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Ferkauf Graduate School Of Psychology

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Family and Couples Therapy

Director: Shelly Goldklank, Ph.D.

The Clinical PsyD Program at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology offers specialty training in Couples and Family therapy, which involves didactic coursework, practicum clinical training, and research. 

Students who wish to take courses in the family and couples modality may take the following:

Concepts in Couples and Family Therapy

This is a one semester didactic course that focuses on intensive analysis of training tapes of senior practitioners in couples and family therapy.  The student learns crucial observational skills of repeating sequences of verbal and non-verbal systems interaction, concepts in systems diagnosis such as commitment, hierarchy, and intimacy, and systems constructs such as triangulation, boundary issues, and intergenerational transmission of unresolved issue in the family of origin.

The Family and Couples Year Long Practicum

The Family and Couple Therapy practicum uses a psychoanalytic-systemic integrative framework, with a great deal of exposure to a range of systemic orientations including

Gottman Marital Therapy, Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, and Bowen Systems Therapy, for example. Students from other orientations are welcomed and may, if they wish, be placed with a senior practitioner from a more purely systemic, less psychodynamic off-site supervisor.  Students receive intensive supervision that includes both "live" supervision, through the one-way mirror in the classroom and weekly offsite supervision with a senior systems therapist. This weekly supervision uses recordings that every student is required to make for each session for the supervisory material. The family and couples cases come from local hospitals (e.g., Supporting Healthy Relationship programs at Montefiore), neighborhood schools (e.g., local elementary and high schools as well as medical student couples and families from local training hospitals), and the neighborhood in general.  The families and couples are diverse in ethnicity, socio economic status, issues, and disabilities, as well as in constellation (eg single parent families, same sex or opposite sex couples and parents, and multi-generational families).

Research in Couples, Family, and Psychoanalysis

This is a research seminar whose members may do their research in one, two, or all three areas named.  Many students from diverse orientations who wish to research issues of family and couples take this research seminar.  Recent systems studies include: Sexual Fantasy Disclosure and its Effect on Intimacy; Parental Alienation Syndrome s effects in adult life; In law conflict and its effect on the marital pair; Special needs adoptions and its effect on the family; Transgender couples experiences in couples therapy, and Communication Issues in Couples; its underlying meaning.  Research projects may be either qualitative, quantitative, or hybrid. 


  • Concepts in Couples and Family Therapy (Dr. Goldklank)
  • Couples and Family Therapy with Practicum I (Dr. Goldklank)
  • Couples and Family Therapy with Practicum II (Dr. Goldklank)
  • Research in Couples, Family, and Psychoanalysis (Dr. Goldklank)


Shelly Goldklank, Ph.D.

Family and Couple Practicum Lab Supervisors:

Dr. Carl Bagnini
Dr. Bruce Berman
Dr. Richard Briggs
Dr. Shoshana Bulow
Dr. Jantra Coll
Dr. Eugenio Duarte
Dr. Gladys Fox
Ms. Stacey Fredericks
Dr. Laurie Freeman
Dr. Richard Fulmer
Dr. Francine Godet
Dr. Toni Heris
Dr. Stephanie Manes
Dr. Barbara Russek

Family and Couple Clinic Coordinator TA: Marian Miller