In addition to being an author, long-distance runner, harmonica impresario and portrait artist, Mike Simpson, D. Min, has spent twenty-five years studying and developing the use of Family Systems/Bowen Theory to bring about positive, lasting change in persistently stuck families. His book, Fix Your Family, details the process of opening one's family to new joy, growth and freedom. Additional helps are available here on our website as well.
Below, please read the observations and endorsements of Mike's long time friends and colleagues.
Dr. Mike Simpson, Founder and Convener of Fix Your Family
Rev. April McClure Stewart, Ordained Minister, Disciples of Christ
I can imagine no better teacher and mentor on the path of systems theory than Mike Simpson. I met Mike as a frustrated young pastor in a church fraught with emotional baggage. I expected to hear a professorial lecture on a dry, boring bit of psychological theory. Instead, I was immediately charmed by this mega-fan of Blues music with a red-dirt Southern drawl and the uncanny ability to approach his potential-landmine-of-a-subject with genuine warmth and humor. With his characteristic playfulness, he delivered big lessons in an enjoyable and understandable way. Mike thoroughly delighted me with systems theory and taught me to engage in the process of examining family systems with an attitude of discovery, and even pleasure. He provided tools to equip me in my comprehension of present circumstances by exploring past triumphs and errors, and he did this without condemnation. Along the path, Mike was a thoughtful companion as he offered the insight and empathy of one who has not only invested his life in helping countless others to learn these critical skills, but has also done the hard work himself. As I emerged from his workshops with a framework of understanding, Mike helped me to embrace the possibility of a future determined by my own desires and directions. What a gift it has been to learn from Dr. Mike Simpson!
About twenty years ago, Dr. Mike Simpson introduced me to the concepts of Family Systems Theory, and my life has never been the same. His enthusiasm for this way of seeing the world—and that’s what Bowen Family Systems theory is, a way of seeing the world—was contagious, and his passionate teaching style extremely effective. He has an uncanny ability to see the principles of Bowen Theory in the events of his own life, and in the lives of others; he even finds them in scenes from movies and television. This little book puts the ideas of Bowen theory into the hands of anyone who might be motivated to help families be healthier and relationships more authentic. He describes these principles and their implications in plain English in an accessible, even humorous, way, going beyond introduction and launching them in a daring new direction. If you want your life to stay just like it is, don’t, under any circumstances, read this book.
Rev. Dennis Lundblad, Ordained Minister, Disciples of Christ; Lecturer, UNC Asheville
Rev. Melissa Ebken, Pastor, Illiopolis and Niantic Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ
I was first introduced to Family Systems in 2001 when I attended a weekend retreat led by Mike Simpson. That weekend transformed how I understand myself and my family. Since that time, through continued study and practice, I have improved all of my relationships—not only those in my family, but also professionally. As I continue to grow, I am less afraid of conflict, I understand it’s true source, and am able to address it to the benefit of not only myself, but all involved. Thank you, Mike Simpson, for teaching this unteachable, stubborn, resistant soul! I will be forever grateful!
I was glad to learn of Mike Simpson's new book, Fix Your Family. It was my privilege to work with Mike in North Carolina as a ministry colleague. He served as the capable pastor of one of our leading congregations and it thrived under his leadership. However, Mike's influence far exceeded his congregation's sphere. Because of his training and understanding of Family Systems he was able to help his fellow ministers find insight and avenues to address more effectively the problems encountered in their congregations. His workshops and seminars on the "Lazarus Project," were eagerly anticipated and greatly appreciated.
That Mike would eventually turn his attention to helping others solve deep seated problems within their families should be no surprise. For decades, as a pastor, he has assisted individuals and families and draws on a wealth of experience. Fix Your Family shares with us all the secrets that he has practiced as a counselor, leader, husband, father and family member. It is a valuable resource to help our families become more of what we truly desire them to be.
Family is our circle of most loved, valued relationships. We do not always give the most careful thought as we try to fix things that are broken in our families, but with Fix Your Family a way forward is provided.
Mike Simpson is a man of great depth, compassion, insight, faith, and gifts. What he shares with us is well worth the journey and I could not be more pleased than to commend his work to you.
Rev. Rex Horne, Regional Minister, Christian Church in North Carolina, retired
Gwen Simmons, Ed.D., licensed professional counselor; board certified coach; professional parliamentarian; former director of UNC Pembroke; private counselor/coach practice.
Bowen’s Family Systems Theory (BFST) is not about espousing techniques. It is about operating with intentionality at a more conscious level and offers a framework for seeking answers within oneself. Family systems training is helping others to see themselves as the key to what happens within an emotional system. It follows that one can better understand his/her own position within behaviorally formed systems, e.g., a church or school, if one examines and reflects on the emotional behaviors he/she learned growing-up in his/her family of origin. This book helps a reader understand the dynamics of doing just that. Ten years of regularly watching Simpson teach BSFT participants in retreat settings qualifies me to say: Simpson is a master teacher of BFST!