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ROOM 310

p - 516-877-4814

f - 516-877-4805

e - JOSEPHS@adelphi.edu


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Certificate in Psychoanalysis, Postgraduate Center for Mental Health (1985)
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, University of Tennessee (1981)
B.A., Rutgers College (1976)

Recent Courses

Advanced Topics In Personality & Clinical Psychology
Comparative Analysis Of Intervention
Doctoral Thesis Supervision I
Doctoral Thesis Supervision II
Doctoral Thesis Supervision III
Evolutionary Psychology
Motivation And Emotion
Psychological Research I
Psychological Research II
Psychological Research III
Psychological Research IV

Personal Statement

My scholarly and research interests have always evolved from the challenges of daily clinical practice. For over three decades of clinical practice I noticed how many of my patients either engage in acts of sexual infidelity or have become victims of sexual betrayal. My clinical experiences with those patients inspired my interest in the psychology of love triangles and the conflicts people have about making monogamous sexually exclusive relationships work. I have developed empathy-based approaches to marital communication to help both individuals and couples deal with these sensitive issues.

I am currently working on a book that describes my approach called "Why People Cheat: The Hidden Psychology of Sexual Infidelity." I have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine,ABC.com, and CNN online on the psychology of narcissism and infidelity. I was interviewed for Infidelity: A Four Part Documentary Series.

Students in my workgroup are conducting experimental studies testing psychodynamic hypotheses about the underlying dynamics of aspects of adult romantic relationships such as infidelity, hooking up, playing hard to get, mate retention, activating or deactivating empathy for sexual partners. implicit attraction to non-consensual sex, and implicit attraction to potentially abusive partners. Students examine the role of personality variables like narcissism, attachment style, and the "dark triad" of narcissism, Machiavellian Intelligence, and psychopathy that predict many aspects of adult romantic relationships.

In my clinical/ theoretical scholarship I have been building bridges between psychoanalysis and evolutionary psychology in trying to understand the mind's reproductive system and what are our uniquely human adaptations for reproductive success. As a frequent contributor to the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology as well as an editor/ reviewer at those two journals, I have been trying forge links between psychoanalytic theory and recent research in personality, social, and evolutionary psychology, psychology of emotions, and evolutionary anthropology.

Teaching Specializations/Interests

Psychology of Emotion
Evolutionary Psychology
Adult Romantic Relationships
Anger Management

Research Interests

How personality variables interact with experimental activation of unconscious conflicts in regard to adult romantic relationships.


Josephs, L. (1995). Balancing Empathy and Interpretation. Jason Aronson.

Josephs, L. (1992). Character Structure and the Organization of the Self. Columbia University Press.

Artistic/Creative Work

"Infidelity: A Four Part Documentary Series". I'm interviewed on the evolutionary psychology of monogamy, infidelity, and sexualjealousy. Vision TV Canada. May 2011.

Book Chapters

Josephs, L. & Weinberger, J. (2013). Psychodynamic psychotherapy. In I. Weiner & G. Stricker (Eds.). Handbook of psychology, Vol. 8. (pp. 265 � 290). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Josephs, L. (2013). The challenge of mentalizing sexual betrayal. In J.M. Thompson & R. Tuch (Eds.). The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Mentalizing Tales of Dating and Marriage. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

Josephs, L. (2011). Neurotic self-deception as a reproductive strategy. In C. Piers (Eds.). Personality and psychopathology: Critical dialogues with David Shapiro. (pp. 201-218). New York, NY: Springer.

Refereed Articles

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Josephs, L. & McCleod, B. (2014), A theory of mind-focused approach to anger management. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 31, 68-83.

Josephs, L (2012), On: Psychoanalysis and contemporary psychology. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 93(6, 1487-1488.

Josephs, L. (2012), The adaptive function of sexual plasticity: The suppression and surreptitious expression of human sociosexuality. Dynamic Psychiatry, 40(2),, 243 - 274.

Josephs, L. (2011), The primal scene in cross-species and cross-cultural perspectives. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 92(5),, 1263-1287.

Josephs, L. (2011), ). [Review of the book Seeing and being seen: Emerging from a psychic retreat, by J. Steiner]. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 28(4),, 576-580.

Josephs, L. & Bornstein, R. (2011), Beyond the Illusion of Structural Change: A process priming approach to psychotherapy outcome research. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 28(3),, 420-434.

Josephs, Lawrence and Shimberg, Jessica (2010), The dynamics of sexual fidelity: Personality as a reproductive strategy. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 27(3),, 273-295.

Josephs, Lawrence (2010), The co-evolution of sexual desire, narcissistic vulnerability, and adaptations for reproductive advantage. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 38(1),, 3-25.

Lawrence Josephs (2010), The evolved function of the oedipal conflict. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 91(4),, 937-958.

Miller, A. & Josephs, L. (2009), Whiteness as Pathological Narcissism. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 45, 93-119.

Josephs, L. (2009), Psychoanalysis and undergraduate psychology. The American Psychoanalyst,, 43(1)..

Hunyady, Josephs, & Jost (2008), Priming the Primal Scene: Betrayal Trauma, Narcissism, and Attitudes Towards Infidelity. Self and Identity, 7(3), 278-294.

Josephs, L. (2007), Primal fatherhood and primal rage. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 67(2),, 150-161.

Josephs, Lawrence (2006), The impulse to infidelity and oedipal splitting. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 87(2), 423-437.

Josephs, L. et al. (2004), Assessing Progress in Analysis Interminable. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 52(4), 1185-1214.

Josephs, L. (2004), Seduced by Affluence: How material envy strains the analytic relationship. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 40, 389-408.

Josephs, L. (2003), The observing ego as voyeur. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 84(4), 879-890.

Josephs, L. (2003), The analysis of meaninglessness. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 20(4), 649-659.

Siegal, P., Josephs, L. & Weinberger, J. (2002), Where's the text? The problem of validation in psychoanalysis. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 50(2),, 407-428.

Josephs, L. (2001), The seductive superego: The trauma of self-betrayal. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 82(4), 701-712.

Josephs, L. (2000), Self-criticism and the psychic surface. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 48(1), 157-160.

Conference Presentations/Papers

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Huttner, C. & Josephs, L (2013). Borderline Personality, Abandonment, and Splitting. In . Poster presented at National Conference of Undergraduate Research. University of La Crosse. WI.

Bruckheit, A. & Josephs, L (2013). Introversion and Extroversion and its Relationship to Mate Preferences. In Poster presented at National Conference of Undergraduate Research. University of La Crosse. WI.

Tittel, L. & Josephs, L (2013). Its Not What You Say But How You Say It: How Communication Styles Impact Empathy During Sexual Conflict. In at Spring Meeting of the Division of Psychoanalysis, American Psychological Association. Boston, MA.

Attolini-Smithers, A. & Josephs, L (2012). The Dark Triad and Disgust towards Nonconsensual Sex. In Poster presented at the annual conference of the New York State Psychological Association. Sarasota Springs, NY.

Josephs, L. (2012). Discussant: Varieties of Coupling. In International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. NYC.

Josephs, L. (2011). The Dynamics of Sexual Fidelity. In American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. New York City.

Agresta, M. & Josephs, L (2011). ). Women Who Use Pornography: Healthy Sexual Outlet or Re-experiencing Trauma. In Poster presented at the 74th annual convention of the New York State Psychological Association. New York, NY.

Josephs, L. (2010). The Dynamics of Sexual Fidelity. In Training Institute for Mental Health.

Lavelle, S. & Josephs, L (2010). Personality predictors of tolerance of infidelity. In Poster presented at the 73rd annual convention of the New York State Psychological Association. Fairport, NY.

Harris, L. & Josephs, L (2010). Predictors of attitudes towards infidelity among gay and lesbian individuals. In Poster presented at the 73rd annual convention of the New York State Psychological Association. Fairport, NY.

Josephs, L. (2009). The Adaptive Function of Sexual Greed. In Greed, Sex, Money, Power, and Politics. Mount Sinai Hospital.

Josephs, L. (2008). Neurotic Self-deception as a Reproductgive Strategy. In Karen Horney Institute.

Shimberg, J. & Josephs, L (2008). ). Is It OK to Cheat?: Gender, Attachment Style, and Narcissism as they relate to attitudes towards infidelity. In Poster presented at the annual conference of the New York State Psychological Assocation. Cooperstown, NY.

Katzander, N. & Josephs, L. (2007). Attachment, Narcissism, and Gender as They Relate to Attitudes Towards Pornography. In Poster presented at the annual meeting of the New England Psychological Association. Danbury, CT.

Josephs, Lawrence (2007). Narcissistic Scars: The Dynamics of Cheating, Mate Poaching, and Mate Guarding. In Postgraduate Psychoanalytic Society. NYC.

Josephs, L. (2007). Seduction and Betrayal: An Ovverlooked Relational Dynamic. In On-Line Seminar: International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Josephs, Lawrence (2006). The Analyst's Badness. In Online Colloquiuum. International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Josephs, Lawrence (2006). Infidelity and Secret Double Lives. In Division of Psychoanalysis, APA. Philadelphia, PA..

Josephs, Lawrence (2006). Love triangles and the impulse to infidelity. In Appalachian Psychoanalytic Society. Knoxville, Tennessee.

Other Scholarly/Artistic Work

Link for Dr. Josephs' interview on "Infidelity: A Four Part Documentary Series"


Honors and Accomplishments

Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing author prize for frequently downloaded author in 2010. Awarded 2/12
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing author prize for frequently downloaded author in 2011. Awarded 8/12

Professional Activities

Editorial Board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis 2/14 - 2/17

Honorary Scientific Committee Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual 2 2/14 - 9/15

Executive Committee Division of Psychoanalysis New York State Psychological Association

Fellow College of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis 3/11 - 4/14

North American Editorial Board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis: 2/07 - 2/11.

Reviewer International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Reviewer Psychoanalytic Psychology
Reviewer Psychotherapy Research
Reviewer Journal of Clinical Psychology
Reviewer Psychological Issues
Reviewer Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Reviewer Sexuality and Culture

Organizing Committee for the Annual Symposium of the Psychoanalytic Consortium: 1/09 to present

Book reviewer for Psychoanalytic Psychology and the American Journal of Psychanalysis