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.


About Us

2015 Gala Recap Video


Upcoming Workshops & Short Courses

  • Externship in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

    Through a combination of lecture, videotape, observation of live interviews and exercises, participants will learn to identify the basic stages and steps of Emotionally Focused Therapy and to help couples recognize and deescalate 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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  • Personal Best Summer Intensive: Adult Development and Sensitive Parenting for At-Risk Families with Young Children

    This intensive workshop prepares participants to implement Personal Best, a 16 session group curriculum and Home Visiting Guide for individual sessions. The training will focus on adult development as well as parent-child and family relationships. Personal Best is a theory-driven prevention program that promotes parent mental health, social support, healthy coping and sense of self-efficacy in multiple roles. Sessions are divided into four modules that address different areas of role functioning: (1) role strain, (2) parenting, (3) relationships, and (4) work/productive activity. Through a combination of lecture, discussion, videotape, role play and experiential exercises, participants will: 1) enhance their knowledge of the multiple influences on parent well-being and the parent-child relationship; 2) understand the impact of stress on parenting behavior and the developing child; 3) help parents develop the capacities to promote their child’s development; 4) learn how to individualize goal setting activities to promote mastery and family self-sufficiency; and 5) develop skills to facilitate groups.

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  • Bright Beginnings Summer Intensive: Early Child Development and Parenting Processes

    This intensive workshop prepares participants to implement Bright Beginnings, a parenting curriculum that consists of group sessions and individualized video review for parents and their infant or toddler. This manualized intervention helps parents support their children’s social, emotional and cognitive development and develop school readiness. In the workshop, through a combination of lecture, discussion, videotape, role play and experiential exercises, participants will: (1) conceptualize parenting as a set of processes encompassing attachment, learning and exploration, and guidance; (2) understand the micro-processes of parent-child interactions and child outcomes; (3) hone skills in observing parent-child interaction; and (4) develop skills to facilitate groups.

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  • Bolstering Learning through Building Social-Emotional Capacities and Family-School Partnerships

    The course “Bolstering Learning through Building Social-Emotional Capacities and Family-School Partnerships” will offer an in-depth look at the dynamics between family-school relationships, social-emotional skill-building and children’s success in school and in life. Research linking academic success to these two areas will be highlighted, including current perspectives on how social-emotional skill-building and common core standards align. Furthermore, this course will also discuss how particular components of the Danielson Framework for teaching, such as communicating with families, can influence social-emotional skill-building and family-school partnerships.

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  • Working with The Vulnerability Cycle: Consultation Group for Couples Therapists

    In this consultation group participants will learn how to use the vulnerability cycle as an anchor in their clinical work with couples. Based on conceptual discussions and case presentations we will focus on how to use the VC to: (1) diagram the couples’ impasses and relational dynamics, (2) collect critical interactional, intra-personal and multigenerational information, (3) define short and long term goals for the therapy. Utilizing the Multi-level Approach as a road map we will focus on: how to track and interrupt couples reactive patterns, how to transform frustration and anger into narratives of vulnerabilities and yearnings, how to facilitate negotiations of a better intimate fit between the partners.  Participants are expected to bring their cases for consultation.

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