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.

Our programming and services continue to operate while the Ackerman offices are closed. Our therapy services have transitioned to teletherapy, and our training programs are now held online. Read Ackerman’s COVID-19 Action Plan.

Families Thrive

Diversity in Family Therapy

Training at Ackerman

Upcoming Workshops & Short Courses

  • Parenting Teens Through Stressful Times: Balancing Structure and Support
    [Free Parent Webinar]

    In this free parent and caregiver webinar we will discuss specific strategies parents can use to help their teenaged children readjust to our ever changing world.

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  • Adoptive Families: Exploring Identity, Loss, and Connection [Free Parent Webinar]

    This free webinar will engage adoptive parents and caregivers in exploring themes around complex multilayered identity development, processing and understanding loss and grief in adoption, and supporting connection and resilience in parenting. We will explore the concept of openness as well as parenting with a social and racial justice lens.

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  • They’re Out, Now What? Supporting Your LGBTQ Child [Free Parent Webinar]

    This webinar is designed for caregivers and parents of children of any age. We will cover some important LGBTQ terms to know, considerations for each age group, things you can do to support your child to be safe and thrive in all of their identities, and when to consider enlisting the help of a mental health or medical provider.

    Learn more

  • Promoting Child & Family Resilience During Difficult Times [Free Parent Webinar]

    This webinar will help parents feel more confident and competent to handle everyday stress as well as chronic challenges that affect family life and family relationships. The topics will include mitigating risk and strengthening support, coping and problem solving skills. Parents will learn specific strategies to promote parent and child self-regulation, the most important quality for a peaceful home.

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  • Protecting Your Child from Sexual Abuse
    [Free Parent Webinar]

    This child sexual abuse prevention webinar will teach you how to keep your child safe from sexual abuse as well as how to respond if your child makes a disclosure. Due to more kids having access to the internet as a result of COVID-19 and remote learning, special focus will be given to online sexual abuse prevention.

    Learn more

  • The Emotions of Parenting [Free Parent Webinar]

    This webinar will look at the purpose of emotions and how they underlie our effective, satisfying, and zesty living. We will discuss why they are so hard, at times, to allow in ourselves and in others: what is so difficult, scary, or overwhelming about emotion? And we will learn and practice some practical strategies for connecting to emotion so that they can be helpful guides for parenting and other relationships.

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Research

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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