Expired Sibling Therapy: The How To’s

Sibling Therapy is built on family system’s theory, but has its own specific elements. There is the awareness that brothers and/or sisters actually have two sets of siblings: the first are the original, flesh and blood siblings; the second are the left-over perceptions and feelings from childhood that, like ghosts, are invisible and never age – even as the original siblings do age and change.

These “ghosts” can cause relationship problems in their adult lives. There are four key concepts that can help your clients understand the underlying causes of their current problems: frozen images, crystallized roles, unhealthy loyalty, and sibling transference.

This experiential workshop demonstrates how therapists start a sibling therapy session; how to incorporate these concepts into their own therapy style; how to recognize and use their own feelings in sessions; and how to consider some skills necessary for this work.

Learning Objectives:

  • To identify four concepts that are specific to sibling therapy: frozen images, crystallized roles, and unhealthy loyalty, and sibling transference
  • To learn how to start a sibling session
  • To recognize and use the therapist’s own feelings (transference and countertransference)
  • To understand the skills necessary for doing sibling therapy


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 school, University of Cincinnati Medical School, University of Santiago. She has been on the board of 5 professional journals and book review editor for another. Active in AAMFT, on several national committees. For years, she has presented her work nationally and internationally

Return to Workshops

  • April 19, 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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