Secrets in Families and Family Therapy


Secrets have existed throughout time. In every culture, beliefs about secrecy, privacy and openness contribute to a crucial decision – should I keep a secret? Should I open a secret? As therapists, we are witnesses to the complexity of our clients’ secrets. Whether shaped in the interior of a family fifty years ago or yesterday, secrets carry powerful new meanings in today’s culture. In this workshop, participants will learn a multi-systemic model for working effectively with secrets. Through lecture, exercises and video, we will: (1) examine ways to develop a complex therapeutic position respectful of each client’s struggle with secrecy; (2) draw critical distinctions between secrecy and privacy; (3) understand the link between symptoms and secrets; (4) develop effective interviewing skills and interventions that are based on the unique context of every secret; and (5) create a therapeutic context marked by empathy and justice.

Evan Imber-Black, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Families and Health at the Ackerman Institute. She is Professor and Program Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Masters Program at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY, and is also the editor of Family Process and author of The Secret Life of Families and co-author of Rituals for Our Times: Celebrating, Healing and Changing Our Lives and Relationships.

Date: Friday, November 14, 2014
Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuition: $135
CE Credits: 5

The Ackerman Institute is approved by the NASW, CT, and therefore NASW, NJ and NASW, NY.

If you would like to apply online, click below.

If you would like to mail or fax in your application form, download a printable application here.

If you are an Ackerman alumni or current Ackerman student, please contact the Training Department directly to register.

Danielle Khalife
Phone: 212-879-4900