About Us2020-03-04T15:16:02+00:00

About CFINE

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

Nancy Knudsen

Nancy KnudsenNancy 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: (413) 586-9424; email

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: (413) 388-3595; email

Meet the Instructors

Acey Mercer

Acey A. Mercer, LMSW is a graduate of the University at Albany School of Social Welfare where he obtained his Master’s in Social Work. Prior to graduate school Acey studied at Radboud Universiteit in the Netherlands where his academic focus was in Gender and Sexuality Studies. These foci ignited Acey’s passion to further explore and examine human behavior, relationships and the dynamics of class, race, ability, gender and sexuality. These motivating factors drew Acey to pursue social work and ultimately to become a licensed psychotherapist and educator. Acey is currently Practice Manager at Choices Counseling & Consulting in Albany, NY where he oversees clinical referrals and is responsible for the overall daily operations. He is also a Clinician at Choices and counsels clients exploring gender identity and expression. He works with adults, youth, and their families as they navigate questions and challenges related to the social, legal and medical aspects of gender transition. Acey’s clinical lens gives a strong compliment to the professional education services he delivers as Senior Consultant of the Training Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity, and Sexuality (TIGRIS). Acey specializes in providing clinical training and policy development as it relates to best serving transgender and nonbinary populations in medical, mental health and educational institutions. Visit his website at: www.choicesconsulting.com/choices-associates/acey-a-mercer

Lorrie Brubacher

Lorrie Brubacher, MEd, LMFT, RMFT is the Founding Director of the Carolina Center for EFT. She is certified with the International Centre for Excellence in EFT (ICEEFT) as a therapist, supervisor, and trainer. She is author of Stepping into Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Key Ingredients of Change (2018). She has worked in private practice in couple and family therapy since 1989, and currently practices in Greensboro and Winnipeg, Canada. She has an adjunct faculty appointment at UNC Greensboro, and has previously served as an instructor at 3 Canadian universities. She publishes and presents frequently on the topic of EFT, often publishing with Dr. Sue Johnson, the originator of EFT for couples. Lorrie has co-authored six chapters with Dr. Sue Johnson, published in the Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy, in the Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy and in Person Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies and is on the editorial board for the ICEEFT newsletter. Additionally, she teaches Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy and is co-developer, with Dr. Lillian Buchanan, of the first EFT interactive video training program, accessible at www.attachmentinjuryrepair.com. For additional information about Lorrie and her work, please see www.lbrubacher.com, www.carolinaeft.com, and https://steppingintoeft.com.

I. Scott Cohen

I. Scott CohenI. 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.

Danielle Green

Danielle Green, LICSW is a founding partner of the Northeast Contact Center Forum (NECCF).  She received her MSW from Columbia University in 1993 and completed 5 years of further specialist training in couples and family therapy at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, in New York City. She worked and taught at Cornell Medical Center for 10 years before relocating to Boston to serve as Clinical and Training Director of the Couple and Family Therapy Program, at the Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School. There, she trained social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists, and taught throughout the Harvard system. Danielle was certified as an EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) therapist in 2010 and as a certified supervisor in 2011. She has studied AEDP and trauma work with Janina Fisher and has recently embarked on studying Peter Levine’s work on Somatic Experiencing.

George Faller

George Faller, MS, LMFT is a retired Lieutenant of the NYC Fire Department, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in New York and Connecticut and an Approved Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He is the founder and President of the New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). As an EFT Trainer, George teaches several classes at the Ackerman Institute for the Family (the oldest family institute in the United States) in NYC, is a board member of the Porter Cason Institute for the Family at Tulane University in New Orleans and is the director of training at the Center for Hope and Renewal in Greenwich, Ct. Specializing in trauma, Family EFT, and self-of-the-therapist issues, George is committed to bringing EFT to underprivileged populations and pushing the leading edge of effective therapy. George hopes his books True Connection, Sacred Stress and Emotionally Focused Family Therapy contributes to the EFT movement of making our world a more secure place.

Joseph Winn

Joseph Winn LICSW, CST-S received his MSW from The Boston University School of Social Work in 1995. Joe has completed extensive post-graduate training in domestic violence, and family and couples therapy with a particular interest in structural, strategic, Bowenian, collaborative language systems and post-modern models of intervention. Joe is also an AASECT certified sex therapist, and AASECT certified supervisor of sex therapy. Joe has been self-employed in private practice since 2006 has a thriving supervisory practice and maintains an office in West Concord, Massachusetts. Joe works primarily with mixed gender, LGBTQQIA + individuals, couples in open and consensual non-monogamy, polyamory and kink and has a particular interest in high conflict couples, and couples looking to regain pleasure and trust-based sexuality after sexual assault and abuse. While drawing from a variety of couples therapy models including EFT, experiential, and object relations, Joe resonates most strongly with Bader and Pearson’s Development Model of couples therapy. Joe is also a member of the training faculty with The South Shore Sexual Health Center, in Quincy, Massachusetts. SSSHC is an AASECT approved training program for clinicians looking to become AASECT Certified Sex Therapists.

Julia Feeney

Julia Feeney, MBA, MSW, LICSW began her training in Psychodrama in the early 1980’s and has been facilitating psycho-educational experiences and psychotherapy groups using action methods for the last 30 years. She completed certification and 1700 hours of training in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group  Psychotherapy in 1990. She has extensive training in group work through National Training Laboratories and in the Tavistock Model. Julia has conducted groups and workshops for corporations, colleges, and other nonprofits using action methods on topics such as chemical dependency, family systems, team building, and supervisory skills. She has conducted multi-family, inpatient, and ongoing trauma survivor groups in hospitals and private clinic settings. Julia has completed advanced trainings in a number of clinical models including Bowen Family Systems, EMDR, and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy which support her private practice with individual, couples, and families.

Nancy Knudsen

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 10 years, Nancy’s primary clinical modality has been Emotionally Focused Therapy. She is a certified EFT therapist as well as a certified EFT supervisor, 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, and has facilitated over 12 couples weekend workshops using the Hold Me Tight® Program developed by Dr Sue Johnson. 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.

Janine Roberts

Dr. Janine Roberts is Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and past-president of AFTA (American Family Therapy Academy). “The first families I saw back in the 70s were in court-mandated sessions done in people’s homes. I went on to supervise several teams in the area that worked in clients’ living spaces, as well as train Masters and Doctoral level family therapists at UMASS for 25 years. I currently see families in my home.” Janine authored Tales and Transformations: Stories in Families and Family Therapy (Norton Press); coauthored Rituals for Our Times: Celebrating, Healing, and Changing Our Lives and Our Relationships (Jason Aronson); coedited Rituals in Families and Family Therapy (Norton Press); and has written some seventy articles and chapters, and a poetry book, The Body Alters (Slate Roof Press). She has had two Fulbrights to Latin America and works frequently there as well as other parts of the world.

Sidney Trantham

Sidney M. Trantham, PhD is an Associate Professor & Division Director for the Division of Counseling & Psychology at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Florida (Gainesville). His doctoral work focused on exploring the impact of early childhood sexual experiences on the psychological functioning of adult males. He was a Harvard Clinical Fellow (1996-2000) at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he completed his clinical psychology internship and neuropsychological post-doctoral fellowships, as well as engaged in research identifying early cognitive markers of HIV-related dementia. His work at Fenway Health (1999-2006) in Boston, Massachusetts included working with adults to address a variety of issues related to sexual identity development. Dr. Trantham maintains a private practice where he provides integrative psychological, neuropsychological, and gender assessment as well as mental health counseling with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Areas of clinical interest and expertise include working with transgender and non-binary children and adolescents, sexual and racial identity development, and mood disorders.

Meet the Administrator

Lindsay Swan

Lindsay Swan is an artist, graphic designer, and administrative professional, originally from Brooklyn, NY. She has worked for the Couple & Family Institute since 2017. She currently lives in Williamsburg, MA with her partner and 2-year-old daughter.

Contact Lindsay at admin@coupleandfamilyinstitute.com.

See Past Instructors