Arthur C. Nielsen, MD.

Arthur C. Nielsen, MD is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University, faculty of Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute, The Family Institute at Northwestern University and Chicago Center for Family Health of the University of Chicago. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a member of American Psychiatric Association, American Family Therapy Academy, Chinese American Psychoanalytic Association and American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA). He is on the Editorial Boards of Family Process, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.


“A Roadmap for Couple Therapy”—a daylong workshop sponsored by the Center for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of New Jersey, including discussion of integration of therapy models, reasons marriage is challenging, projective identification, and common sexual problems. Madison, NJ, 3/24/2019.
“Couple therapy session” with two actors still playing their roles, following the performance of Will Eno’s play, “The Realistic Jones.” Shattered Globe Theater production, Chicago, 2/24/2019.
“Men and Relationships” presentation to workshop sponsored by Victories of the Heart, Oakbrook, IL 9/14/2018.
“Integrative Approaches to Working with Couple Cycles and Impasses: Formal Discussant. Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration, Annual Meeting, NYC, 6/1/2018.
“Sexual Problems in Couple Therapy” workshop for the Chicago Center for Family Health, 4/13/18.
Meet the Author: “A Roadmap for Couple Therapy” at the annual meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, NYC, 2/17/18.
“Essentials of Couple Therapy” workshops and lectures to The Chinese American Psychoanalytic Alliance, Beijing, China, 10/28/17 and to The Sichuan Heguang Clinical Psychology Institute, Chengdu, China, 11/2/17.
“A Roadmap for Couple Therapy: My Personal Journey to a More Effective Model,” keynote speech to the annual Luncheon/Colloquium for Supervisors in the Northwestern Counseling Psychology Program, 5/19/17; also at Grand Rounds of The Family Institute at Northwestern, 6/5/2017; also at Northwestern Dept. of Psychiatry Grand Rounds, 6/14/2017; also to the 8th World Congress of Psychotherapy, UNESCO HQ, Paris, France, 7/26/17; 90 minute Webinar for the Am. Assoc. of Marital and Family Therapists, 3/22/2019 (
“Conflict in Committed Relationships,” Psychiatric Grand Rounds, St. Anthony Hospital, Chicago, IL, 4/26/2017.
“What Underlies the TV Series, Masters of Sex?” continuing education workshop by Institute for Psychoanalysis, with James Anderson and Christine Sterkel, 4/15/17.
“Common Couple Types and Some Other Lessons for Psychoanalysts from Couple Therapy” to Institute for Psychoanalysis Research Seminar 4/12/17.
Couple Therapy Workshop (3 hours) at the Illinois Psychological Association, 4/28/17. “What Makes Marriage Difficult”; “Psychodynamic Couple Therapy”: and “Integrating Systemic, Psychodynamic, and Behavioral Approaches;” again at Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis 10/14/2017; again at Chengdu Psychotherapy Institute; Chengdu, Peoples Republic of China, 11/2/2017.
“Concepts in Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy” guest lecture to Northwestern Dept. of Psychiatry Psychology fellows, 3/2/2017.
Daylong workshop with selections from A Roadmap for Couple Therapy, Chicago Center for Family Health, 11/4/16
Discussion leader after performance of Sam Shepard’s play, True West, at Chicago’s Shattered Globe Theatre 10/9/16.
“A Roadmap for Couple Therapy” lecture at the Illinois Psychological Assoc. Annual Meeting; Skokie, IL, 11/6/15; at The Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration’s Annual Meeting, Dublin, Ireland, 6/17/16; at The Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, 10/25/16; workshop for Family Institute at Northwestern Family Institute Fellows, 3/8/2017; at the annual World Congress of the International Family Therapy Assoc., Malaga, Spain, 3/16/17.
“Sequencing Interventions in Couple Therapy,” paper at the Annual Meeting of The American Family Therapy Academy, Portland, OR 6/5/15; again at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration, Baltimore, MD, 6/19/15.
“Building Loving and Lasting Couple Relationships,” day-long opening session at the Chicago Center for Family Health’s International Intensive Training Program, 6/8/15.
“Key Couple Therapy Ideas for Psychoanalysts” to Wisconsin Psychoanalytic Society, 4/17/15.
“Why marriage is difficult” to the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, 3/25/14; again at Lutheran General Hospital Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds, 7/23/14; again to Wisconsin Psychoanalytic Society, 4/18/15.
“Couple Therapy Integrated with a Focus on Projective Identification” to the Wisconsin Psychoanalytic Society; Madison, WI, 2/8/14.
Panel: “An Examination of Ethical and Therapy Questions Raised by a Viewing of Episodes of the TV Series, In Treatment.” Sponsored by the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis, 5/18/13; 9/6/14.
“Conflict in Committed Relationships,” Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Lutheran General Hospital, 1/23/13.
Panel: “Sex and the Suburbs: Bridging the Male/Female Divide” Wilmette (IL) Theatre, 11/29/12.
“Fireside” faculty talk, “How to succeed in marriage” to Northwestern Undergrads in Hinman Residence Hall, 5/3/12.
“An Integrated Model for Working with Couples” all day workshop, leadoff in series, “The Clinical Treatment of Couples.” Educational Program for Psychologists, Illinois Psychological Association, 1/7/2011
“Lessons for Individual Therapists from Time Spent Seeing Couples,” lecture at conference, “New Perspectives on the Life Cycle and Psychoanalytic Therapy,” co-sponsored by the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and Loyola University School of Social Work. 11/6/10.
“Managing Economic Stress on the Home Front: Lessons from a Psychoanalyst, Couples and Family Therapist.” Lecture to Northwestern alumni at conference, A Day at Northwestern, 4/17/10.
“Intimacy and Conflict: Practical Suggestions for Single College Students” at conference: “Rethinking Sex: Building Healthy Relationships in a Hook-up World”, Harvard University, 2/6/10. Available at:
Formal Discussant of Fredrick Busch, MD’s talk, “Panic-Focused Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Clinical Presentation of the Treatment Approach” Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, 10/27/09.
“Marriage Education and Committed Relationships in Emerging Adults,” to Yellowbrick Series of Professional Seminars, Evanston, IL, 10/5/09.
“The Therapeutic Alliance as exemplified in the HBO TV series, In Treatment,” interview/lecture recorded on series of psychoanalytic education tapes, “On Good Authority,” 6/17/09.
Panelist/discussant for mini-conference on the HBO TV series, In Treatment; Institute for Psychoanalysis, 4/18/09; 10/17/09; 11/5/11; 2/22/14
Formal Discussant of Christopher Lane, PhD’s talk, “How Shyness Became an Illness, and Other Cautionary Tales about the DSM.” Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, 10/23/07.
“Cinema on the Couch,” film discussion series to the general public, sponsored by The Institute for Psychoanalysis, the Winnetka Community House: Fall 2005 (“Marital Relationships in Midlife”); Spring 2006 (“Adult Children and their Parents”). Fall 2006 through Winter 2007 (“Relations Among Family Members”). Fall 2007 (“The Outsider,” film: “My First Mister”). Fall 2008 (“Passion,” film, “Big Night.); Fall 2009 (“Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”); Fall 2011 (“Certified Copy”); Fall 2012 (“Master Harold and the Boys”).
“Strategies to reduce stress,” interview by Dick Johnson, anchor, of WMAQ-NBC TV, 5/5/06.
“Fireside” talk on marriage and the musical, “The Last Five Years”, Northwestern U. residential college, Willard, 2/23/05.
Lecture/discussion leader, “An Epistemology for Everyday Psychoanalysis.” Annual Meeting of The American Psychoanalytic Association, New York City, 1/19/05; also at Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, 1/24/06.
Guest presenter, “Marriage 101: How a psychoanalyst came to teach a marriage education course and what we know about healthy marriages.” Illinois School of Professional Psychology, 6/6/04.
Lecture, discussion leader: “Dinner with Friends: Marital Issues.” Institute for Psychoanalysis Film Series, 5/19/04.
Presentation, “Marriage 101: University Based Pre-Marital Education” at annual Smart Marriages Conferences: Reno, Nevada, 1/29/03; Dallas, Texas, 7/10/04; Dallas, Texas, 6/25/05; Atlanta, GA, 6/23/06; Denver, CO, 7/1/07 (also Moderator of Panel); San Francisco, CA, 7/5/08 (also Moderator of Panel); Orlando, FL, 7/11/09 (also Moderator of Panel); Orlando, FL, 7/11/10 (also Moderator of Panel).
Lecture, discussion leader: “Lantana: Marital Problems in Mid-Life.” Institute for Psychoanalysis Film Series, 6/3/03.
Lecture, “Couples Therapy & Marriage: Lessons from 25 Years in the Trenches,” to annual meeting of Assoc. of Child & Adolescent Psychotherapists, 3/2/03. Also to Filmore (Chicago) Community Mental Health Center, 7/18/03; Northwestern Dept. Psychiatry Grand Rounds, 12/10/03; Alumni Adult Psychotherapy Program of The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, 5/16/06.
Guest discussant on WTTW TV show, “Chicago Tonight” discussing new book “Sex, Love, and Health” published by U. of Chicago Press. 5/7/01.
Formal Discussant of Barbara Fajardo’s paper, “Developmental continuities from birth to three years: Perspectives from a psychoanalytic research study,” to The Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, 5/26/98.
Lecture, panel discussion to the Chicago Bar Association, “Stress and Lawyers: How to Cope with Paranoid People,” 12/2/97.
Moderator and formal discussant, workshop on paper by M. Livingston, “Harvest of Fire: Twinship and Fundamental Conflict in Group Process” at 20th Annual International Conference on The Psychology of The Self; Chicago, 11/15/97.
Lecture, “Stress and Trial Lawyers” to Markey-Wigmore Inn of Court; Chicago, 9/30/97.
Lecture, panel discussion to the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association Regional Meeting, “Difficult Clients and Colleagues: The Paranoid Personality,” 9/12/97.
Lecture, panel discussion to the Chicago Bar Association, “Loss and Mourning During Divorce: Thoughts on Why Breaking Up is So Hard to Do,” 5/8/97.
“Long Day’s Journey into Night: Some Psychoanalytic Thoughts on the Play” to the audience following the performance, 2/28/96.
“Suicide and Suicidal Thinking During Divorce” to The Matrimonial Lawyers Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, 2/14/96.
“Thoughts on the Winnetka Schools by a Graduate” to Hubbard Woods School PTA “Fireside Chat”, 10/10/95.
Lecture, panel discussion to the Young Lawyer’s Section of the Chicago Bar Association, “Anxiety and the Law: Some Not So Obvious Links Between Work and Family,” 3/1/95.
Formal Discussant of Robert Wallerstein’s paper, “Psychotherapy Research and Its Implications for a Theory of Therapeutic Change: Forty-Year Overview,” to The Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, 10/25/94.
“Projective Identification Revisited” lecture to The Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, 1/25/94.
“When is it time to stop blaming our parents?” presentation and workshop at the Harris Bank 8th Family Conference, San Francisco, 10/23/93.
“Psychiatry and Dentistry” lecture to 3rd year Northwestern Dental Students: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986.
“Mental Health Education in the Area of Chronic Mental Illness” presentation at Thresholds, Inc., Chicago, 3/15/83.
“Consultation/Liaison Educational Issues”, Moderator and Discussant of Paper Session at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, Chicago, 11/21/82.
“How to Seek Psychiatric Help” WIND Talk Show (“Matters on the Mind”) guest, 7/26/82.
“Martial Conflict: An Integrated Model” discussant of Northwestern Grand Rounds presentation by Larry Feldman, M.D., 5/14/80.
“Treatment of Chronic Patients: Can Residency Education Stimulate Interest?” Issues Workshop; moderator, organizer, and panelist, American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, San Francisco, 5/7/80.
“Recruitment 1980: Why So Little Love For Our Work,” Issues Workshop, panelist, American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, San Francisco, 5/6/80.
“How to Write Federal Education Grants,” panelist, American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training annual meeting, New Orleans, 1/19/80.
“Alcoholism and the Family” and “Family Therapy of Alcoholism” workshops to Montgomery County Mental Health Professionals, November 15, December 6, 13, 1979.
“The Recruitment Problem in Child Psychiatry” panelist, Academy of Child Psychiatry annual meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, 10/26/79.
“The Impact of Popular Conceptions about Psychiatry on the Profession,” Grand Rounds lecture, University of Missouri – Columbia, Department of Psychiatry, 10/10/79.
“Federal Support for Psychiatric Education” panel with other NIMH staff, APA Annual Meeting, Chicago, May 1979.
“Psychiatry as a Career” lecture and discussion to seniors at Perry High School, Montgomery County Schools, May 1978, May 1979.
“An Evening with the Psychiatry Education Branch” small group discussion at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Atlanta, Georgia, May 1978.
“Psychoanalytic and Gestalt Therapies: Rapprochement” paper read at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Atlanta, Georgia, May 1978; at grand rounds, George Washington University Department of Psychiatry, 12/12/79; at Michael Reese Hospital Guest Lecture Series, 6/2/81; and at Northwestern Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds 12/16/81
“Personality Disorders” lecture to 2nd year George Washington medical student class, October 1977.
“Truancy and the Family” paper read at the VIth World Congress of Social Psychiatry, Opatija, Yugoslavia, October 1976.
“Depression in Medical Outpatients” presentation to 4th year medical student class, Johns Hopkins, January 1972.
Nielsen, A. C. (2019). Couples in the digital age: An integrative systemic-psychodynamic-behavioral model of couple therapy. In P. Pitta & C. Datchi (Eds.) Integrative Couple and Family Therapies: Treatment Models for Complex Clinical Issues. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Nielsen, A. C. (2019, in press). Projective identification in couples. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
Nielsen, A. C. (2017). Psychodynamic couple therapy: A practical synthesis. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 43, 685-699. [One of the “most downloaded” articles from that journal for 2017-2018.]
Nielsen, A. C. (2017). From Couple Therapy 1.0 to a comprehensive model: A roadmap for sequencing and integrating systemic, psychodynamic, and behavioral approaches. Family Process, 56, 540-557. [One of the top ten downloaded articles from this journal in 2017-2018.]
Nielsen, A. C. (2017). Psychodynamic couple therapy. The Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy,
Nielsen, A. C. (2017). Projective identification in Couple Therapy. The Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy.
Nielsen, A. C. (2017). From Couple Therapy 1.0 to an integrated model: My personal journey. The Integrative Therapist, 3, 14-15.
Nielsen, A. C. (2016). A roadmap for couple therapy: Integrating systemic, psychodynamic, and behavioral approaches. New York: Routledge.
Nielsen, A. C. (2013). Book review: The secrets of surviving infidelity by Scott Haltzman, MD. Clinical Psychiatry News, 41, 13-14, also published online 7/10/13.
Nielsen, A. C., Pinsof, W., Rampage, C., Solomon, A., Goldstein, S. (2004). “Marriage 101”: An integrated academic and experiential undergraduate marriage education. Family Relations, 53, 485-494.
Nielsen, A. C. (2005). Couples therapy and the psychoanalyst. The Analytic Observer. Spring 2005, 3-5.
Nielsen, A. C. (2003). Family systems and the psychoanalyst. The American Psychoanalyst 37, 10,12.
Nielsen, A. C. (2002). Certification: Obsessional defense and external boundary problems. The American Psychoanalyst 36, 20-21.
Graller, J., Nielsen, A.C., Garber, B., Davison, L. G., Gable, L. & Seidenberg, H. (2001). Concurrent therapies: A model for collaboration between psychoanalysts and other therapists. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association., 49, 587-606.
Nielsen, A. C. (1999). Why the American should stop certifying. The American Psychoanalyst 33, 27&29.
Nielsen, A. C. (1997). The lawyer who could not speak in public. Chicago Bar Association Record, June-July, p. .38.
Nielsen, A. C. (1996). Book Review: Comparing Schools of Analytic Therapy, ed. by Peter Buirski. American Journal of Psychiatry, 153, 6-7.
Nielsen, A. C. (1995). Book Review: Retelling a Life: Narration and Dialogue in Psychoanalysis, by Roy Schafer, Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12, 603-606; also published in the (Chicago) Institute for Psychoanalysis Bulletin, 4, 7,11-12,14 (1994).
Nielsen, A. C.. (1995). Anxiety and the family. Chicago Bar Association Record, June-July, pp.38-43.
Nielsen, A. C. (1994). Book Review: Psychoanalytic Counseling: Ideas From Psychoanalytic Thought…Translated For Counselors, by Michael J. Patton and Naomi M. Meara. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 771-772.
Nielsen, A.C. (1988). My six years on the couch, letter to the editor on this article. New York Times Sunday Magazine, 1/17/88, p. 8.
Yager, J., Lamotte, K., Nielsen, A., Eaton, J. (1983). A Medical Student’s View of Psychiatry, reply to a letter by L. Eichenstein. American Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 653-654.
Nielsen, A. C. (1982). Psychiatric recruitment, reply to a letter by M. Crowder. Psychosomatics, 23, 562-563.
Nielsen, A. C. (1982). Psychiatric role models for medical students, reply to a letter by G. Leong. Psychosomatics, 23, 206.
Yager, J., Lamotte, K., Nielsen, A., Eaton, J. (1982). Medical students’ evaluation of psychiatry: A cross-country comparison. American Journal of Psychiatry, 139, 1003-1009.
Nielsen, A. C., Stein, L.I., Talbott, J. A., Lamb, H. R., Osser, D. N., Glazer, W. M. (1981). Encouraging psychiatrists to work with chronic mental patients: The opportunities and limitations of residency education. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 32, 767-775.
Nielsen, A. C., Eaton, J. S. (1981). Medical students’ attitudes about psychiatry: Implications for psychiatric recruitment. Archives of General Psychiatry, 38, 1144-1154.
Taintor, Z., Nielsen, A. C. (1981). The extent of the problem: A review of the data concerning the declining choice of psychiatric careers.” Journal of Psychiatric Education, 5:63-87.
Nielsen, A. C. (1981). Psychiatric recruitment: Why they like us but don’t join us. Psychosomatics, 22, 343-348.
Nielsen, A. C. (1980). The importance of medical student psychiatric education.” letter to the editor in response to Voikinos. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137, 1624-1625.
Nielsen, A. C. (1980). Gestalt and psychoanalytic therapies: Structural analysis and rapprochement. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 19, 534-544.
Nielsen, A. C., Williams, T. A. (1980). Depression in ambulatory medical patients: Prevalence by self-report questionnaire and recognition by non-psychiatric physicians. Archives of General Psychiatry, 37, 999-1004.
Nielsen, A. C. (1980). Questioning the efficacy of drugs and psychotherapy in the treatment of acute depressive episodes, letter to the editor American Journal of Psychiatry, 137, 381-382.
Nielsen, A. C. (1980). Choosing psychiatry: The importance of psychiatric education in medical school. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137, 428-431.
Nielsen, A. C. (1979). Targeted funding of mental health education grants: Conceptual issues and proposals.” National Institute of Mental Health, position paper, October, 1979.
Nielsen, A. C. (1979). The declining choice of psychiatric careers: A closer look. Association for Academic
Nielsen, A. C. (1979). The magnitude of declining psychiatric career choice. Journal of Medical Education, 54, 632-637.
Nielsen, A. C., Gerber, D. (1979). Psychosocial aspects of truancy in early adolescence. Adolescence, 54, 632-637.
Nielsen, A. C. (1968). The Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. Harvard Honors Thesis (summa cum laude), Widener Library, Harvard University.