A basic BFST reading list

Every once in a while I get a request for a basic reading list for studying Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST). The good news is that I find I need to update that basic list as more good resources become available. Here is the current book list I pass along to persons who ask for it.

Most of these books relate to the application of BFST in congregations and congregational leadership. All are recommended. Ranking: * = Introductory ** = Advanced.

  • Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. Jason Aronson, 1985. **
  • Comella, Patricia et al., eds. The Emotional Side of Organizations: Applications of Bowen Theory. Georgetown Family Center, 1996. **
  • Cummings, T. G. Systems Theory for Organization Development. John Wiley & Sons, 1980. **
  • Friedman, Edwin H. Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue. The Guilford Press, 1985. **
  • Friedman, Edwin. A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. Seabury Books, 2007. *
  • Galindo, Israel, Elaine Boomer and Don Reagan, A Family Genogram Workbook. Educational Consultants, 2006. *
  • Galindo, Israel. The Hidden Lives of Congregations: Understanding Congregational Dynamics. Alban Institute, 2004. **
  • Gilbert, Roberta. Extraordinary Leadership. Leading Systems Press, 2006. *
  • Gilbert, Roberta. Extraordinary Relationships. John Wiley & Sons, 1992. *
  • Gilbert, Roberta. The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory. Leading Systems Press, 2006. *
  • Kerr, Michael, Family Evaluation: An Approach Based on Bowen Theory. W. W. Norton 1988. **
  • McGoldrick, Monica & Gerson, Randy. Genograms in Family Assessment. W. W. Norton & Co., 1985. **
  • Papero, Daniel V. Bowen Family Systems Theory. Allyn and Bacon, 1990. **
  • Richardson, Ronald W. Family Ties That Bind: A Self-Help Guide to Change Through Family of Origin Therapy. Bellingham, International Self-Counsel Press Ltd., 2000. *
  • Richardson, Ronald W. Becoming a Healthier Pastor. Augsburg Fortress, 2004. **
  • Richardson, Ronald W. Creating a Healthier Church. Augsburg Fortress, 1996. **
  • Steinke, Peter L. Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times. Alban Institute, 2006. **
  • Steinke, Peter L. Healthy Congregations A Systems Approach. Alban Institute, 2006. *
  • Steinke, Peter L. How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems. The Alban Institute, Inc., 1993. *
  • Titelman, Peter. Clinical Application of Bowen Family Systems Theory. Routledge, 1998. **
  • Titelman, Peter. Emotional Cutoff. Routledge, 2003. **
  • Titelman, Peter. Triangles. Haworth Press, 2007. **

What books would you add to the list?

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About igalindo

Israel Galindo is Professor and Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary.
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2 Responses to A basic BFST reading list

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks, Israel. That’s a very helpful list!

  2. Pingback: Five concepts of leadership | G.R.A.C.E. Writes

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