pp. 230.
Informed by family systems theory and grounded in a wide-ranging ecclesiological understanding, Galindo unpacks clearly the factors of congregational lifespan, size, spirituality, and identity and shows how these work together to form the congregation’s hidden life.
Gerson, Randy and McGoldrick, Monica and Petry, Sueli. Genograms: Assessment and Intervention. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, 1985. Pp. 380.
Widely used by both family therapists and all health care professionals, the genogram is a graphic way of organizing the mass of information gathered during a family assessment and finding patterns in the family system for more targeted treatment.
Gilbert, Roberta M. Connecting with Our Children: Guiding Principles for Parents in a Troubled World. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1999. Pp. 231.
Based on Bowen family systems theory, this book shows parents how to build healthy connections with children. Practical examples and stories illustrate familiar situations and concerns.
Gilbert, Roberta M. Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions. Second Edition, Stephens City, VA. Leading Systems Press, 2017. Pp.262.
This book is a blueprint to better relationships that tells how the principles of family systems theory can be used to enhance relationships in all arenas of live.
Herrington, J., Creech, R., and Taylor, T. The Leader’s Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003. Pp. 188.
Examines the functioning of churches and their leaders in light of family systems theory and biblical principles. Focuses on the challenges of doing – of taking principled action in the presence of relationship pressures.
Kerr, Michael E. Bowen Theory’s Secrets: Revealing the Hidden Life of Families. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2019. Pp. 382
Kerr, Michael E. and Bowen, Murray. Family Evaluation: An Approach Based on Bowen Theory. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, 1988. Pp. 400.
Comprehensively presents Bowen’s principles for assessing families, enabling the family therapist to organize data and therapy decisions.
Kerr, Michael E. One Family’s Story: A Primer on Bowen Theory. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown Family Center, 2003. Pp. 43.
Gives an overview of the eight basic concepts of Bowen family systems theory.
McGoldrick, Monica. You Can Go Home Again. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company, 1995. Pp. 329.
The author explains how the use of genograms (family trees) can bring to light a family’s history of suicide estrangement, alliance, or divorce, revealing intergenerational patterns that prove more than coincidental.
Miller, Jeffrey A. The Anxious Organization: Why Smart Companies Do Dumb Things. Miami, FL: Vinculum Press, 2019. Pp. 219.
Provides an insight into workplace dynamics from a family systems perspective.
Richardson, Ronald W. Becoming a Healthier Pastor: Family Systems Theory and the Pastor’s Own Family. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005. Pp. 150.
Provides an overview of Bowen family systems theory, while challenging pastors to do their own family of origin work, if they are to function effectively as leaders in the congregation.
Richardson, Ronald W. Couples in Conflict: A Family Systems Approach to Marriage Counseling. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010. Pp. 249.
A thorough and pastoral approach to Bowen family systems theory and its use in marital counseling; both practical and rich in theory.
Richardson, Ronald W. Creating a Healthier Church: Family Systems Theory, Leadership, and Congregational Life. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1996. Pp. 184.
Offers an understanding of how congregations function emotionally, as well as practical leadership ideas.
Richardson, Ronald W. Polarization and the Church: Applying Bowen Family Systems Theory to Conflict and Change in Society and Congregational Life. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, 2012. Pp. 161.
Using Bowen systems theory, discusses polarization in North American society, how a community can come together to solve its problems and how leaders can bring about positive change.
Steinke, Peter L. A Door Set Open: Grounding Change in Mission and Hope. Herndon, VA: Rowman & Littlefield / Alban Books, 2010. Pp. 141.
The author explores the relationship between the challenges of change and our own responses to new ideas and experiences.
Steinke, Peter L. Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What. Washington, D.C.: Rowman & Littlefield / Alban Books, 2006. Pp. 154.
Suggests ways for leaders to remain calm in the face of anxiety, to be effective in difficult times.
Steinke, Peter L. Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach. Washington, DC: Rowman & Littlefield / Alban Books, 1996. Pp. 118.
Helpful suggestions gleaned from family systems theory for stewardship of church systems. A theologically grounded guide to optimal congregational health in the service of the church’s life and mission.
Steinke, Peter L. How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems. Washington, D.C.: Rowman & Littlefield / Alban Books, 1993. Pp. 196.
Examines the implications of family systems theory on congregational life and clergy-lay relationships.
Steinke, Peter L. Uproar: Calm Leadership in Anxious Times. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019. Pp. 161.
Titelman, Peter, editor. Differentiation of Self: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives. New York; Routledge and Taylor & Francis, 2014. Pp. 398.
Assembles a stellar array of essays, by some of the top Bowen theory practitioners, illuminating a key concept of systems thinking.
Williamson, Robert. Charting Self: A Beliefs Chart Curriculum for Adults. Woodridge, IL: BeliefsChart.org LLC, 2007. Pp. 54.
An eight-session adult religious education course, Charting Self helps participants think about beliefs in a new way, and to consider whether any of their religious beliefs have been attractive primarily due to their “relationship function.”
Williamson, Robert. Family Thoughts: Studies of the Function of Beliefs within the Family Unit. Woodridge, IL: 2014. Pp. 76.
Compilation of five papers that were published in two journals explores the theory of the family developed by Dr. Murray Bowen. The papers explore how beliefs—worldview, philosophies, values, goals, principles―although emerging in an individual brain, can be regarded as a product of the family unit that have a function for the family.