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Lisa Wallner Samstag

Lisa Wallner Samstag

Professor of PsychologyDirector of Psychotherapy Research and Clinical Supervisor, Psychological Services Center, LIU Brooklyn

B.A. Psychology, Queen’s UniversityM.A. Psychology, City University of New York, M. Phil. Psychology, City University of New YorkPh.D. Clinical Psychology, City University of New York


Lisa Wallner Samstag, PhD is Full Professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program and the Department of Psychology at Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus) where she has been a faculty member since 1999. She completed training in psychoanalysis at the William Alanson White Institute in 2009, is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), and is past Associate Editor/Book Review Editor of the APA Division 29 journal, Psychotherapy. Dr. Samstag is author and co-author of over 50 psychotherapy research studies, articles, and book chapters, and co-edited one book, with a particular focus on the development of the therapeutic relationship, including identifying ruptures in the working alliance and other factors that contribute to poor outcome and premature termination. She is the Director of Psychotherapy Research and a Clinical Supervisor in the Psychological Services Center at the Brooklyn Campus of LIU and is a Senior Consultant at the Psychotherapy Research Program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, supervising trainees in Alliance-Focused Training.


Psychotherapy Research (e.g., therapeutic alliance development, alliance ruptures, process-outcome); Clinical Research (e.g., depression, anxiety, personality disorders, attachment); Developmental Research (e.g., parenting, infertility)


Selected Publications:

Eubanks, C.F., Samstag, L.W., & Muran, J.C. (2022). Rupture and repair in psychotherapy: Multiple perspectives on common clinical challenges. American Psychological Association.

ARTICLES (Refereed Journals):
McIntyre, S. & Samstag, L.W. (2021). Promoting an empathic dialogue for therapeutic change: An
integrative review. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 51(3), 467-481.

Muran, J.C., Eubanks, C.F., & Samstag, L.W. (2021). One more time with less jargon: An introduction to
“Rupture Repair in Practice”. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(2), 361-368.

Eubanks, C.F., Sergi, J., Samstag, L.W., & Muran, J.C. (2021). Commentary: Rupture repair as a
transtheoretical corrective experience. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(2), 457-466.

McIntyre, S., Samstag, L.W., Haden, S.C., & Duncan, J.W. (2019). Therapist experience, personal therapy, and distressing states of mind: Regulation and resonance as dialectics of therapeutic empathy. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 49, 213-221.

Calderon, S. Samstag, L.W., Papouchis, N., & Saunders, B.A. (2019). The effects of early parental death and grief on interpersonal functioning and alexithymia in adults. Psychopathology, 52, 1-7.

Samstag, L.W., & Muran, J.C. (2019). Ruptures, resolutions, and reflections: Contributions of Jeremy D. Safran. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 22, 7-14.

Samstag, L.W., & Norlander, K. (2019). Characteristics of trainees’ early sessions: A naturalistic process-outcome study tribute to Jeremy D. Safran. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 36, 148-158.

Muran, J.C., Eubanks, C.F., & Samstag, L.W. (2019). The processes of Jeremy Safran. Psychotherapy Research, 29, 277-278.

Mulay, A.L., West, M.L., Samstag, L. W., & Diamond, E. (2017). Negative body attitudes as a risk factor for non-suicidal self-injury among college students. Suicidology Online, 8, 1-9.

Simon, S., Cain, N.M., Samstag, L.W., Meehan, K.B., & Muran, J.C. (2015). Assessing interpersonal subtypes in depression. Journal of Personality Assessment, 24, 1-10.

Detrixhe, J.J., Samstag, L.W., Penn, L.S., & Wong, P.S. (2014). A lonely idea: Solitude’s separation from psychological research and theory. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 50, 310-331.

Samstag, L. W. (2012). Introduction to the special section on ethical issues in clinical writing. Psychotherapy, 49, 1-2.

Samstag, L.W. (2009). Mending the gap: An introduction to the commentaries on Dinger, Strack, Sachesse, and Schauenburg (2009). Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 46, 275-276.

Samstag, L. & Samstag, N. (2016). Not your mother’s identity: Good enough parenting in the age of maximization. In S. Tuber (Ed.), Parenting: Contemporary clinical perspectives (pp. 27-42). Rowman & Littlefield.

Gelso, C. & Samstag, L.W. (2008). The therapeutic relationship. In S.D. Brown & R.W. Lent (Eds.). Handbook of counseling psychology (4th edition) (pp. 267-283). John Wiley.

Samstag, L.W., Muran, J.C., & Safran, J.D. (2004). Defining and identifying alliance ruptures. In D. Charman (Ed.), Core concepts in brief dynamic psychotherapy (pp. 187-214). Lawrence Erlbaum.

Safran, J.D., Muran, J.C., Samstag, L.W., & Stevens, C.L. (2002). Repairing alliance ruptures. In J. C. Norcross (Ed.), Psychotherapy relationships that work: Therapists’ relational contributions to effective psychotherapy (pp. 235-254). Oxford University Press.

Samstag, L.W. (November, 2019). Why does my therapist ask me to talk about our relationship?
Psychoanalysis Unplugged, American Psychoanalytic Association.

Lectures and Presentations


Professional Affiliations

American Psychoanalytic Association – Research Associate
American Psychological Association: Divisions 12, 29, & 39
Harry Stack Sullivan Society (2003-2009)
Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration
Society for Psychotherapy Research
White Society