About Us

Co-Founders and Co-Directors Nancy Knudsen and Jack LaForte are a married couple who have come together professionally to establish this institute at a stage in their careers when giving back is of utmost importance. Both trained as family therapists in the 1980’s, they are each committed to the value of seeing human beings in the context of their families and communities.

Meet the Directors

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Nancy Knudsen

Nancy Knudsen, LMFT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Northampton, MA with over 30 years experience in the field. She has used a family systems orientation over the years to work with individuals, couples, and families on a wide range of issues. Over the past 8 years, Nancy’s primary clinical modality has been Emotionally Focused Therapy. She first became a certified EFT therapist in 2011, then a certified EFT supervisor in 2014, and served two years as the Assistant Director of the New England EFT Community. Nancy has taught a number of workshops on EFT for professionals. Historically, her areas of professional interest have been structural family systems, Bowen family systems theory, trauma, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Nancy earned a master’s degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1984. From there she attended a two-year certificate program at the Kantor Family Institute in family therapy which emphasized a thorough knowledge base of each of the major family therapy models. She developed an interest in family related trauma in the 1990’s, and sought out training in EMDR in order to learn to address unspoken emotional states,completing EMDR training in 1997 and becoming an EMDR Institute Facilitator in 1999.  To strengthen her background in family systems theory, Nancy completed a year long post-graduate program at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in 2008. She has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Massachusetts since 1991. Additionally, she is a Past President of the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Her most recent enterprise is co-founding and co-directing the Couple and Family Institute of New England located in Northampton, MA.

Contact Nancy Knudsen at nancy@coupleandfamilyinstitute.com

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Jack LaForte

Jack LaForte, Ph.D., LMFT, has worked with literally thousands of clients during his career as a psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, life coach and consultant. With over 35 years experience, he has developed an integrated client-focused approach which combines family systems, positive psychology, communications theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, and emotionally focused therapy. In his work he tries to engender trust, hope, openness, warmth, respect, and a sense of humor. In March, 2016, he had the honor of receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dr. LaForte earned his doctorate in counseling and consulting psychology in 1983 from the Union Institute. He is a licensed psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist and Past President of the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. He received his Clinical Membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in 1979 and became an Approved Supervisor 1984. In addition to his private practice Dr. LaForte has served as a consulting psychologist to mental health and social service agencies in the Pioneer Valley. Dr. LaForte has supervised and trained marriage and family therapists, taught at the graduate level and lectured on various topics related to relationships systems. He has also authored two chapters on Emotional Triangles.

Dr. LaForte has been a member of the American Psychological Association, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Family Therapy Association, the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the Family Firm Institute.

Contact Jack LaForte at jack@coupleandfamilyinstitute.com

Meet the Instructors

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Michael Barnett

Michael Barnett, LPC is a certified supervisor and trainer in Emotionally Focused Therapy, and the founder and director of the Atlanta Center for EFT. Michael brings extensive experience in the addictions field and a passion for helping couples and families impacted by addiction.

Michael's focus and passion is working with couples and training other professionals who work with relationships. His interest in couple therapy began early in his career when he noticed that successful treatment healed not only the relationship, but helped individuals transform their core working models and sense of self. He concluded that effective couple therapy could facilitate the deepest levels of change for the individual as well as for the couple.

In addition to his clinical work, supervision and training, Michael is leading a research project that incorporates EFT into inpatient addiction treatment protocols at a leading alcohol and drug treatment center in Atlanta. He and EFT trainer Jim Thomas co-created this training module using EFT to treat couples on the addictive continuum in outpatient settings.

 

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I. Scott Cohen

I. Scott Cohen, LICSW, LMFT is both a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Since 1978, he has provided couples, family, individual and group therapy. He specializes in working with victims of violent crime and post-traumatic stress disorder, adolescents and their families, and substance abuse and addictions. He received his Masters Degree in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He served as the President of the Massachusetts Association of Marriage and Family Therapy in 1994. He has served at total of ten years as one of the two marriage and family therapy representatives to the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Allied Mental Health. He is an AAMFT  Approved Supervisor and a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work . He has taught marriage and family therapy at several training institutes and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Divorce Center, Inc. for eight years. He is also a founding member of the Greater Marlboro Sexual Abuse Hotline.  

Mr. Cohen has held membership in The International Society For Traumatic Stress Studies, and maintains membership in the National Association of Social Workers and the American Association For Marriage and Family Therapy.  Twice, he was awarded the Significant Contribution to the Association Award by the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and in 2000, he was given a Divisional Contribution Award by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Mr. Cohen serves as a Red Cross volunteer as a Disaster Mental Health Specialist.  He maintains private offices in Framingham, MA. A nationally known trainer and presenter, he has given presentations at international, national and state conferences as well as conducted numerous trainings on both a local and national level.

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MaryAnna Domokos Cheng-Ham

MaryAnna Domokos-Cheng Ham, Ed.D., LMFT, is a Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts Boston. From 1985-2005 she was a tenured faculty in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology. While at UMass Boston she founded and developed the Family Therapy Program, and was its director. After 18 years of institutional development, FTP was awarded full certification from COAMFTE, (Commission On Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education) the accrediting body of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. The UMass Boston FTP became the first academic program to be accredited in Massachusetts. This achievement was a milestone because, unlike many other states in the U.S. with several COAMFTE accredited programs, no marriage and family program in Massachusetts had ever been accredited by COAMFTE.

Dr. Ham has also been a former president of the Massachusetts Division of AAMFT and a national board member of AAMFT. Her scholarship has been focused on issues of diversity, biracial coupleships, and ethics. For over 30 years she has provided family, couple, and individual therapy to diverse racial, cultural, gender identified populations. Although well versed in many modalities of therapy, her clinical focus is systemic  therapies, in particular post-modern and social construction approaches including narrative therapy.

Currently, Dr. Ham maintains a private practice in Northampton, MA. She is also a Master Therapist for Couples Therapy Inc, an online therapy practice that treats couples located internationally and throughout the United States. She continues to be affiliated with UMass Boston by teaching online advanced family therapy courses. Throughout her work, MaryAnna maintains her commitment to social justice and respectful communication.

 

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Kerry Lusignan

Kerry Lusignan, LMHC holds a Master's from the Department of Applied Psychology at Antioch New England Graduate School, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and has more than 25 years of experience in the field of mental health. In 2002, she opened her first private practice in Northampton, MA, and in 2009 began dedicating her practice exclusively to the treatment of couples in distress.

Kerry founded The Northampton Center for Couples Therapy in 2010, where she acts as Director and Supervisor of the center's eight licensed couples therapists.  Dedicated exclusively to evidence-informed/state-dependent couples therapy, NCCT treats over 100 couples a week, and offers intensive private intensive retreats attracting couples from around the country and abroad.

Kerry is one of approximately 135 Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapists who has trained directly with Dr. John Gottman and received certification from the Gottman Institute.

In addition, she has completed advanced training and supervision in Emotionally Focused Therapy and is a candidate for certification in 2017. She has advanced training in Stepfamily Systems and is registered with The National Stepfamily Resource Center. Most recently, Kerry has embarked on training with Brent Atkinson in Pragmatic Experiential Therapy (PEX-T).

Her sub-specialties include high conflict couples, couples on the brink of divorce, and working with couples in marathon format; focusing on the integration of the different strands of state-dependent couples therapy from the leading evidence-based models of relationship distress.

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Peter Titelman

Peter Titelman, PhD, maintains a private practice in clinical psychology, specializing in Bowen family systems therapy, consultation, professional education, and supervision in Northampton, Massachusetts. Dr. Titelman has been leading consultation groups on the professional’s own family for close to thirty-five years. He is a founding member of the New England Seminar on Bowen Theory in Worcester, Massachusetts.

He is the editor of The Therapist’s Own Family: Toward the Differentiation of Self; Clinical Applications of Bowen Family Systems Theory; Emotional Cutoff: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives; and Triangles: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives.

Dr. Titelman was on the faculty of Leadership in Ministry in Newton, Massachusetts. He was a co-founder and clinical director of the Family Living Consultants of the Pioneer Valley in Northampton, Massachusetts. Dr. Titelman has taught and supervised graduate students as an adjunct faculty member at Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene, New Hampshire; Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Newton, Massachusetts; St. Joseph’s College, West Hartford, Connecticut; and Smith College of Social Work, Northampton, Massachusetts. He has given presentations and training events nationally and internationally, including teaching Bowen family systems theory at the Society of Family Consultants and Psychotherapists in Moscow, Russia, and he presented a seminar at An-Najah National University in the West Bank of Palestine. His current research interests, in addition to the concept and process of differentiation of self, include the concept of emotional process in society, specifically the Israeli–Palestinian conflict from a Bowen theory perspective.

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Michael Moran

Michael Moran, LCSW, CST is a licensed psychotherapist, Certified EFT Couples Therapist and Supervisor as well as AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. He has a full-time private practice in New York, NY where he specializes in the intersection of relational and sexual issues.  Mike and Nancy met at the Sexuality and Relationships Congress in Rome, Italy in April 2017 and quickly became excited about the prospects of working together to construct a workshop that effectively helps couples achieve greater sexual satisfaction in their committed relationships.