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In addition to active research labs, The Family Institute at Northwestern University also cultivates a number of ongoing research projects.

Common Factors of Supervision

This team aims to understand the application of the four common factors of supervision. Specifically, we will collect data within individual and group supervision to understand the effectiveness of the four supervision roles on supervisees and client outcomes.

Neil Venketramen, LMFT

Core Faculty, Marriage & Family Therapy Program
Gender, Sexuality & Relationships

This research initiative seeks improve the wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) adults, with careful consideration to their intersectional lived experiences. Using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and a range of queer and family theories, we strive to uncover how the interpersonal, familial and contextual experiences of LGBTQ people inform their quality of life.

We are currently embarking on study that seeks to identify the ways in which analreceptive heterosexual males (ARHMs) actualize the practice of analreceptive sex (“pegging”) in the face of pervasive sociocultural stigma against male anal pleasure. In so doing, will also intend to highlight aspects of culturally humble therapeutic practice for clinicians working with this population.


2021-2022: The Family Institute at Northwestern University Seed Grant for “Pining for a Pegging: Analreceptive Heterosexual Men Negotiating Stigma & Masculinity.” PIs: Samuel H. Allen, Ph.D., & Jennifer Rafacz, Ph.D.

Jen Rafacz, Ph.D., CST

Licensed Clinical Psychologist
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist
Clinical Lecturer

Samuel Allen, Ph.D.

Core Faculty, Marriage & Family Therapy Program
Clinical Outcomes Project

Description coming soon.

Jay Lebow, Ph.D., ABPP, LCP, LMFT

Senior Scholar and Senior Therapist
Clinical Professor
Community Program Evaluation

Description coming soon.

Dara Winley, Ph.D.

Director of the Bette D. Harris Clinic & Community Programs