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.

Families Thrive

Diversity in Family Therapy

Short Conversations Series

Upcoming Workshops & Short Courses

  • From Cultural Competence to Cultural Curiosity: Rethinking our Approach to Understanding our Clients

    Using experiential (including role play) exercises, lecture, and case studies, participants will develop their ability to reflect on unhelpful working assumptions about their clients, understand how dimensions of their own identity inform how they view clients and their problems, and engage clients in ways that help them better understand their lives.

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  • From Placement Through Adoption: Attachment Bonds, Loyalty Binds, and Questions of Identity

    In this workshop, members of Ackerman’s Foster Care and Adoption Project (FCAP) will present an approach to working with families involved in various stages of the foster care system and adoption, highlighting strategies to help foster parents, adoptive parents, birth parents, and caseworkers relieve children of relational dilemmas and the behavior problems that result from such binds.

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  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Couples

    This workshop will teach how to adapt cognitive behavior therapy to the treatment of couples. Therapists will learn how to conceptualize common relationship difficulties in the context of the cognitive model and how to navigate the complex interaction of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that transpire within romantic partnerships.

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  • Family Therapy with Young Adults with Serious Mental Illness

    Using cases and research from evidence-based and systemic-relational therapies, this workshop will demonstrate how therapists can help family members regain a sense of control, connection, and calm in the face of an emerging mental illness.

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  • Healing the Healer: The Restorative Power of Mindfulness, Compassion, and Therapist’s Use-of-Self

    This workshop integrates the spirit of these two passages to create a day-long experiential and reflective healing space for therapists working within cultural contexts rife with personal and collective traumas of systemic oppression and colonization in the United States.

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Research

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

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