If You Met My Family You'd Understand with David Mullen


Lifelong Learning LogoCourse Title: If You Met My Family You'd Understand

Instructor:  David Mullen

Brought to you by Odyssey   

June 11, 2024 - July 16, 2024 (6 Sessions)  

Tuesday,  5:00PM ET - 6:30PM ET  

Virtual via Zoom 



Course Description: We live in anxious times. This course will be an exploration of chronic and systemic anxiety through the lens of Bowen Family Systems Theory. Through a book study of Jack Shitama’s book "If You Met My Family You’d Understand," we will explore a framework for understanding emotional systems in the family, workplace and society. We will discuss the mechanisms by which anxiety is spread through emotional systems (any group of two or more people) and ways in which we can act in more mature ways to alleviate that anxiety in ourselves and those around us. With one or two chapters of reading in advance, this class will be mostly discussion with some mindfulness and Non-Violent Communication practices.

Read David Mullen’s article in Connections Quarterly Fall 2021, Vol. XLI for a brief taste of the theory.


Johns Hopkins Tuition Remission Policies  

Johns Hopkins alumni, staff, faculty and their spouse or domestic partners are eligible for tuition remission for Odyssey lifelong learning courses. Select the correct ticket pricing during registration. If we cannot confirm your eligibility, you will be requested to pay the full registration price for the course.  Eligibility details can be found here. 

Withdrawals & Refunds: 

If a course is canceled or closed, the registrant is notified immediately, and a full refund is processed automatically unless another course is requested. Registrants who wish to withdraw from an active course must complete the online Odyssey Refund Request Form. Attach any documentation to support your request (e.g., medical documentation, family crisis documentation, etc.). 

100% refund- Prior to the start of the course. 

50% refund- During the first week of the course. 

No refunds will be given after the first week of each course unless in exceptional cases. 

Please note, refunds apply only to the tuition portion of an Odyssey participant’s charges and are not applicable to any fees or gifts made to the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association. Registrants will be notified by email if a refund is approved within (5) business days. 

ABOUT David Mullen

A native of Boston, Dave graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in the late 1970s. Upon failing to become principal trumpet in the Boston Symphony Orchestra he began a career teaching music in Washington DC. After a decade as a high school band director and administrator he earned a graduate degree in education and became Head of School at The Nora School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He retired in 2021 following an interim headship at Wye River Upper School on Maryland’s Eastern Shore during the year of COVID. 

He currently works as a consultant helping school and business leaders cope with stress, anxiety, and resiliency. A longtime practitioner, he has taught mindfulness and Bowen Family Systems Theory to adults for the past twenty years. In addition to consulting and teaching at Johns Hopkins, he has taught at Montgomery College and currently teaches at the Cape Cod Community College and the Cape Cod Art Center. He and his wife split their time between Cape Cod and Washington DC.

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 Event Date
Tuesday, June 11, 2024
5:00pm EDT

Tuesday, July 16, 2024
6:30pm EDT

1-800-JHU-JHU1 (548-5481)

Status message

Thank you for your interest in Odyssey. This course is now closed. For questions, please contact odyssey@jhu.edu.