What We Offer


We are a lively group of psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists. We communicate with one another via email through our listserv, where we discuss clinical and theoretical issues and seek referrals. We welcome all licensed mental health clinicians as full members.

At the Annual Spring Meetings of Division 39, our members present innovative panel discussions, and we host Conversation/Social Hours that explore new and relevant issues. We try to increase the dialogue within the division about the varied approaches to intervening with couples and families, we plan joint panels and events with other sections, and we strive to further the awareness of family and relationship issues for therapists who see individuals.

Each year we offer several Scholar/Travel awards and one research award to qualified graduate students, psychoanalytic candidates, and early career professionals in clinical psychology or allied disciplines who demonstrate an interest in a psychoanalytic approach to couple and/or family therapy. The scholar awards include a travel stipend to the Division 39 Spring Meeting, a 1-year membership to the section, and the opportunity to work with a mentor.  The Gerald Stechler Research Award supports qualitative, theoretical, or quantitative research on couples and families within a psychodynamic/psychoanalytic framework.

Our private website includes summaries of the listserv discussions of clinical issues, a renewal form, and a geographical listing of members.

Members Only Listserv
The listserv connects the geographically dispersed members of Section VIII, practitioners with many diverse orientations and areas of expertise, and facilitates communication around issues related to couples and families.  In addition to discussing articles and clinical questions, members share information about research and clinical interests, disseminate educational materials, respond to referral inquiries, publicize upcoming events, report on members’ activities, and discuss social actions relating to couples and families.

Online Discussions
Members of the Section participate in active online discussions through our listserv.  Each month, a clinical question or problem is posted, inviting members to join in an active discussion of the question/problem. These discussions, which are only open to members of Section VIII, invite conversation with other clinicians located all over the country about issues related to the intersection between couple and family therapy and psychoanalysis.

Section VIII distributes two newsletters per year. The newsletters serve as a vehicle to exchange ideas central to our work, report on Section and member activities, and highlight members of the section, including our scholars. Members of Section VIII receive the newsletters as part of membership, and have access to archived copies of the newsletter on this website. For all inquiries, contact newsletter@sectionviii.org. 

Membership Directory
Section VIII publishes a directory of our members’ addresses, interests, and specialties.  An abbreviated version, organized by geographic location, is available online for people seeking to make referrals or organize local networks.

Members can participate actively in Section VIII by joining our committees. Our Commitees are led by the following members:

Children and the Family: Roanne K. Barnett, Ph.D.
Education and Training: Roberta Caplan, Ph.D.
Gerald Stechler Award: Francine Godet, Psy.D
International Affiliations: Mary-Joan Gerson, Ph.D.
Listserv and Website: Sonia Kahn, Psy.D.
New Members: TBD
Newsletter Committee: newsletter@sectionviii.org
Publications: Susan Abelson, Ph.D.
Public Policy: Cindy Baum-Baicker, Ph.D.
Research: Francine Godet, Ph.D.
Scholar: Monique Bowen, Ph.D. & Luis Eduardo Carneiro Nobrega, LLM, Psy.D.

The Education and Training Committee stimulates discussions on cutting-edge issues in couple and family therapy by distributing articles that are then discussed online via our listserv.

The Public Policy Committee tries to link our integrative way of thinking to issues of social and political concern. In this time of domestic and international turmoil, a psychoanalytic/systemic perspective on family dynamics can be crucial, for example on domestic policy issues such as abortion or violence, or in understanding irrational hatred and stereotyping. The Public Policy Committee is charged to promote the application of psychoanalytic and family systemic thinking to current couple/family issues which become salient politically or culturally,  and to serve as an advisory body to the membership and the public in that regard.

The International Affiliations Committee encourages volunteers and new proposals for initiatives, such as training possibilities, co-sponsored conferences and shared research initiatives. Please contact Mary-Joan Gerson (Chair) at mjg5@nyu.edu with questions or suggestions.

The Newsletter Commitee is responsible for publishing the bi-annual newsletter, including publication layout, organziaton, article sourcing, and editing. For more infromation, please contact newsletter@sectionviii.org.

For further information about Section VIII activities (including learning more about each committee) please contact Cindy Baum-Baicker, cbbaicker@gmail.com.