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The Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic: Where TFI’s Three Pillars Meet

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At The Family Institute, we aim to strengthen and heal families from all walks of life through clinical service, education and research.

These three pillars work together synergistically: Our clinical services and research programs continuously inform our graduate and post-graduate education programs, which in turn further the development of our psychotherapeutic interventions. This synergy creates a dynamic through which we not only enhance the lives of our clients, but the field of family therapy as well.

No place better demonstrates that synergy than our Bette D. Harris Family and Child Clinic. At the Clinic, clients receive our expert care regardless of their ability to pay or access to insurance — our sliding-scale fee structure gives families of all income levels access to our high quality care, with fees starting at as little as $5.

The Clinic is uniquely impactful because of how we blend our mission’s three pillars: clinical service, education and research. The Clinic is staffed by graduate student therapists-in-training who are closely supervised by Family Institute staff therapists. All graduate students at The Family Institute take part in this mentoring relationship, allowing our clients to benefit not only from qualified therapists-in-training, all of whom meet rigorous academic and professional service requirements, but also from supervising staff therapists and their years of expertise.

Our therapists-in-training work with their supervising staff therapists to treat whole family systems, providing the deeply impactful, integrative and collaborative care that The Family Institute is known for.  To provide this care, our therapists-in-training are educated in our systems model of therapy, allowing them to look not only at individual issues, but also at the intricate ways those issue impact and are impacted by entire families.

Additionally, all clients at the Clinic take part in the STIC (Systemic Therapy Inventory of Change), which is the key component of The Family Institute’s groundbreaking Psychotherapy Change research project that tracks change throughout the therapy process. The first of its kind, the STIC monitors weekly changes in our clients’ personal and relationship functioning, allowing therapists and their clients to monitor progress and make informed, research-based treatment choices. The use of the STIC at the Clinic allows our therapists to apply research directly to their work with some of our community’s most vulnerable families and individuals.

Our approach combines the three pillars of our mission to treat entire families in systemic, effective ways. One family recently shared their success story with us: The family had recently moved to the US from another country and the transition did not go as smoothly as planned. The family of five — dad, mom and three daughters — came to the Clinic when their family structure became noticeably off-balance, and the children were having difficulties adjusting. Their treatment focused on helping the parents become more consistent, and to establish boundaries and a routine. After working with their therapist-in-training, one family member stated that they “got great support to reorganize our family, to change, to live in the community and be safe.”

This is just one instance of our impact through the Clinic. Last year alone, The Family Institute provided over 73,000 hours of clinical services, 1/3 of which were possible with our sliding-scale fee. 

To learn more about The Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic, visit our website.


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