On January 24, 2014, The Ackerman Institute for the Family Alumni Association proudly hosted Dr. Evan Imber-Black in presenting "Therapeutic Choice Points in Complex Couple Therapy: How and When to Intervene”. First presented at Harvard’s “Treating Couples” conference in November, Dr. Imber-Black’s lecture was one of only two lectures ever to receive a standing ovation at the event. The Ackerman Alumni Association was pleased to host the presentation where Dr. Imber-Black discussed a broad swath of key decision making factors therapists face in couple therapy.
The presentation covered and highlighted the moment by moment decisions made by therapists in couple therapy requiring careful thought, cognitive and emotional attunement with each member of the conflicted pair, avoidance of triangulation, and the ability to read verbal and non-verbal feedback occurring in every aspect of the session.
Dr. Imber-Black demonstrated interviewing for expanded openings, redefining and amplifying a presenting problem, selecting a path and correcting it when it proves ineffective, marking a critical subject, leaving it and returning to it at a more optimal time, and challenging a one-size fits all model of therapy, among other key areas.
Dr. Imber-Black examined multiple sessions with a couple coping with life-shortening illness, cross-cultural issues, and years of marital discord. Using these complex cases, Dr. Imber-Black examined therapeutic choice points, formulated direction for couples who present with multiple dilemmas, demonstrated methods to make effective therapeutic choices in a session and across sessions, and how to fashion meaningful questions that provide openings and to shift when these do not.
Evan Imber-Black, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Families and Health and a faculty member at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City. Evan is currently the Acting Program Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Masters Program at Mercy College.