Seventy years of Family Therapy, from Bateson until now. What’s new? Tickets, Sun, Mar 20, 2022 at 12:00 PM EST

Seventy years of Family Therapy, from Bateson until now. What’s new?

Seventy years of Family Therapy, from Bateson until now. What’s new? Tickets, Sun, Mar 20, 2022 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

ASC Series – Seventy years of Family Therapy, from Bateson until now. What’s new?

March 20, 2021 | 9:00 PDT, 12:00 EDT, 18:00 CEST



Over 70 years ago, cybernetic thinking helped create a radical shift in psychiatry when birthing a new branch of therapy called family therapy. Yet, today, this revolutionary way of understanding human healing, thinking, behavior, relations and “social” systems, floats on the margins of our mental health systems.  As one family therapist from decades gone by suggested, family therapy quickly became more like a stillborn child whose fascinating ideas and practices disappeared almost as soon as they arrived. Why is that? 

Some say, family therapy was ahead of its time, in an attempt to understand people and their pathologies in context with the systems in which we live. We seem unable to comprehend that we do the only thing we can do in accordance with our biology and epistemology. 

One cannot not have an epistemology, only a bad one. – Gregory Bateson

So, what have we learned after 70 years of family theories and therapies?  Where do family therapists stand in regard to these issues today? What is the role of a family therapist, and in what domains? How can cybernetic ideas orient family therapists as change agents?

During our conversation on March 20th, we will explore, with a new generation of family therapists, how they shifted back to many of the original concepts associated with family therapy and cybernetics, such as Bateson’s ideas about power and inequality. We will also explore more recent concepts associated with cybernetics that orient this movement, and how we might shift the structures that generate intersectional systems of oppression that perpetuate pathologies. 

We will leave plenty of time for all to participate in the conversation. 

Participants Bios

Dr. Robyn Jardine owns and operates Life Solutions Counseling and Family Therapy, PLLC in Dallas, TX.   As an educator, researcher, activist, and mental health professional, she focuses on social justice and racial equity through dismantling systems of oppression within the context of intergenerational transmission and the interdependent relationship between macro and micro systems.  Particularity regarding the areas of white supremacy, intergenerational social conditioning, white fragility, historical trauma, gaslighting, the process of activating communities/individuals for system change, and interracial dynamics/relationships. 

Bethany Simmons, Ph.D., LMFT-S, LPC is an Associate Professor and Program Director at California Lutheran University Counseling Psychology-MFT Program with clinical experience in adult and juvenile psychiatric hospitals, intensive outpatient programs, juvenile drug court and private practice settings. She is the founder of The Big Systems Collective (BSC), a diverse group of therapists and educators from across the United States committed to creating social justice systemic change through cybernetic action. Her current research and scholarship applies cybernetic and social constructionist theories to address oppression, social responsibility, power, privilege and social control within mental health practices and societal systems.

Jude Lombardi, lcsw, phd. is a social worker by trade. As a social worker, she primarily worked with “special needs” children and their families, which led her to cybernetics. After completing her phd. in human relations and cybernetics, what she calls humane cybernetics, she became a sociology professor. In retirement she praxis cybernetics, constructs video for work and fun, and cares for honeybees at her local arboretum. In recent years, she has come to think the only way to generate transformative change is through the performance of everyday life and the arts.