Expired Adult Sibling: A Hidden Resource for Your Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy

This workshop will help participants understand how the early childhood relationship can be considered a laboratory, or “first marriage,” for adult love relationships. Then, through the process of “sibling transference,” your clients may recreate their early relationships — falling back on what is familiar, from their first marriage. By recognizing and understanding these transferences, you can consider siblings as a hidden resource; this is especially true with intractable problems.

Learning Objectives:

  • To recognize the importance of the childhood sibling relationship on adult clients’ relationships
  • To identify the four key concepts for understanding the sibling resource for helping your clients: frozen images, crystallized roles, unhealthy loyalty, and sibling transference
  • To assess if there is a sibling connection with your individual/couple/family clients
  • To help your clients recognize when there is a sibling connection


Karen Gail Lewis, MSW, EdD, marriage and family therapist in private practice for over 50 years, is author of numerous books and professional articles on marriage, gender communication, single women, and adult siblings. Her newest book is Sibling Therapy: The Ghosts from Childhood That Haunt Your Clients’ Love and Work. She has taught at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and University of Chile, Santiago. She has been on the board of 5 professional journals and book review editor for another. She is active in AAMFT, on several national committees. For years, she has presented her work nationally and internationally.

Return to Workshops

  • March 1, 2024
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Karen Gail Lewis, MSW, EdD

3 CE Contact Hours


Location:   Online Event


A link will be emailed to you one day before the event. Online events are held in Eastern Standard Time (ET).

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