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Center for Couple and Family Studies

The Center was formed as a response to a need in the community for study around couple and family relationships. The Center seeks to promote a wider understanding of healthy human coupling and the development of intimacy.


Programs for 2017-2018

Advanced Topics in Couple Sexuality

October 28, 2017 Mark Blechner, PhD:  Working with Countertransference and Sexual Issues in Psychotherapy
This presentation will describe major changes in our understanding of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual excitement, and sexual patterning as well as paraphilias.  It will integrate scientific findings from sexology, sociology, medicine, and psychology to understand sexuality issues that arise in working with those who identify as heterosexual or LGBTQ.  Clinical examples will illustrate how sexual issues are raised and explored in psychotherapy, how they may appear in the treatment relationship, and how therapy can help a person understand and enhance sexual experience.  Discussion will address therapist resistance to listening to, understanding, and working with sexual patterns. The role of societal, legal, religious, prejudicial, and other constraints on the expression of gender and sexuality will be explored.

Mark J. Blechner, PhD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute, and Clinical Professor and Supervisor at the New York University Post-Doctoral Program in Psychoanalysis.   He has published three books:  Sex Changes: Transformations in Society and Psychoanalysis (2009); The Dream Frontier (2001); and Hope and Mortality: Psychodynamic Approaches to AIDS and HIV (1997). He is former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He is in private practice in New York City, where he also leads private dream groups.

 February 24, 2018 Todd Essig, PhD:  Reclaiming Intimacy: Helping Couples and Couple Therapists Deal with Technology’s Influence on Sex, Tenderness, and Closeness 
Technology has touched all facets of intimate life, from the most mysterious recesses of sexual passion all the way to family dinners. An electronic connection device is nearly always at one's fingertips--even when an intimate is as well!  But it is not enough just to know about things like sexting, online pornography, technoference, cybersex, video chats, and all the rest. We will explore the meaning of these intersections and consider how technology impacts intimacy—both passionate and tender—in singles, couples, families, and even in treatment.  We will explore what these changes mean and examine how they can be applied in practice.

Todd Essig, PhD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute.  He is an expert in the field of technology-mediated therapy and relationships. He writes “Managing Mental Wealth” for Forbes, where he covers the intersection of technology, public life and private experience. He maintains a busy clinical practice in New York City where he treats individuals and couples.

April21, 2018 Mary Morgan:  Complex and creative: the field of couple interpretation

Mary Morgan is a Psychoanalyst and Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, and a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She is Clinical Head of Couple Psychotherapy Training at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relationships in London, where she teaches and supervises. She has published many papers in the field of couple psychoanalysis, and is currently completing a book about the Tavistock Relationships Approach.



  • Antonietta  Corvasce
  • Joyce Lowenstein,
  • Noa Ashman,
  • Lee Futrovsky,
  • Nancy Lithgow,
  • Barbara Wayne.