Jonathan Vanderbeck

Bringing a Balm to Anxious Souls – A Bowen Family Systems Theory Approach to Working with Reactive Religious Families

The Reverend Jonathan Vanderbeck, MDiv, MSW, LCSW, is an ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a clinical social worker licensed in the state of New York. He completed his Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Michigan, his Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI, and is currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky completing a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree in advanced clinical practice. He has completed additional training from Vermont Center for Family Studies, received a Clinical Certificate in Bowen Family Systems Theory from Rutgers University, and is certified by the LGBTQ Institute for Family Therapy (LIFT) in New York City.

Rev. Vanderbeck’s clinical research has focused on the application of Bowen Family Systems Theory when working with individuals and families experiencing high degrees of religiously rooted reactivity. His doctoral capstone explores the means by which religious identification can increase reactivity and the appropriateness of utilizing Bowen Theory as a means to work with families attempting to navigate highly anxious situations.

Presently, Rev. Vanderbeck serves in validated ministry at the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region in Scotia, NY as the Coordinator for Clergy and Congregational Care and as a senior staff psychotherapist. He is a sought-after speaker and educator, preaching regularly in area churches and providing education on topics regarding mental health and spirituality in faith and higher-education settings. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Hometown Health Centers in Schenectady, NY, an organization aiming to provide “health equity through quality primary care and preventative services”, as a way to give back to his community.