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Veterans & Relationships: How can we help?

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military_coupleVeterans have their own unique opportunities and challenges when it comes to mental health. A current study at The Family Institute looks at what couples face when they’re reunited after deployment.

From researcher Lynne Knobloch-Fedders, PhD:

“There is an urgent need for research to inform prevention and intervention services for couples during the transition from deployment to reintegration,” Dr. Knobloch-Fedders said. “Experts believe incorporating a service member back into domestic life can be more demanding for military families than deployment itself.”

Read more about this important study in a previous TFI Talks post.

Is Group Therapy Right for You?

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team building, group discussion or therapyAs we commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re also looking at some of the different types of mental health treatments that are out there — including those that The Family Institute provides.

One often overlooked form of mental health treatment is group therapy. It has proven to be an effective and efficient form of treatment for many of the issues that people experience in today’s world. Groups address personal issues where they typically occur — with other people. We live, work and play as memebers of groups, and therapy is no different.

In a typical group therapy session, a professionally-trained therapist leads the discussion as members work to express their problems, feelings, ideas and reactions. This provides members with the opportunity to learn with and from other people.


The Family Institute offers a number of different group therapies to help individuals work out some of their issues in a social setting with people who have similar issues. Visit our website to learn more about the groups available at our downtown Chicago, Evanston and Northbrook locations.

How Does Mid-Life Offer A One-of-a-Kind Opportunity for Women?

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In some ways, it’s an enviable problem to have — the kids are off in their own lives and you have both the time and energy to be asking the question “What’s next?”

Whether a woman has stayed in the paid workforce throughout the child-raising years, or stayed at home and devoted the bulk of her energies to family and household, there is a noticeable space that shows up once the children are even semi-launched. For the first time in decades, many women get to consider how they want to re-prioritize their lives. Yet obstacles, both internal and external, can get in the way of this potentially exciting project.

At our next Circle of Knowledge event on Thursday, March 12th in LaGrange, IL, Dr. Cheryl Rampage will explore how to address both kinds of obstacles, to maximize satisfaction in this chapter of life.

Watch Dr. Rampage discuss these issues and what she’ll address at this event below, as well as more event specifics.


The Pleasures and Challenges of Retooling at Midlife

Presented by Dr. Cheryl Rampage

Thursday, March 12, 2015
11:30 p.m. registration, 12:00 p.m. presentation & lunch
Edgewood Valley Country Club, 7500 Willow Springs Road, La Grange

$45 per person; space is limited
Register online today!
Deadline to register: March 5, 2015

For more information, call 312-609-5300, ext. 480 or email

Long Distance Relationships: A new research frontier

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long_distance_mapAt The Family Institute, relationships are our passion. Throughout the month of February, we’re exploring all things couples: How couples can improve the quality of their relationships, how couples counseling can be a helpful tool for couples at all stages of their partnerships and how relationships impact our overall mental health. Family Institute experts not only treat couples via our couples therapy services, but also conduct research in an effort to help couples from all walks of life have stronger, healthier relationships.

Today, we look at the Institute’s Relationship and Health Study that examines the health benefits of long distance relationships. This study is led by co-investigators Steve Du Bois, PhD, LCP, the Institute’s Morgan Postdoctoral Clinical Research Fellow and Tamara Goldman Sher, Family Institute affiliate. Research has already indicated that being in a close-distance relationship is associated with better health. The Institute’s Relationship and Health Study aims to determine whether the same applies to long distance relationships.

Our winter edition of Institute News, our print newsletter, features an article by Dr. Du Bois discussing this exciting new research initiative:

This research will extend the existing research on couples, and will hopefully start a new branch of research — one that investigates long-distance relationships as they relate to individual health. Additionally, our findings may shed light on core, critical ingredients for successful relationships — those qualities that relate to positive individual health even without the luxury of abundant in-person time.

Read another blog post from Dr. Du Bois about how to keep long-distance relationship strong on TFI Talks.

Visit our website to read the full article, or to learn more about the Relationship and Health Study.

February is Couples Month at TFI Talks

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One paper heartFor many, February means one thing: Valentine’s Day. At The Family Institute, we’re taking this opportunity to explore one of our favorite and most widely-discussed topics: couples.

Love and the desire to connect is a fundamental human need. Healthy romantic relationships are linked to all types of positive outcomes for the entire family system; and the converse is equally true. In fact, couple distress is one of the most frequently encountered difficulties. The divorce rate in America continues to hover around 50% with half of these divorces occurring in the first seven years of marriage. The divorce rate for second marriages is even higher at 75%.

The good news is that couple therapy, when conducted by a well-trained therapist, has consistently been found to be effective. In fact, research has found that couple therapy leads to positive outcomes in approximately 70% of couples. At The Family Institute, we offer couples counseling that is comprised of staff who not only have received extensive education and training in conducting couple therapy, but we all stay on top of the research literature and conduct empirically informed couple therapy. This month, we’ll be featuring content from those experts about how couples can strengthen their relationships during Valentine’s Day month and beyond. Stay tuned!


The Family Institute offers affordable counseling for couples, individuals and families at our Chicagoland locations. Visit our website for more information.


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