Director, East Side Institute

Lois is co-founder with Fred Newman of the  East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy, an international training and research center for developing and promoting alternative and radically humanistic approaches in psychology, therapy, education and community building. Since the mid-1980s, the Institute has worked to evolve a social-cultural approach to human development that promotes practices that relate to people of all ages as social performers and creators of their lives. This approach—social therapy—is at once a group-oriented, development-focused psychotherapy and a methodology with broad application in educational, cultural, health and community settings.

The Institute functions as a unique community think tank, building bridges between university-based and community-based practices. Training programs combine innovative theories with real-world practical applications and are open to professionals and paraprofessionals, regardless of discipline. We offer a variety of ways to study social therapy, its applications in a broad range of settings, and other innovative approaches to human development. These include a postgraduate therapist training program chartered by the NY State Board of Regents, an international residency program, online programs and courses, customized guest scholar and internship programs, and seminars and workshops. The Institute also sponsors conferences and collaborative projects with colleagues in mental health, education, youth development, medicine and social work across the US and abroad.

“From the Institute’s founding in the 1980s, we believed that developing new conceptual frameworks and methodologies required the simultaneous building of a fully participatory community and, further, that these twin tasks required an independent location, that is, one free of institutional ties to university, government, corporation or foundation. The Institute is a small non-profit organization. Our faculty is all volunteer, and our staff is nearly all volunteer professional and interns. Our modest funding comes from a few hundred individuals. This independent location allows the Institute to be inclusive, to bring together people who do not ordinarily come together, and to do other things that would not be possible in a traditionally funded institution – accept people into our programs without prerequisites or requirements, train nonprofessionals and professionals, collaborate freely and with no strings attached, and act on research and program initiatives with a minimum of bureaucracy. This has been particularly important for psychology and education professionals frustrated by their work in traditional institutions who come to us for a learning experience that is not acquisitional or evaluative, and a community that is not disciplinarily bounded.” (Lois Holzman)

The Institute is a nonprofit 501©(3) organization staffed by dedicated volunteers and sustained financially by individuals who support its mission.

East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy
920 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10010
Tel: (212) 941-8906 Fax: (212) 941-0511