Faculty Profiles

Lawrence Josephs

Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology

Hy Weinberg Center Room 310

General Information



Certificate in Psychoanalysis, Postgraduate Center for Mental Health (1985)

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, University of Tennessee (1981)

B.A., Rutgers College (1976)

Personal Statement

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 published a book that describes my approach called "The Dynamics of Infidelity: Applying Relationship Science to Psychotherapy Practice" published by the American Psychological Association (2018) (http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4317457.asp). An APA training video, "Restoring Trust After Infidelity" (2017) illustrates my approach to couples therapy (http://www.apa.org/pubs/videos/4310980.aspx). I described my approach in a New York Times op-ed piece called "When the Best Sex is Extra-marital" (http://nyti.ms/17RtebZ). 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(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plj0XgJTJy4).  I have a blog at Psychology Today called "Between the Sheets." (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-the-sheets)

Students in my Romantic Relationship Dysfunction Laboratory 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, implicit attraction to potentially abusive partners, gender role stereotype threat, authenticity, self-serving bias, "bad dates," and sexual sublimation. 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. Students also look at how childhood experiences like trauma, parental infidelity, or divorce effect adult romantic relationships. The overall focus of the lab is to study the kind of romantic relationship difficulties with which patients that seek psychotherapy often grapple. (For an example of student research see Psychology Today (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201801/why-the-hard-get-are-so-very-hard-get)

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.

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