University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut


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Family Therapy

To set up an appointment and/or to get more information about family therapy call 860-486-3692

Family therapy (sliding scale) is a treatment style that incorporates the needs of the entire family unit, even if the reason for attending therapy starts with the behavior of one family member.  Families are seen as intricate “systems” that move and change with each member’s input.  Clinicians may encourage a quieter family member to get more involved, or work with a family member that tries to help everybody to step back and allow others to help themselves. Symptoms are seen as reactions to coping with stress over time, and attempts at managing family, peer or contextual dynamics.  Problems are seen as happening “between” people, rather than “within” people.  The family is seen as an individual’s greatest resource and support system, so is mobilized to work on the presenting problem in collaboration with the therapist.


Children ages 4-12   are seen at the Humphrey Clinic with parental permission and participation in family therapy.  Typical issues for young children include behavioral or social problems at school or home, anxiety, depression, dealing with family conflicts or major transitions like divorce.  The Humphrey Clinic works from the philosophy that children are powerfully influenced by the adults in their lives, and therefore benefit from their support and feedback no matter what the presenting issue is.  Individual sessions with children will be interspersed with family meetings to allow for the child to have some time free from loyalty worries that may exist when there is conflict between the adults in their lives, as well as to have support and feedback from parents.  Children are encouraged to share their experience with parents and parents are coached to receive and promote a positive understanding of their child’s needs while creating structure to help them to grow.


Teens are seen at the Humphrey Clinic with parental permission and an agreement to participate in periodic family sessions.  Typical issues include behavior problems at school or home, anxiety, risky decisions, depression, conflict with parents or siblings, peer problems, social anxiety, self-esteem or dealing with grief related to divorce, illness, or trauma. The Humphrey Clinic believes in supporting privacy for teens while linking them strongly with the adult caregivers in their lives.  This is done with individual and family sessions that support the development of strong self-esteem and positive communication/relationship skills, as teens learn to manage their intense emotions, negotiate with their parents and to define themselves among peers.   Parents are coached to manage their reactions to their teen’s behavior and thoughtfully seek a balance between providing structure and discipline while allowing their child to learn to find new limits as they grow.  Communication is built between the child and parent that allows for respectful negotiation and affirmation of family connections.