Systems Thinking, Symptom Development & The Biological Embedding of Social Experience: Theory, Research, & Clinical Practice

With Daniel V Papero, PhD, LCSW of the Bowen Center in Washington, DC
And Darlene Francis, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

Saturday, May 14, 2016
8:45am to 5:00pm

Courtyard by Marriott Santa Rosa, California
175 Railroad Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

The Biological Embedding of Social Experience

Darlene FrancisDarlene Francis’s research program explores how biological, psychological and social processes interact over a lifetime to influence health and vulnerability to disease. Her laboratory explores how these processes are causally related. The historic belief that information only flows in one direction, from the genome, is simply incorrect. The research demonstrates that genetically identical organisms can manifest dramatically different phenotypic profiles in response to different environmental and social conditions. The research is focused on exploring how social inequalities in health come to be. Francis optimistically focuses on identifying opportunities for intervention. This level of trans disciplinary research can only be conducted with multiple collaborations that span many disciplines (molecular epigenetics through to social epidemiology). In sum, her research explores how experience and social factors are transduced into biology.

Systems Thinking and Symptom Development

Daniel Papero PhD, LCSW

Daniel Papero PhD, LCSW

For more than a century researchers have sought evidence for discrete categories of emotional or psychiatric symptoms that regularly present in the clinician’s office.  The evidence has remained elusive.  With increasing knowledge from the study of epigenetics, there is a new view of the interplay between environmental factors and the regulation of gene expression that can lead to the development of symptoms in an individual.  The Research Domain Criteria Initiative (RDocs)  at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reflects the growing awareness in psychiatric research that the categorization model contains many inaccuracies and does not adequately capture the dynamic gene – environment interaction that appears to underlie many kinds of psychiatric  – and physical illness.  Bowen theorists continue to propose that symptoms of various kinds reflect disturbances of the relationship network in which the individual lives and functions.  The day will review some of the emerging research on symptom development and discuss what the Bowen theory may have to add to the new knowledge and thinking about symptom development.



8:15 Registration

8:45 Welcome – Laura Havstad, PhD, Programs in Bowen Theory

9:00 – 10:15 Dr. Darlene Francis –The Biological Embedding of Social Experience

10:15 – 10:30 Break

10:30  – 11:45 Dr. Papero – Systems Thinking and Symptom Development

11:45- 12:30  Panel with Dr. Francis and Dr. Papero and discussion with the audience

12:30 – 2:00 Lunch


2:00 – 3:00 Dr. Francis – Social Inequalities, Health Disparities and Opportunities for Intervention

2:45 – 3:00 break

3:00- 4:00 Dr. Papero – Treating the Disturbed Family Organism

4:00- 5:00 Panel with Dr. Francis and Dr. Papero and discussion with the audience

To Register

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