Rituals for Our Times: Rituals in Families and Family Therapy

family processes

Co-sponsored with the Family Process Institute and the Ackerman Institute for the Family


Across time and cultures, people have made rituals. Small daily rituals, holiday celebrations and major life cycle rituals connect us to our past, while simultaneously enabling us to live in the present and envision a future. Rituals make and mark transitions. They define our relationships, express our beliefs and shape our identity as families and communities. Rituals enable us to express powerful emotions, often without words.  The capacity of rituals to hold contradictions – loss and healing; sadness and joy – has made them of special interest to family therapists. In this webinar, we will focus on the development of rituals for healing individual, family and community trauma.  This webinar will cover: key elements of rituals, four types of rituals, ritual purposes, ritual styles and patterns.

Evan Imber-Black, Ph.D. is the Program Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Mercy College. She founded and directed the Center for Families and Health at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City, where she is affiliated as senior faculty.  Dr. Imber-Black is the former editor of Family Process, the major scholarly journal in family systems research and family therapy.  She is a past president of the American Family Therapy Academy; recipient of the 1990 American Family Therapy Academy award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice; and the 1999 recipient of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Cumulative Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy.

Throughout her internationally recognized career, Evan Imber-Black has made major contributions in thematic areas that cut across different models of practice, including Families and Larger Systems, Family Rituals, and Family Secrets. She is the author of over 50 original papers, and several books, including:

  • The Secret Life of Families – Bantam, 1998
  • Secrets in Families and Family Therapy – WW Norton, 1993
  • Rituals for Our Times – Jason Aronson, 1998 (co-authored with Janine Roberts)
  • Rituals in Families and Family Therapy – WW Norton, 1988; Second edition, 2003 (co-edited with Janine Roberts and Richard Whiting)
  • Families and Larger Systems – Guilford Publications, 1988

Learning Objectives:

    1. Participants will learn the key elements of rituals and the four types of rituals.
    2. Participants will be able to distinguish between normative and therapeutic rituals.
    3. Participants will learn the purposes, styles, and patterns of rituals.
    4. Participants will reach a clear understanding of the place rituals play in different cultures.

Date: First aired in 2016
Time: 12:00-1:30 ET
Tuition: $20 for general admission, $35 for 1.5 CEU Credits, $135 for group registration

The Ackerman Institute for the Family SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0052.

This program has been approved for Continuing Education Credit Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, CT and meets the continuing education criteria for CT Social Work Licensure renewal.

If you would like to apply online, click here.

(This webinar is part of a series co-sponsored with the Family Process Institute. Please check back for more listings to come.)

family processes