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

  • From Avoidance to Involvement: Talking about Sexual Issues in Couples Therapy [Online]

    This online workshop will explore these concerns and will address clinicians’ discomforts, biases and anxieties regarding sexual matters to help create a safe environment in which our clients can share and explore aspects of themselves that often feel shameful and lonely.

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  • Relational Intelligence and Play in Couple Therapy: Grappling with Dominance-Based Masculinity [Online]

    In this online workshop, participants will learn how to counter dominance-based practices in couple therapy with relational intelligence and play.

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  • Family Therapy with High Risk Adolescents [Online]

    In this workshop, we will review specific techniques for working with both the dynamics that develop as worry and alarm about an adolescent’s behavior takes over the relationships in a family, and also the dynamics that may be underlying the crisis – and all this while at the same time seeking resolution of the crisis behavior.

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  • The Residual Effects of Slavery: Clinical Implications for Training and Practice [Online]

    This workshop will conceptualize the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, as a historical trauma, and explore its clinical implications.

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  • Ackerman 60th Anniversary Conference: Play and Creativity in Family Therapy [Online]

    Celebrate with us at this full day professional symposium featuring innovative workshops, a special retrospective by Dr. Evan Imber-Black, and a keynote presentation by Dr. Eliana Gil.

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  • Connecting with Clients across Cultural Differences [Online]

    In this workshop, participants will learn about common difficulties faced by therapists when establishing therapeutic relationships with clients from whom they differ, as well as strategies to overcome these challenges and establish strong therapeutic relationships.

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  • Healing the Healer: Compassion and the Therapist’s Way of Embracing Grief [Online]

    Join us for this 3-hour experiential workshop to explore mind-body practices informed by contemplative psychotherapy and Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy (IFOT) to work with grief in its many forms.

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Research

  • 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.

  • 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.

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