Norman Epstein
Professor Emeritus, Family Science
Other Affiliations: Center for Healthy Families
Campus: UMD | Building: School of Public Health | Room: 1142F School of Public Health
Phone: 301.405.4013 |
Office Hours: 

By appointment. Please contact via email to set up an appointment.

CV / Resume
File Norman Epstein CV August 23, 2019.docx

Norman B. Epstein, Ph.D. is widely recognized internationally as a leader in the field of couple and family therapy. In particular, he is a pioneer in the development of cognitive-behavioral therapy with couples and families. His research, writing, teaching, and training of clinicians have focused on the role of cognitive, emotional and behavioral processes in relationship adjustment and dysfunction; assessment of intimate relationships; couple and family coping with stress; development and evaluation of treatments for distressed couples and families, including couples experiencing partner aggression; anxiety and depression in the relationship context; cross-cultural studies of couple and family relationships; and culturally sensitive adaptations of Western-derived models of family therapy. He is an author or editor of five books, including Depression in the Family (1986), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with Families (1988), Cognitive-Behavioral Marital Therapy (1990), Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Couples: A Contextual Approach (2002), and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Sexual Dysfunction (2018). In addition, he has published 71 journal articles and 70 chapters in edited books on aspects of couple and family relationships and therapy. He currently has a contract to write a book on treatment planning in couople therapy. Dr. Epstein has presented 140 research papers, as well as 95 training workshops on couple and family therapy, at national and international professional meetings. One special focus of his international work has involved eight trips to China to present training seminars and workshops, as well as to collaborate with Chinese colleagues on research and on the development of family therapy training in China. In 2008, graduate students from the University of Maryland’s Couple and Family Therapy program traveled with Dr. Epstein to Beijing for a joint class on family therapy with faculty and CFT graduate students of the Institute for Developmental Psychology at Beijing Normal University (BNU). Subsequently, Dr. Epstein and University of Maryland CFT students participated in the Sino-American Forums on Marital and Family Therapy at BNU in 2012 and 2014. Dr. Epstein also has presented training workshops on cognitive-behavioral individual, couple and family therapy to school counselors in Shanghai, as well as mental health professionals in South Korea, Japan, Germany, and France. Dr. Epstein is interested in cultural sensitivity in the practice of couple and family therapy, including the adaptation of Western-derived therapy models for appropriate use in other cultures. He also has collaborated with Korean colleagues on research studies investigating risk and protective factors for adolescent emotional and behavioral problems in Korea. Currently he also is engaged in a 4-year study, as part of a larger project with colleagues at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Uniformed Services University, and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, investigating improvements that Service Members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder experience in their relationships with their family members, as well as in their symptoms, when they engage in training service dogs for placement with physically disabled veterans.

Education and Training

Dr. Epstein earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles. He received training in cognitive therapy at Dr. Aaron Beck’s Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania.



Dr. Epstein taught the following courses prior to his retirement in June, 2019:

  • FMSC 431 Family Crises and Intervention
  • FMSC 610 Research Methods in Family Studies
  • FMSC 641 Couples Therapy, Theory, and Techniques
  • FMSC 645 Sexuality: Issues in Family Therapy and Service Delivery
  • FMSC 650 Ethical, Legal, and Professional Principles in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • FMSC 810 Theory in Family Systems and Family Health
Honors and Awards

Dr. Epstein is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Assessment Psychology. He has served on the editorial boards of several leading professional journals.


Epstein, N.B., Schlesinger, S.E., & Kim, H. (2018). Cognitive-behavioral family therapy. In P.C. Kendall (Ed.), Cognitive therapy with children and adolescents: A casebook for clinical practice (pp. 301-328). New York: NY: Guilford.

Epstein, N.B. (2018). Cognitive-behavioral couple therapy. In R.L. Leahy (Ed.), Science and practice in cognitive therapy: Foundations, mechanisms, and applications (pp. 194-213). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Kim, J.E., Epstein, N.B., & Kim, J. (2017). Life stresses in adolescents with problematic media use: The role of anger management in cyberbullying. Family and Family Therapy, 25, 227-249.

Epstein, N.B., & Falconier, M.K. (2017).  Shame in couple relationships. In J. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Foundations for couples’ therapy: Research for the real world (pp. 374-383).  New York: Routledge.

Epstein, N.B., Dattilio, F.M., & Baucom, D.H. (2016). Cognitive-behavior couple therapy. In T.L. Sexton & J. Lebow (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (4th ed., pp. 361-386). New York: Routledge.

Kahn, S.Y., & Epstein, N.B., & Kivlighan, D.M. (2015). Couple therapy for partner aggression: Effects on individual and relational well-being. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy. 14, 95-115. doi/full/10.1080/15332691.2014.966879

Curtis, D.S., Epstein, N.B., & Wheeler, B. (2015). Relationship satisfaction mediates the link between partner aggression and relationship dissolution: The importance of considering severity. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. DOI: 10.1177/0886260515588524

Baucom, D.H., Epstein, N.B., Kirby, J.S., & LaTaillade, J.J. (2015). Cognitive-behavioral couple therapy.  In A.S. Gurman, J.L. Lebow, & D.K. Snyder (Eds.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (5th ed., pp. 23-60).  New York: Guilford Press.

Epstein, N.B., Werlinich, C.A., & LaTaillade, J.J. (2015). Couple therapy for partner aggression. In A.S. Gurman, J.L. Lebow, & D.K. Snyder (Eds.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (5th ed., pp. 389-411).  New York: Guilford Press.

Quach, A., Riley, P.J., Epstein, N.B., Fang, X.Y., & Falconier, M.K. (2013). The relationship of parental warmth, parental pressure for academic achievement, and gender with adolescent depression and anxiety in China. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Doi: 10.1007/s10826-013-9818-y

Chi, P., Epstein, N.B., Fang, X., & Lam, D.O.B. (2013). The similarity of relationship standards, couple communication patterns and marital satisfaction among Chinese couples. Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 806-816.

Park, W. & Epstein, N.B. (2013). The longitudinal causal directionality between body image distress and self-esteem among Korean adolescents: The moderating effect of relationships with parents. Journal of Adolescence, 36, 403-411.

Epstein, N.B., Berger, A.T., Fang, J.J., Messina, L., Smith, J.R., Lloyd, T.D., Fang, X.Y., & Liu, Q.X. (2012). Applying Western-developed family therapy models in China. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 23, 217-237; DOI: 10.1080/08975353.2012.705661.

Hrapczynski, K.M., Epstein, N.B., Werlinich, C.A., & LaTaillade, J.J. (2011). Changes in negative attributions during couple therapy for abusive behavior: Relations to changes in satisfaction and behavior. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38, 117-132; DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00264.x