Annual Spring Open House 2015
On Wednesday evening, April 22nd, the Ackerman Institute for the Family held its annual Open House for prospective students. Over fifty potential Ackerman trainees listened as faculty and students described the benefits of enrolling in the Ackerman Institute’s unique postgraduate training program in family therapy.
Marcia Sheinberg, Director of Training, opened the event and spoke about the unique learning opportunities available at the Ackerman Institute and our legacy of innovation in the field of family therapy. Constance N. Scharf, Dean of Students, described the training curriculum, and specifically the Live Clinical Supervision course, where students treat families from behind a one-way mirror under the supervision of a faculty member.
Sarah Berland, Ackerman Teaching Fellow, introduced the Foundation class, a 30-week course which provides the basis of family systems theory and technique through presentations, readings, and videos of family therapy sessions. Faculty member Aquilla Frederick, shared what she referred to as her “journey to Ackerman.” Her accounts of training and teaching at Ackerman illustrated a distinct experience of personal, political and intellectual development. Sara and Aquilla painted a clear picture of Ackerman as a community committed to a socially just clinical practice, where the experiences of power and oppression shaping our family relationships and our communities are addressed in a meaningful way. Faculty member Fiona True provided an explanation of the Clinical Externship, a two to three year program in which trainees receive a broad range of clinical and supervisory experience in family therapy. Fiona’s presentation included an excerpt of a recorded therapy session exemplifying the Ackerman Relational Approach.
This year’s Open House offered attendees an exciting opportunity to witness how Ackerman’s enduring traditions of innovation and collaboration have been invigorated by the Institute’s efforts to build a multi-ethnic, inclusive and anti-racist organization.