Dr. Roberta M. Gilbert, Director

Dr. Gilbert is a psychiatrist whose special interest is Bowen family systems theory and its extensions and applications to individuals, families, and organizations.  She is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Human Systems and is on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family (formerly Georgetown Family Center).  She is a life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Gilbert is the author of five books that deal with applying Bowen theory to life.  The first book, Extraordinary Relationships, published in 1992 by John Wiley & Sons, grew out of her work with families and individuals.  Her second book, Connecting with Our Children, published in 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, is a story of the principles of Bowen family systems theory for parents.  Both books have received wide acclaim.  Her newest books, The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory; Extraordinary Leadership: Thinking Systems, Making a Difference; and The Cornerstone Concept: In Leadership, In Life were written as texts for the Extraordinary Leadership Seminar. 

Her column, "Through the Lens," appears in "Family Systems Forum" and on this website.

 Kathleen Cotter Cauley, M.Ed. LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist.  Her work in Catholic Charities included adoption, counseling, and clinical work.  She was also Deputy Director of a branch office.  She is in private practice in Falls Church, VA as well as Tampa, FL (three weeks out of the year).  She is a founding member of the Florida Family Research Network, bringing training in Bowen family systems theory to the state of Florida.  She has sat on two diocesan boards and her practice has increasingly attracted the clergy. 

She has been using Bowen family systems theory in her work for many years, and holds a key position in Extraordinary Leadership Seminars.  In addition to her regular coaching and lecture responsibilities in the seminar, she takes primary responsibility for the registration process of new members and organizing guest and faculty lectures and participant papers.

She has a keen interest in one other species besides the human--dogs.  Since 1990, Mrs. Cauley and her husband have been involved in several different ways with guide dogs for the blind.  They have instituted a prison training program for guide dogs and they keep "ambassador" dogs themselves, who go with them into the community to acquaint the public with their mission.

 Kenton T. Derstine, M. Div., is a certified CPE Supervisor and an ordained Mennonite minister.  He has served as a chaplain, CPE Supervisor, and CPE program manager at a hospital.  Since 2000, he has served as Director of Clinical Pastoral Education and Field Education at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.  He has been an avid student and practitioner in Bowen family systems theory for many years.  His lectures in the Extraordinary Leadership Seminars are always eagerly received. 

 David Scott Hargrove, Ph.D., ABPP is a psychologist whose many positions include member and fellow of the American Psychological Association, chairperson of the Board of Educational Affairs and the Committee on Accreditation.  He is Professor Emeritus of the University of Mississippi, having served as chairman of the department of psychology there for many years.  He held the Kulynych/Cline Distinguished Professor of Psychology chair at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC from 2008-2011.  He is an ordained Presbyterian minister, with experience as parish minister in Georgia and campus minister at both the University of Georgia and Emory University.  He was founding director of a community mental health center in Mississippi and directed the clinical faculty at the University of Nebraska.  Dr. Hargrove has been involved in the training of judges in the behavioral sciences at several levels.  He is former president of the Mississippi Psychological Examiners.  He has also served as president of the American Orthopsychiatric Association.

Dr. Hargrove's studies and research in Bowen family systems theory have led him into becoming sought after as a coach and presenter, especially for judges, the clergy, and in education.

 Bonnie R. Sobel, RN, LCSW, is both a nurse and a social worker.  She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in both inpatient and outpatient public and private settings.  She uses both biofeedback and psychotherapy in her clinical practice in Falls Church, VA.  She is on the advisory board of the Center for the Study of Human Systems.  She is also on the board for the Mid-Atlantic Society for Biofeedback and Behavioral Medicine.

Ms. Sobel, a student of Bowen family systems theory for many years, is particularly interested in utilizing the principles of the theory to understand the interplay of physical, emotional and cognitive systems within individual, family, work and societal systems.

Patti Halbersma serves as business manager, registrar, staff photographer, webmaster and editor for the Center for the Study of Human Systems. Her background as church secretary, pastor's wife and mother of four teenage/young adult children, particularly suits her for this demanding but varied and interesting job.


The Center is especially grateful to the following volunteers who have contributed a great amount of time and energy to the success of its programs.

Rev. Lucy Marsden Hottle                              
Rev. Carl Dickerson
Rev. Jerry Foust
Rev. Robert Creech
Mrs. Victoria Harrison
Ms. Lee Kelley


**Special thanks to "Let There Be Light LLC" of Lovettsville, VA for helping to make possible the ELS lecture series:  live recordings of Dr. Roberta Gilbert's lectures during the Extraordinary Leadership Seminars

**Other contributors:  Bonnie Sobel, RN, LCSW; Kathleen Cauley, M.Ed. LMFT