Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Rob Garfield, MD

Rob Garfield, MD

For nearly 40 years, Rob Garfield, MD has practiced and taught systems-oriented therapy, which focuses on a person’s total environment in helping them resolve emotional problems.  

His greatest joy is teaching psychiatric residents in the classroom, and engaging them by facilitating family interviews on the inpatient units.

Highly regarded by students and colleagues, Dr. Garfield brings warmth and intellect both to his teaching of psychiatric residents, and his work with individuals, couples and families. He is always willing to share from his own basket of failures, as well as his successes.    

Dr. Garfield received psychiatric training at the University of Wisconsin (1971-74) and was the first Director of the Hahnemann University Masters of Family Therapy Program (1976-82).  He has served on national boards and committees in family therapy organizations:  AAMFT Training Directors Organization (1978-82), Founding member and Board of Directors (Treasurer, 1988-90) of American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA).  He is currently an Advisory Editorial Board member of Family Process.  He is a lifetime member of APA, and Member of AMSA (American Men’s Studies Association.)

Dr. Garfield is past President (1990-93) and board member (1982-2011) of Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Dr. Garfield’s most recent work includes research on male emotional intimacy, men’s friendships, and therapeutic men’s groups. He is currently presenting this work both locally and nationally. He is a founding member of Deepening Men’s Relationships (DMR), an organization responsible for an annual regional conference on men’s issues at Widener University.

His forthcoming book on men’s friendships “Inside the Friendship Lab,” is scheduled for publication by Gotham/Penguin Press in 2015.

Selected Publications

  • Garfield, R.  Using Mens’ Groups to Enhance Couples’ Therapy: Men Helping Men.  The Psychotherapy Networker, May/June, 2012.
  • Garfield, R.: Male Emotional Intimacy: How Therapeutic Men’s Groups Can Enhance Couples Therapy. Family Process (49) 109-122,  2010.
  • Garfield, R.: The Therapeutic Alliance in Couples Therapy: Clinical Considerations.  Family Process, 41(2), 2004.  
  • Garfield, R: Symbolic Experiential Journeys; An Introduction. Contemporary Family Therapy, 9: 5- 9, 1987.
  • Garfield, R. On Self-Disclosure: The Vulnerable Therapist. Contemporary Family Therapy, 9:5878, 1987.
  • Whitaker, C., Garfield, R.: On Teaching Psychotherapy via Consultation and Co-therapy.  Contemporary Family Therapy 9:106-15, 1987.

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