Expired From Reactivity to Empowerment in Couple Therapy: Interpersonal Neurobiology Meets Relational Ethics

This lecture is part of the Ackerman Distinguished Family Therapy Lecture Series, designed to contribute to conversations on advancements and opportunities in family therapy training. Lectures are free and open to the public.

Program Description:

Distressed couples often get caught up in cycles of emotional reactivity, each blaming the other and seeing self as victim. This lecture, informed by research from interpersonal neurobiology, offers an integrative approach to identify and transform the couple’s dance, with a focus on enhancing relational empowerment, responsibility, and generosity between partners. Among topics to be explored: vulnerabilities and survival strategies fueling the dance, often rooted in the family of origin and larger sociocultural context; specific techniques to increase emotion regulation and thoughtfulness; power dynamics in couple impasses, with a focus on facilitating voice and listening, fairness and respect. Challenging the values of competition and individualism endorsed by the dominant U.S. culture, Dr. Fishbane shares her latest ideas on helping couples cultivate relational ethics, enhance choice and generosity, and live according to their higher values.


Mona Fishbane, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in New Jersey, is former Director of Couple Therapy Training, Chicago Center for Family Health. Mona lectures nationally and internationally; she has published numerous articles on couple therapy, intergenerational relationships, and interpersonal neurobiology. Mona received the 2017 Family Psychologist of the Year Award from The American Psychological Association (Society for Couple & Family Psychology); and the 2023 Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Award from AFTA (American Family Therapy Academy). Mona’s book, Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology & Couple Therapy (2013), is part of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology.  Mona’s website: www.monafishbane.com

Return to Ackerman Distinguished Family Therapy Lecture Series

  • February 21, 2024
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Mona Fishbane, PhD

CE contact hours are not offered for this series.


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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