You are here

Porter-Cason Institute for the Family

The Porter-Cason Institute was established in 1995 with funds from Dorothy Cason, a 1946 alumna of the Tulane School of Social Work, in honor of Elizabeth Porter, one of her professors. Dorothy credited Elizabeth Porter with teaching and emphasizing professionalism in social work.  Dorothy valued and emulated that professionalism throughout a very successful and rewarding practice. Dorothy passed away shortly after her endowment to the school and the Porter-Cason Institute is committed to making the best use of her legacy dedicated to the importance of the teaching and learning process.


Consistent with Ms. Cason’s expressed wishes that “the income from this fund shall be used for the teaching of family therapy at the advanced level", the mission of the institute is as follows:

To enhance the teaching/learning of mental health, addicition, and the family practices for TSSW students, faculty, field supervisors and alumni, as well as in the community (e.g., New Orleans Metro Area), region, nation, and world. This will be done through the development, evaluation, and dissemination of exciting, creative, and innovative teaching and learning activities.

Upcoming Events

Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) with Lorrie Brubacher - Feb 13 & 14

Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) extends Dr. Sue Johnson's model of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy to work with individuals. EFIT is a short-term approach that applies attachment theory to help individuals improve their emotional well-being and relationships.

Psychotherapy is most effective when it focuses on the healing power of emotional connection. Attachment theory provides proven techniques for treating the two common presenting problems in individual therapy: anxiety and depression. It provides a practical map for shaping love or secure attachment that positively impacts emotion regulation, social adjustment and mental health (Johnson, 2019).  In EFIT, the therapeutic alliance is the heart from which emotion regulation and secure bonds with others and within self are shaped. Clients are helped to discover and validate inner emotional experience that can then be used as a guide for living. Confidence flows from secure connection with others, creating a safe haven and a secure base in the dynamic flow between interpersonal and internal worlds.

The target audience includes licensed mental health practitioners who provide psychotherapeutic services to individuals.  This workshop is for therapists who have discovered the power of EFT with couples and are looking for guidance on how to apply this deeply transformative approach to working with individuals.  Registrants will have had some exposure to EFT for couples, ideally and EFT Externship.

Participants will be able to:

Adopt an attachment humanistic perspective on clients, problems, and interventions

Discover and distill core emotional experiences and promote emotional balance

Outline protective, self-defining and interactional iatrogenic patterns

Implement the 5 moves of the EFT Tango to shape corrective emotional experiences

Choreograph dramas that expand the self and open engagement with others

Integrate corrective emotional experiences into models of self and other

Validate the client's sense of competence and worth in every session.


Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy trainings are designed for mental health professionals. This continuing education workshop provides 13 clinical hours. The cost of 1 ticket is $285. Tulane University adjuncts, DSW students, faculty, and staff may contact us for discount codes. Only Master Card and Visa Accepted.

Lorrie Brubacher, MEd, RMFT (Canada), LMFT (NC)

Lorrie Brubacher is the Founding Director of the Carolina Center for EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy). A certified trainer with the International Centre for Excellence in EFT (ICEEFT), she has been an individual, couple, and family therapist since 1989. She is an adjunct faculty at University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She trains internationally and publishes frequently on the topic of EFT, often with its originator, Dr. Sue Johnson. She co-developed EFT's first interactive video training program, has several training videos at and published Stepping into Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Key Ingredients of Change (2018).

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) Externship (Couples) - April 28 - May 1

In this four-day Externship, participants will learn through a combination of lectures, observation of live interviews and role-play exercises. Upon completion of this course, participants will:

Identify the basic stages and steps of Emotionally Focused Therapy

See marital distress from an attachment perspective

Help couples recognize and deescalate problematic patterns of interaction

Help couples understand the underlying attachment needs that drive these negative patterns

Help couples create and restore the emotional bond between them

Help couples repair attachment injuries, fostering healing within and between the couple.


EFT Externships and Core Skills trainings are designed for mental health professionals. This continuing education workshop provides 20 clinical hours.  The cost of 1 ticket is $800. Tulane University faculty, staff, adjunct, and DSW students may contact us for discount codes. Only Master Card and Visa Accepted.

George Faller

George Faller is 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 new book Sacred Stress contributes to the EFT movement of making our world a more secure place.

Integrating Music and Other Arts into Couple Therapy Theory and Practice Agenda - May 22

Couple therapy has been variously called a science, a craft, or an art.  In fact, it is all those things.  And many writers in the field have drawn analogies between dance, music, and theater to describe the interactions of couples and the therapy process itself.  But most training programs do not teach therapists how to be creative and “artistic” in their work.  Nor do they teach a systematic method for engaging the arts – music, dance, theater, the visual arts, literature, and other artistic expressions – in creating interventions individually tailored to the needs and sensibilities of clients.  As evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson has noted, the arts, and the humanities, have much to say about the human experience and can inform science-based practices.  In this workshop, focusing mostly on music as an example, you will learn how to use the arts as sources of metaphors to describe to couples what you witness about them; to transmit therapeutic messages in a more powerful way than plain prose can attain; and to promote understanding and healing.  Through lecture, case descriptions and short audiotapes of session vignettes, and experiential exercises, you will learn how to utilize music and other arts – without necessarily having expertise as an artist or training in expressive therapies!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the core ideas of Wilson’s consilience theory, which argues for an integration of science, arts, and humanities towards a comprehensive understanding of human life.
  2. Participants will be able to describe how drawing on one’s familiarity with the arts is another form of therapists’ use of self, which intersects with one’s social location in terms of culture, class, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of difference, and how questions to clients about their artistic points of reference provide a ready method for learning about their lived experiences, sources of pleasure and pain, and their cultural backgrounds.
  3. Participants will be able to list three findings from neuroscience that support musical interventions in couple therapy
  4. Participants will be able to list three ways to use music in couple therapy sessions, and will be able to recount at least three clinical vignettes used to illustrate these techniques.
  5. Participants will develop a concrete plan to implement arts-based interventions in their upcoming sessions with couples.

Trainings are designed for mental health professionals. This continuing education workshop provides 6.5 clinical hours. The cost of 1 ticket is $150. Tulane School of Social Work adjuncts, DSW students, faculty, and staff may contact us for discount codes. Only Master Card and Visa Accepted.

Peter Fraenkel, PhD

Peter Fraenkel, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the City College of New York, a former faculty member at the Ackerman Institute, and in private practice in New York City. He received the American Family Therapy Academy's 2012 award for Innovative Contribution to Family Therapy. Dr. Fraenkel is the author of Sync Your RelationshipSave Your Marriage: Four Steps to Getting Back on Track (2011, Palgrave-Macmillan), a forthcoming book on "Last Chance Couple Therapy", and author of numerous other publications. Dr. Fraenkel has conducted workshops throughout the world. He is a former member of the Board of Directors and is an Advisory Editor for the journal Family Process, a Contributing Editor and presenter for The Psychotherapy Networker, and past Vice President of AFTA.

CANCELLATION POLICY -- In the event you cannot come to our program, it is important for you to notify us 24 hours before the program begins, either by email (preferred) at or via phone at 504-247-1446.  We will refund the registration fee if notified 24 hours prior to the workshop. 

Parking Information
The Tulane School of Social Work is located at 127 Elk Place. Please see the location map.

There are various surface lots in close proximity to the school that you use if you would like. The Saratoga Parking Garage is the closest parking garage and is located at 111 S. Saratoga St. The daily rate for the garage is $8.

For more information, please contact Jessica St. Pierre @ 504-247-1446



Family Institutes and Resources

The goal of the Porter-Cason Institute is to not only advance mental health, addiction, and the family practice but also to inform social work practitioners about the latest and most effective mental health, addiction, and the family practices methods, techniques and research.

View Resources

Porter-Cason Accomplishments

Highlights of the work of Porter Cason Institute for the Family

View Accomplishments

Board Members

The Porter-Cason board is made up of family therapists and mental health professionals from across the globe.

View Bios

Training that creates an active learning community

We have developed a model for training that creates an active learning community where those trained participate in future trainings of others and actively work in peer supervision and support groups. We subsidize training for not for profit agencies that otherwise could not afford to get staff trained in the best evidence based and effective models of treating families, children and couples. The model enables community building , networking, resource building , cross training and experience between the private and not for profit therapeutic communities in Louisiana and throughout the deep south.

Porter Cason  Board Meeting March 26 - Mach 27, 2019

The Porter Cason Board meeting this spring will be anchored  with a community workshop by board member Dr. Harry Aponte.  He will focus on his new book,  Aponte --

Porter Cason Emotionally Focused Therapy Training and Practice Community Development Project:

The Porter Cason Institute for the Family  brought Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), an evidence based practice to Louisiana.  We have supported the training of over 60 individuals, 8 are now certified and helping with training others. Certification  requires video presentations of an individual’s work  with couples and is rigorous.   Each training sequence requires 12 full days of training before eligibility to work toward certification. We have live sessions with couples during our trainings.  We have 4 peer supervision groups reviewing each others work and studying tapes.  We have an active Louisiana steering committee and are providing preliminary introductions to the method at state professional meetings this fall.We have a Louisiana Emotionally Focused website launched.

Our Emotionally Focused Therapy training schedule for 2016 can be viewed on the continuing education webpage.  The beginning training for the required series is in January .  The description follows in this link.  Externship --

Read a description of community impact by one of the agencies receiving training.

The Porter Cason Institute  is developing a work plan to approach our project parallel to Nola for Life (City program).   In addition , The Porter Cason Institute is part of the New Orleans City work group on the children aging out of Foster Care.  This group is tasked by the mayor to develop a legislative agenda for these children.  In addition we are tasked with understanding gaps in service.  The Annie Casey Foundation is staffing the project.    

For more information

Please contact Ms. Parker Robinson (Director) at (504) 862-3475.