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continuing education

As a national leader in clinical integration, The Family Institute at Northwestern University is hosting a virtual clinical summit focusing on the theme of attachment and emotion in family therapy. Four leaders in the field will present and discuss their respective approaches with a focus on the key ways attachment and emotion shape family intervention in parent and child relationships. The day concludes with a panel discussion focusing on insights toward clinical integration and their implications for the practice of family therapy.

This summit is geared towards psychotherapists who work with parents and children across the lifespan.

Increasingly, theories of attachment and emotion processing have been used to understand and guide the goals and process of family therapy. Such goals and processes are aimed at repairing and strengthening the emotional attachment bonds between parents and their children and utilizing caregiver involvement in supporting a child in treatment. This occurs through focusing on maladaptive or insecure schemas and relational patterns more secure by working through the relational traumas directly with the parents and children involved. In particular, four different model developers have used the attachment and emotional frameworks to develop detailed clinical approaches to guide this reparative process. These models utilize experiential techniques directly in sessions to increase individuals’ and families’ capacity for emotion regulation and collaborative communication. In this summit, these leaders will discuss and compare their unique and similar theoretical and clinical strategies as well as the empirical research that supports their therapy approaches.

Summit Schedule

  • Presentation at 9 a.m. — Guy Diamond, Ph.D. — Attachment-Based Family Therapy
  • Presentation at 10:40 a.m. — Adele Lafrance, Ph.D. — Emotion-Focused Family Therapy
  • Lunch break at 12:10 p.m.
  • Presentation at 1 p.m. — Dan Hughes, Ph.D. — Attachment-Focused Family Therapy
  • Presentation at 2:40 p.m. — Jim Furrow, Ph.D. — Emotionally Focused Family Therapy
  • Panel discussion at 4:20 p.m.

Learning Outcomes

  • Attendees will obtain introductory understanding of each of the four family therapy models.
  • Attendees will be familiar with the unique strengths of each of the models presented.
  • Attendees will gain practical knowledge to integrate the models into their current practices.

CEUs will be provided upon request.

The summit will be recorded and available for later viewing to those who register.

Presenter Bios

Guy Diamond, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Family Intervention Science at Drexel University. His primary work has been in the area of youth suicide prevention and treatment research. As a prevention scientist, he has created a program of training, screening and triage for non-behavioral health settings. As an intervention scientist, he and his colleague have developed and testing Attachment-based Family Therapy, with focus on youth suicide treatment.

Adele Lafrance, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, author, and developer of Emotion-Focused Family Therapy. She has published extensively in the field of emotion and health, including a clinical manual to support families published by the American Psychological Association. Adele has also written a popular parenting book titled: What to Say to Kids When Nothing Seems to Work, and provides practical resources to parents and caregivers at no cost via She also offers workshops for the general public and mental health agencies worldwide.

Dan Hughes, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in South Portland, Maine. He founded and developed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) for the treatment of children who have experienced intrafamilial relational trauma. DDP has been expanded to a general model of family therapy which is also known as Attachment-Focused Family Therapy.

James L. Furrow, Ph.D., is contributing author and editor of five texts on Emotionally Focused Therapy including Emotionally Focused Family Therapy: Restoring Connection and Promoting Resilience. He is an ICEEFT certified trainer and supervisor and former Freed Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology.

Please contact Allen Sabey, Ph.D., with any questions.