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Couples Therapy

Build a strong foundation with our couples therapy counseling certification.

Dr. Michael Zentman

Dr. Michael Zentman Couple Therapy Program Director

The Adelphi University Postgraduate Program in Couple Therapy is a two-year part-time course of study that offers an integrated approach to couples treatment which is grounded in a theory encompassing both family systems and diverse psychodynamic points of view. 

The premise is that each partner in a relationship has a separate internal world that impacts the whole of the couple.  Our perspective is that the “patient” in treatment is the relationship rather than either individual.   We believe that viewing the couple as-a-whole rather than only as two discrete individuals is key to a successful treatment.  Our approaches focus on the use of transference-countertransference dynamics and the clarification of interlocking co-constructions of couples’ problems which are manifestations of the intergenerational transmission of unresolved issues that constrain couples’ interactional experiences and choices.    

Our mission is to educate and train mental health professionals in psychoanalytic-systemic couples therapy to enable them to become flexible in the use of a wide variety of approaches to couples treatment.  We encourage candidates to develop their own styles and methodologies in working with couples through the process of course work, supervision, personal treatment and clinical practice. 

Seminars, video recordings, class discussions, role plays, and case presentations provide a learning experience which helps candidates practice multiple approaches to couples therapy.  Candidates will become acquainted with Object Relations Theory, Relational / Intersubjective Theory, Structural Family Therapy, The Gottman Approach, Emotionally-Focused Therapy, and Bowenian – Transgenerational Therapy.

Course work includes the following topics:

  • Integration of psychoanalytic and systems theory and practice.
  • Trauma and relationship conflict.
  • The use of transference and countertransference in couple therapy.
  • Managing the trauma of infidelity.
  • Gender issues.
  • Working with difficult and volatile couples.
  • Re-married couples/blended families.
  • Treating LGBTQ couples.
  • Ethnicity and cultural influences.
  • Managing impasses in couple therapy.                
  • Divorce and divorce counseling.
  • Sexuality and sex therapy.
  • Attachment in couple relationships.
  • Genograms and the family-life-cycle.
  • The importance of the therapist’s family-of-origin.

Candidates in our program will:

  • Expand their theoretical knowledge and develop effective and practical clinical skills and interventions.
  • Develop the proficiency to work with a wide range of couples.
  • Study with faculty who are at the forefront of current scholarly and clinical practice in couple and marital treatment.

Upon completion of the program candidates are expected to:

  • Work with a wide range of couples using psychodynamic and systems theory and techniques.
  • Recognize the complex nature of relationships including intrapsychic, interpersonal, socio-cultural and gender influences.
  • Conduct comprehensive evaluations and develop effective treatment plans and clinical interventions.
  • Gain recognition as a specialist in marital and couple therapy.

Upon completion of the program participants will receive a Certificate in Couple Therapy from Adelphi University

Licensed and license-eligible practitioners in the following mental health fields are eligible to apply to the program: Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Clinical Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Psychoanalysts, and Art Therapists.

The Couple Therapy Program offers a Seminar series in Fall 2019

» Seminar Series Details

» View course requirements


» Admissions Application

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Michael Zentman
Couple Therapy Program Director
p – 631.754.3880
e –

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