What We Do

Founded in 1960, the Ackerman Institute for the Family is one of the premier institutions for family therapy and one of the best-known and most highly regarded training facilities for family therapists in the United States. The Institute serves families from all walks of life at all stages of family life.

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Upcoming Workshops, Short Courses & Webinars

  • Friday June 1, 2018

    Navigating Race and Gender: Couple Therapy in the Age of Trump

    The feminist assertion that the political is personal is invariably in play in relationships, even when not readily evident. However, the effects of this equation have surged to a new intensity in the face of the onslaught of the current political climate. This is particularly true for members of marginalized groups and others who care deeply about social justice. This workshop will identify key themes related to oppression, and strategies in couple therapy to address legacies and current manifestations of sexism and racism. thandiwe D. Watts-Jones, PhD., LMFT and Julia Chan, LCSW will draw on work of the Healing Oppressive Legacies Project, a team of three women of color, with two interracial, heterosexual couples. Challenges such as disparity in ‘wokeness’ in the partners, the invisibility and fragility of Whiteness, and self of the therapist triggers and blind spots will be identified and discussed. Strategies to address these issues will be explored. Video clips of clinical sessions, experiential exercises and relevant readings will be utilized.

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  • Friday June 8, 2018

    Working with Reactivity in Couples and Families: A Buddhist Psychological Approach to Strong Emotions

    Emotions are filters for how we experience our selves and the significant people in our lives. When in the grip of a strong emotion, there is a narrowing of attention, which inhibits our capacity to see things clearly. This is particularly true with the compelling nature of negative emotions. When we feel injured, threatened, or shamed, we are at risk of using our thoughts, language, and action unskillfully. Drawing on a Buddhist influenced psychological perspective, this workshop taught by David Kezur, LCSW, will focus on the nature of emotional experience and the way it can cause havoc and harm in relationships.

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  • Friday June 8, 2018

    A Complex Approach to the Systemic Therapist: The Crisol Model

    This workshop will immerse you in the clinical model developed by the internationally renowned team, Javier Vicencio, MD, Judith Gomez de Leon, LMF, and Flora Auron Zaltzman, PhD, of the Crisol Postgraduate Center for Family and Couple Therapy in Mexico. The Crisol Institute is one of the leading systemic training and service providers with Mexican families, couples and individuals since 1989. The Crisol epigenetic model aroused from multiple epistemological theories and considers the therapist as a scientist, a theorist, a humanist and an artist. The workshop will illustrate how to work with dilemmas emerging from personal, clinical or supervisory roles.

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  • Friday June 15, 2018

    Working with Muslim Individuals and Families: Culturally Competent Care

    The Muslim community within the United States is one of the largest growing communities and is diverse in its immigration history, educational background, socioeconomic status, beliefs and values, and other cultural identities. This has prompted the need to develop culturally competent and effective assessment and intervention strategies while working with Muslim families. Muslims vary in their ethnic identities and originate from multiple countries. Many are foreign born and have recently immigrated, and others are second and third generation immigrants. Rupa M. Khetarpal, MA, MSW, LCSW will provide an experiential overview of some of the characteristics that contribute towards the Muslim identity including geography, migration, historical roots, religious beliefs, ethnic and cultural identity issues, leading to the current experience of Muslim families as they live within a highly politicized environment, exposed to consistent and indiscriminate negative attitudes and emotions directed at themselves and to Islam.

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  • Friday June 22, 2018

    Breathwork and Meditation for Therapists: Integrate Stress-Reduction Techniques into Your Practice

    Psychotherapists can benefit greatly from mind-body practices rooted in yoga, Qigong, and Buddhist meditation. Coherent Breathing with gentle movements and Open Focus Attention Training are highly effective self-regulation techniques that help relieve anxiety and insomnia, improve mental focus, increase feelings of well-being, activate social engagement systems, and enhance capacities for bonding, closeness, and empathy. With practice, it can be done during daily activities to enhance and optimize brain, heart and lung function, while stimulating the nervous system’s relaxation response. Through the experience of repeated rounds of breathwork and meditation presented by Richard P. Brown,http://www.ackerman.org/breathwork-and-meditation-for-therapists/science of breath practices and supporting research. Those interested in learning how to teach these practices to clients will obtain information on tools and opportunities for such training.

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  • Monday - Thursday, June 18-21, 2018

    Externship in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)

    Through a combination of lecture, videotape, observation of live interviews and exercises presented by Sue Johnson, EdD and George Faller LMFT, participants will learn to identify the basic stages and steps of Emotionally Focused Therapy and to help couples recognize and de-escalate problematic cycles of interaction. Participants will also learn to help couples create or restore the emotional bond between them once the negative cycle, and the attachment needs that drive it has been understood.

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  • Foster Care and Adoption Project Read More

    Directors: Catherine Lewis, LCSW & Andrea Blumenthal, LCSW

    The Foster Care and Adoption Project (FCAP) integrates ideas from family therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, and trauma studies to develop a model of working with families and agency workers who are impacted by or who interact with families involved with foster care and adoption.

    Ackerman Institute’s President and CEO,
    Lois Braverman, will step down as of August 1, 2018 after 12 years of leadership.

    Read the press release here. Phillips Oppenheim, a nationally renowned search firm working with nonprofits, will lead the search for Ackerman’s next President & CEO. To view the job description, please click here.

  • Bright Beginnings Read More

    Director: Martha Edwards, PhD

    Bright Beginnings is a theoretically based intervention for families making the transition to parenthood, consisting of group discussions and parent-child activities. Developed by Dr. Martha Edwards, it is designed to help parents promote their children’s social and emotional development and school readiness through a curriculum that includes a prenatal component for expectant mothers, a group component for parents with their infant or toddler, a video review component, and a home visiting component.

    Ackerman Institute’s President and CEO,
    Lois Braverman, will step down as of August 1, 2018 after 12 years of leadership.

    Read the press release here. Phillips Oppenheim, a nationally renowned search firm working with nonprofits, will lead the search for Ackerman’s next President & CEO. To view the job description, please click here.

  • The Gender & Family Project Read More

    Director: Jean Malpas, LMHC, LMFT

    The Gender & Family Project (GFP) empowers youth, families and communities by providing gender affirmative services, training and research. GFP promotes gender inclusivity as a form of social justice in all the systems involved in the life of the family. GFP is directed by Jean Malpas, LMHC, LMFT, who has trained and published nationally and internationally on issues of gender and sexuality.

    Ackerman Institute’s President and CEO,
    Lois Braverman, will step down as of August 1, 2018 after 12 years of leadership.

    Read the press release here. Phillips Oppenheim, a nationally renowned search firm working with nonprofits, will lead the search for Ackerman’s next President & CEO. To view the job description, please click here.

  • Parent Workshop: An Unexpected Journey Between Sorrow and Personal Transformation Read More

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018
    9:30-11:30 a.m.

    Parents of children with special needs take an unexpected journey that brings forth many emotions – confusion, uncertainty, grief, surprise, compassion and pride. Come join us and hear Dr. Judy Grossman, Director of Ackerman’s Special Needs Project, and a panel of parents discuss the joys and challenges of raising children with special needs.

    Ackerman Institute’s President and CEO,
    Lois Braverman, will step down as of August 1, 2018 after 12 years of leadership.

    Read the press release here. Phillips Oppenheim, a nationally renowned search firm working with nonprofits, will lead the search for Ackerman’s next President & CEO. To view the job description, please click here.

  • Competent Kids, Caring Communities Read More

    Director: Dr. Zina Rutkin

    Competent Kids, Caring Communities (CKCC) is an exciting program that helps schools build a strong social and emotional support system for student learning. The program provides schools with two essential ingredients for academic success: tools to teach social emotional competencies and strategies to involve parents directly in their children’s learning.

    Ackerman Institute’s President and CEO,
    Lois Braverman, will step down as of August 1, 2018 after 12 years of leadership.

    Read the press release here. Phillips Oppenheim, a nationally renowned search firm working with nonprofits, will lead the search for Ackerman’s next President & CEO. To view the job description, please click here.

  • The Latino Youth and Family Immigration Project: Dimelo en Español Read More

    Directors: Silvia B. Espinal & Genoveva Garcia

    The Latino Youth and Family Immigration Project (LYIP): Dímelo en Español provides a specialized framework of family therapy to First and Second generation Latino youth and their families. This project is led by family therapists Silvia B. Espinal, LCSW, and Genoveva Garcia, LCSW.

    El Proyecto Juventud y la Familia Latina Inmigrante: Dímelo en Español.

    La población hispanoparlante de los Estados Unidos está definida como la minoría de mayor crecimiento en el país (U.S. Census Bureau 2012).
    El Proyecto Juventud y la Familia Latina Inmigrante: Dímelo en Español ofrece servicios especializados de terapia familiar a familias con jóvenes provenientes de Primera y Segunda generación.

    Ackerman Institute’s President and CEO,
    Lois Braverman, will step down as of August 1, 2018 after 12 years of leadership.

    Read the press release here. Phillips Oppenheim, a nationally renowned search firm working with nonprofits, will lead the search for Ackerman’s next President & CEO. To view the job description, please click here.

  • The JUSTICE Project Read More

    Directors: Sarah Berland, LCSW & Courtney Zazzali, LCSW

    Nearly seven million Americans are under some form of correctional supervision (incarceration, parole, probation). The JUSTICE Project provides therapeutic support to families involved with or impacted by the criminal justice system.

    Ackerman Institute’s President and CEO,
    Lois Braverman, will step down as of August 1, 2018 after 12 years of leadership.

    Read the press release here. Phillips Oppenheim, a nationally renowned search firm working with nonprofits, will lead the search for Ackerman’s next President & CEO. To view the job description, please click here.

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