African American couple smiling, looking at each other, lying on couch

This Home Study Program was recorded as a live event on April 9, 2021 as part of CFINE’s Spring Symposium Emotionally Focused Therapy in a Time of Racial Reckoning: Centering Race in Couple & Family Therapy*.

When: Any (Distance Learning/Home Study)
Instructor: Marjorie Nightingale, JD, LMFT
Rates: Full Rate — $25; Agency/Group Rate* — $200; Equity Rate* — self-selected (increments of $5)
CEs: This program does not offer CEs

This course is a fundraiser for Black therapists to attend the 2022 Core Skills Training in EFT.

This workshop examines the importance of Self-of-the-Therapist work regarding race as a precursor to working with African American couples and encourages participants to consider the impact of their own identities on the building of therapeutic trust. Additionally, the presenter discusses how individual and collective experiences of racial trauma negatively impact African American couple functioning. Special attention is given to navigating culturally constructed narratives about vulnerability and/or trust to further deeper emotional exploration.

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be better able to:

  1. Identify 3 methods for building trust with African American couples.
  2. Describe at least 2 ways that racial trauma negatively impacts African American couples.

Introductions: speaker, audience, course, and topic (5min)
The importance of self-of-therapist work regarding racial identity and building therapeutic trust (30min)
The impact of racial trauma on African American couple functioning (30min)
Summary, questions, closing comments & evaluations (10min)



Marjorie-Nightingale-headshotMarjorie Nightingale, JD, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in couples and sex therapy in a private practice in Washington, D.C. She received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at LaSalle University and is a doctoral candidate in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Drexel University where her research focuses on interventions for African American couples. She holds a post master’s certificate in Sex Therapy from the Council for Relationships, and a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law. She has taught in MFT programs at Drexel, Virginia Tech, Jefferson Health Programs and The Council for Relationships. Before entering the mental health field, Marjorie spent seventeen years practicing child welfare law and family law in Baltimore. She recently received the 2020 AAMFT Foundation’s Outstanding Research Publication Award for her first academic article: Emotionally Focused Therapy: A culturally Sensitive Approach for African American Heterosexual Couples. Learn more about Marjorie at

*Please note: this is the only presentation from the 2021 Spring Symposium that was recorded for asynchronous viewing.

*Agency/Group Rate: This registration option is for groups of clinicians working in community mental health settings or group practices.

*Equity Rate: This registration option is for participants with historical/institutional barriers to access. Please choose equity pricing only if you are a member of one or more historically marginalized communities.

This program is being offered independent of any commercial support or conflict of interest. Clinicians with any level of experience are welcome to participate.

See our Cancellation and Grievance Policies