Alumni Lecture | From Reactivity to Empowerment in Couple Therapy: Insights from Interpersonal Neurobiology [Online]

This online family therapy lecture series open to alumni of Ackerman’s Clinical Externship Program, free of charge. Advance registration is required to attend. For more information, contact:

Couples in distress often get caught up in cycles of emotional reactivity, each blaming the other and seeing self as victim—a linear view. This lecture explores ways to identify and diagram the couple’s dance using the Vulnerability Cycle Diagram first described by Mona Fishbane and Michele Scheinkman in 2004. The therapist helps the couple understand the circular nature of their impasse, and the ways in which both are victims of and the (inadvertent) co-creators of the cycle. We will explore ways to identify and work with each partner’s vulnerabilities and survival strategies, including their origin in the family of origin.

The discussion will be informed by the latest research from interpersonal neurobiology, including the dynamics of emotion dysregulation, techniques for emotion regulation, and the tension between habits and change. Dr. Fishbane’s approach enhances partners’ relational empowerment, including self-regulation, choice, living according to one’s higher goals and values, and reaching for one’s “best self.”

CE Contact Hours are not provided for this program.

Date / Time:

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
7:00 pm–8:30 pm (ET)

This lecture will be held online via Zoom.


Mona Fishbane, PhD, clinical psychologist in New Jersey and Illinois, is faculty and former Director of Couple Therapy Training, Chicago Center for Family Health. Mona is on the Advisory Board of Family Process journal, and has served as an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and Board member, American Family Therapy Academy. Mona lectures nationally and internationally, and has published numerous articles on couple therapy and neurobiology as well as on intergenerational relationships. Mona has been the recipient of honors and fellowships, including a grant from the Templeton Foundation, and the 2017 Family Psychologist of the Year Award from The American Psychological Association. Mona’s book, Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology & Couple Therapy (2013), is part of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology.

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  • Alumni Lecture | From Reactivity to Empowerment in Couple Therapy: Insights from Interpersonal Neurobiology [Online]
    December 2, 2020
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm