The Secret Life of Families

Secrets have existed throughout time. Contemporary families face particular dilemmas regarding secrecy, privacy, truth-telling and openness. Shaped in the interior of a family ten, twenty or fifty years ago, secrets may mean something quite different in today’s wider culture. With technology, new arenas of secrecy have emerged. People are left in a quandary regarding decisions about who to tell, when to tell or whether to tell.

In this workshop, therapists will examine secrets in a multi-systemic context of culture, media, institutions, family-of-origin, household and individual selves, learn effective interviewing techniques when secrets pertain, and clarify their own ethical positions as therapists regarding secrets connected to birth, illness, incest, adultery, substance abuse, suicide, money and death.

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn an original model of secrecy and openness
  • To learn methods in couple therapy to work with secrets
  • To learn methods in family therapy to work with secrets


Evan Imber-BlackEvan Imber-Black, PhD, Evan Imber-Black, Ph.D. is Professor and Program Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY. She is also a Senior Faculty Member at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City, where she directs the Center for Families and Health. She maintains a private practice in Couple and Family Therapy in New York City and Mount Vernon, New York. Evan was the Editor-in-Chief of the scholarly journal, Family Process for eight years. She is a highly published author in both scholarly journals and the popular press. She teaches writing workshops and provides private consultation to authors.

Date / Time:

Friday, November 22, 2019
10:00 am–4:00 pm

Continuing Education:

5 CE Contact Hours

Register Online:

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