The Center for Family Systems Theory of Western New York, Inc. will assist families in need and the professionals who serve them by providing counseling, training and consultation in a unique and effective methodology called Family Systems Theory.
The Center for Family Systems Theory of Western New York will become the leader in advancing the knowledge and application of Family Systems Theory, an innovative and evidence-based set of ideas formalized into a theory by Murray Bowen, MD. Unlike traditional psychological theory that views problems as flaws in the individual, Family Systems Theory see individual functioning and human relationships in terms of a multi-generational family system.
By providing counseling in this model The Center will help individuals, couples, families and groups to understand and solve problems by accepting responsibility for their future and avoiding the tendency to blame others.
The Center’s training programs will educate those who work with families especially clergy and professionals who work in communities of faith, health care specialists, educators, human services providers, lawyers and mediators as well as anyone who is interested in “thinking systems.” Trainees will learn how to apply Family Systems Theory to the people who come to them for help, to the systems in which they work and to their own professional and emotional maturity.
By offering consulting services, The Center will help not-for-profit organizations, communities of faith and family owned business to understand how the workplace is a system that functions much like a family.
In these ways The Center will be recognized and utilized by people as a professional and welcoming source of information about Family Systems Theory in Western New York and beyond.
About the Center
Dr. Robert J. Perelli, CJM has been a student of Family Systems Theory since 1985. While a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry (Psychology and Clinical Studies) at Andover Newton Theological School (Boston, MA), Bob was introduced to family systems thinking and Bowen Theory.
Impressed by the connection between what he was learning in the classroom and experiencing in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), Bob decided to do his doctoral research on Family Systems Theory and the family with AIDS. Published under the title “Ministry to Persons with AIDS, A Family Systems Approach” (Augsburg Fortress Press, 1989), his dissertation formed the foundation of his work as a psychotherapist serving the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. In September 1989, Bob founded AIDS Family Services of Western New York which provides for the psychological and spiritual needs of people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Bob has authored five journal articles about counseling in the family systems model and co-authored a therapeutic game for children called “What About AIDS?” As a psychotherapist, he has provided over 20,000 hours of counseling and support group facilitation.
In September of 2004, Bob founded The Center for Family Systems Theory of Western New York, Inc. The Center gave him the opportunity to do psychotherapy with the general population as well as provide educational programs for faith-leaders, human services providers, educators and healthcare professionals and anyone interested in learning more about Family Systems Theory. The Center is available to do consultations for communities of faith who are in crisis or transition as well as public, private and not-for-profit organizations and family businesses.
Bob continues his studies in Bowen Theory at the Western Pennsylvania Center for Family Therapy in Pittsburgh, PA, The Center for Family Process in Potomac, MD and the Bowen Family Center in at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. In 1994 he was trained in the application of Family Systems Theory to congregations in transition or crisis at the “Bridgebuilder Program.”
Ordained in 1976, Bob is a Roman Catholic priest and a member of the Eudist Fathers. Presently, Bob serves as the weekend priest at St. Joseph University Church in Buffalo, New York.
The Board of Directors
Dr. Robert J. Perelli, CJM*
1088 Delaware Avenue, Suite 9G
Buffalo, NY 14209
* Founder, The Center For Family Systems Theory of WNY, Inc.
Sr. Diane M. Gianadda, OSF, LCSW
1520 East Delavan Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14215
Rev. James C. Croglio, LCSW
16 Columbus Street
Cheektowaga, NY 14227