Introduction to Andrea Schara and the Mindful Compass web site


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Photograph of Andrea Schara and Murray Bowen, MD by staff member at Water Reed Army Hospital. 1987

Short biography, education and published work of Andrea Schara

I met Murray Bowen, MD, in 1976 while working at a psychiatric hospital as an alcoholism counselor.  Bowen accepted me into the Georgetown University postgraduate program in family therapy and theory, despite the fact that I’d only completed two years of college.  After four years of postgraduate work I was hired in 1980 as the audio-visual coordinator at the Georgetown University Family Center, GUFC.  Half of my time was spent as the AV coordinator.  My clinical work continued as Dr. Bowen and other psychiatrists on the faculty supervised my clinical work.  I was awarded a social work license in the District of Columbia. As the AV coordinator  I taped much of Dr. Bowen’s work with families and how he taught around the country and in the post graduate program at the Georgetown University Family Center.  Dr. Bowen had fifteen years of monthly videotapes with two of the same families.  They needed to be archived as evidence of his work as the originator of family systems theory and a pioneer in the new field of family therapy.   In 1988 I was able to coordinate the gift of these video tapes with two of the same families to  National Library of Medicine.   Dr. Bowen’s research on families and the development of his theory and therapy continued through his life.

The archives have been made available to the general public throughout the web site:

Work History:

1978-1980 – Community Faculty, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Va.

1976-1980  – Tidewater Psychiatric Hospital, Virginia Beach, Virginia

1980- 1999 – Hired by Murray Bowen, M.D. as the Audiovisual Coordinator and worked on the clinical staff in the department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Family Center

1980-1999  – Private practice including biofeedback practice at the Bowen Center.

1991- 2003 Appointed to the faculty: Georgetown University Family Center. Continuing coaching practice included neurofeedback training and giving talks on the applications of Bowen Theory in the United States, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and France.

1992 – Developed web site

1993 – Consultant to Crossway Community

2003 – Move to Darin Ct., part time office in The Learning Space (

2011 – Faculty Navigating Systems

Major Achievements:

1980 – 1999 Organized the audio-visual library, photographing, and videotaping Dr. Bowen. Oversaw the donation of fifteen years of Dr. Bowen’s clinical tapes with two families to the National Library of Medicine.

1983 –1993 Developed a pilot research project – A Ten Year Study of 50 Families with AIDS- Won a poster presentation at the NIH for this work.

1993 – Began neurofeedback practice

1993 – 2003 Supervised in the special post-graduate training Georgetown Family Center

1997 – Developed Web site

2003 – Founded a non profit- Leaders for Tomorrow, LFT, to communicate the ideas of Bowen Theory. LFT was given to the family of Murray Bowen to take on the task of archiving and making available to the public all of Dr. Bowen’s papers audio and videotapes. They will eventually be transferred to the National Library of Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Currently serve as a board member

2011 – Faculty member of Navigating Systems – A learning forum for those who work with or consult to large family enterprises.


1960-1962  Marymount College, Tarrytown, New York

1976-1982  Georgetown University Family Center, Postgraduate Program

1982-1987  Georgetown University, BA


  • “AIDS and the Family”, Family Center Report Vol. 10:1, Georgetown Family Center, 1989.

  • “Communicating Your Diagnosis” Lifetimes, Standtlanders, Pittsburgh, PA.

  • “Biofeedback and Family Systems Psychotherapy in the Treatment of HIV Infection”. Biofeedback and Self Regulation; 15:1, p 70-71, 1990.

  • “The Family Emotional Unit and Responses to HIV/AIDS”. Paper selected for presentation by the Office on Aids at NIMH, Second Annual Meeting, 1994

  • “Leaders, Cooperation, and Anxiety” The Emotional Side of Organizations, Georgetown Family Center, 1996.

  • Your Mindful Compass: Breakthrough Strategies For Navigating Life/Work Relationships In Any Social Jungle. Andrea Schara, Ideas to Action 2013.

  • “Bowen Family Systems Theory Today” Family Therapy Magazine, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, July/August 2017.

  • “Death and AIDS: Families and Society” chapter in book:

    Death and Chronic Illness in the Family: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives 1st Edition by Peter Titelman (Editor), Sydney K. Reed (Editor)

Welcome to!
Cherry Blossom
This site provides a beginning road map to theory as a guide to understanding and perhaps changing one’s life.

In the early 1950’s Dr. Murray Bowen, a psychiatrist, developed Family Systems Theory as an outgrowth of his research at the National Institutes of Health.

I am one of the “second generation family researchers” who has benefited from his ideas. This site contains my ideas and or my interpertation of Bowen theory.

I met Dr.Bowen in 1976 and benefited enormously from his ideas. Now its pay back time.

Therefore, I offer you my ideas. Hopefully I have present them in an entertaining and common sense way.

First time visitors may wish to read these links:

Please contact me at with any thoughts and questions!

– Andrea Maloney-Schara, LCSWA