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

Short Conversations Series

Upcoming Workshops & Short Courses

  • On the Eve of Destruction: Last Chance Couple Therapy

    In this workshop, participants will explore how to engage reluctant partners in therapy without making them feel trapped in an unhappy future. The workshop will use videotape/audiotape demonstrations, experiential exercises, and case presentations that will include heterosexual, gay, and biracial couples.

    More Information
  • The Fivefold Path: Integrating Eastern Mindfulness Practices With Western Clinical Models for Couple Therapists

    In this workshop, Lair Torrent, LMFT will offer participants a treatment model that blends Eastern mindfulness-based techniques with Western Clinical models.

    More Information
  • Deconstructing the Gender Binary with Sexual and Gender Minority Clients

    In this workshop, participants will explore and unpack an underlying cause of sexual and gender minority stress—the gender binary.

    More Information
  • Youth Suicide Risk Management: Risk Assessment, Safety Planning, and Family Engagement

    In this workshop, Dr. Guy Diamond and Dr. Suzanne Levy will review procedures and assessment tools for conducting suicide risk assessments. Participants will learn how to generate a safety plan and how and when to involve parents/caregivers in the process.

    More Information
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy for Youth and Young Adults Struggling with Depression and Suicide

    ABFT provides structure and a roadmap to guide families through this reparative process in 12 to 16 weeks. The model unfolds through five treatment tasks: relational reframing, alliance building with the adolescent, alliance building with the parent(s), repairing attachment, and promoting autonomy.

    More Information
  • Integrating the Spiritual Dimension in Clinical Practice: Suffering, Healing, and Resilience

    Dr. Walsh will present a useful systemic framework and multi-faith perspectives to integrate spirituality in clinical work with individuals, couples, and families. Practice guidelines, cautions, and case illustrations will be discussed.

    More Information
  • Ambiguous Loss and the Myth of Closure

    In this workshop, Pauline Boss, PhD, will discuss relational and contextual assessments and interventions, plus cultural differences regarding the need for closure and its certainty. Boss’ six therapeutic guidelines: increase the resiliency to tolerate and even embrace ambiguity, focus on meaning, mastery, identity, ambivalence, attachment, and new hope will be discussed.

    More Information
  • Please Don’t Ask Me to Forgive You! A Radical Approach to Healing Infidelity and Other Interpersonal Wounds

    In this workshop, Dr. Spring will propose a radical, life-affirming alternative that helps hurt parties overcome the corrosive effects of hate and get on with their lives —without forgiving an unrepentant offender.

    More Information


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

    Directors: Silvia B. Espinal and 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.

  • The JUSTICE Project Read More

    Directors: Sarah Berland, LCSW and 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.

  • Foster Care and Adoption Project Read More

    Directors: Catherine Lewis, LCSW and 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.

  • The Gender and Family Project Read More

    Director: Jean Malpas, LMHC, LMFT

    The Gender and 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.

  • 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 News

  • In Celebration of Black History Month 

    The Ackerman Institute for the Family celebrates Black History Month. We honor the countless contributions people of African decent have made towards civil rights and social justice throughout history.

    Read more.

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Enter your email address and receive updates from the Institute.

moving families forward